Alt-Wheels Notes #22

Better than furry dice hanging from a rearview mirror.

What Are Alt-Wheels?

Alternative Wheels. I don’t like the term “micromobility.” In fact, I hate it. It sounds like tiny wheelchairs. The person who coined that marketing term apparently never saw TV ads in American for “mobility devices” — which are basically motorized wheelchairs. Alt-Wheels are these: pedal bikes, kick bikes, handbikes, recumbent bikes, pedal tricycles, electric tricycles, electric bikes, kick skateboards, electric skateboards, kick scooters, electric scooters, electric unicycles, and the Onewheel. In Singapore, anything small and electric is separated from that bunch and they’re called PEVs: Personal Electric Vehicles. (And, by the way, while cyclists look to Denmark, it’s Singapore that’s the world leader in electric Alt-Wheels.) I don’t like using the term “vehicle” because that’s a legal term. And if governments start considering Alt-Wheels as that, we’ll have “rider’s ed,” registration, licensing, and insurance requirements for all of them. And that damn well should not happen until Alt-Wheels have street parity with cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, and everything else of that ilk, gas or electric.

New York State/City Legislation

The Alt-Wheels bills are still in limbo:

See the Assembly and Senate websites for yourself: Assembly Bill A7431B, Senate Bill S5294A, and Senate Bill S6597.

Let me solve this damn impasse for our hand-wringing Governor. Add to the legalization this provision: In every locality that an eScooter rental company enters, they must hold thirty days of free lessons to people in a variety of locations. A full damn month of teaching people how to ride and the local laws about riding (because each municipality can set their own conditions) should increase the safety factor.

Now add it, get the Assembly and Senate to agree, and sign the damn bills!

New York City Cycling

Memorial bike ride held for 19th cyclist killed in NYC this year, family and friends for swift street changes

The Too Many Cars website asks: How Many Parking Spaces in NYC? And, surprisingly, there are only 189,406 on-street parking spaces, the lowest of any borough. Start by getting rid of those.

Car blindness — Ignoring the true cost of cars

Electric Scooters

This article reveals a new name for bike lanes: Take the Lane! Safety essentials every e-scooter rider needs to know

In the s.h.a.r.e. trainings we talk with riders about how important it is to get everyone involved in local efforts to win more bike lanes – or LIT (Light Individual Transportation) lanes as the policy leaders now call them in Atlanta.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.


As scooters flood Los Angeles, the number of tickets written to riders is soaring

At one time, I had a great deal of interest in Inokim’s eScooters. But communication with the company made it clear at the time that they had no plans to enter the American market. So I was very surprised by this Hsiang video that reveals Inokim has opened a brick and mortar outlet in Manhattan.

INOKIM LIGHT 2 Electric Scooter Review- Best PREMIUM COMMUTER money can buy? -Hsiang

An owner of several eScooters gives his thoughts about the Boosted Rev:

Boosted REV Electric Scooter Review

Electric Unicycles

This next video is from a former cyclist who couldn’t deal with a hill at the start of his daily commute. He found out about EUCs a year ago and has traveled over 3,500 miles on one since:

How I stumbled upon the Electric Unicycle Community

Key quote:

There is no steering wheel, handlebars, or throttle stick. Just me and the world around me. I love how immersive I am within the environment as I ride and explore.

How long does it take to learn to ride one? Some lucky people get on and just go. Others take hours, days, or even weeks. Here are two people who learned at completely different tempos. Tinka’s explanation is a bit out of order but she explains all the steps needed in learning and it’s always good to hear from actual owners rather than company reps who are expert riders (a shorter video for the impatient is below this one):

Learning to ride an electric unicycle – Tinka’s version

Tinka is right: Just don’t give up. I’ve watched plenty of EUC ride-learning videos on YouTube and everyone says the same thing: Don’t give up; eventually something “clicks” in your head and you can ride. It’s unfortunate that most people don’t remember how long it took to ride a two-wheel pedal bike. I don’t remember but it seems like months (time perception is different for kids)! Like most everyone else, I started with training wheels. But I remember one day where I wasn’t engaging those training wheels at all — I was balancing myself. I guess something just “clicked.”

Here is Tinka’s tutorial in shorter and ordered form — but without the “never give up” advice that’s also needed:

Tips how to learn to ride an electric unicycle – Franta’s version

And here is another person learning to ride:

I Got An ELECTRIC UNICYCLE! Gotway Tesla **hilarious first time**

You heard correctly: 30mph top speed and 50-mile range. EUCs are beasts.

Where can an electric unicycle take you? Anywhere:

My Experience at WestWheel 2 Las Vegas | Electric Unicycle Event |


From surfboards to skateboards, Onewheel zooms into Santa Cruz with huge new R&D office

This video gives everyone a rare peek at Future Motion’s American factory:

The evolution of the Onewheel

In the last section was a tutorial for riding an EUC. Here’s a tutorial for the Onewheel. There are fewer things to learn:

How Easy Is It To Ride Onewheel Pint?

With any form of Alt-Wheels — including an eScooter — a person will use muscles they don’t usually engage, so some soreness might develop. But that will pass as the muscles adjust and over time they will strengthen. Those who say using Alt-Wheels isn’t exercise are just wrong.

Last Kick

Here are the final installments from Bag Week at TechCrunch:

Peak Design’s Travel Duffel 35L is as simple or as powerful as you need it to be

Herschel’s Retreat brings classical simplicity to the laptop backpack

Bag Week 2019: A whole bunch of fannies

Waxed canvas messengers from Trakke, Waterfield and Mission Workshop are spacious and rugged


Texas newlyweds killed in car crash minutes after wedding

A Texas couple died in a car crash minutes after their wedding ceremony on Friday.

Harley Joe Morgan 19, and Rhiannon Boudreaux Morgan, 20, of Vidor, Texas, died in the collision around 3 p.m. Friday afternoon.

They were pulling out of a private drive and onto a highway after leaving the Justice of the Peace courtroom when a pickup truck slammed into them.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Newlyweds killed in collision only moments after wedding

I have no words.

Additional news, elsewhere:

Posted once a day: Transportation Alternatives Daily Bike Forecast by Bike Snob NYC

Has a Morning Links compilation: Biking in LA

Updated many times a day: Streetsblog and Streetsblog NYC

Previously here:

Alt-Wheels Notes category

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