As I birdwatch, my treks become longer and longer. I also explore a new park every week and, by doing this, become acquainted with other outdoor activities.
Fishing looks intriguing. I often ask fishermen what they’ve caught, and sometimes they show me what’s in their bucket or ice chest. I’m often left agape at how beautiful the animals are when the sun shimmers on their scales. Sometimes, I think about taking up the sport, but:
- I don’t want to hurt fish or other living things.
- I would feel terrible if I accidentally catch a bird on a line. I’ve photographed too many shorebirds, only to discover them wincing on screen, with fishing line trailing from their mouths.
- I love to walk, and fishing seems relatively sedentary.
While at Big Talbot Island, I talked to a man and his son who seemed interested in learning about the birds. They were standing on interesting devices I’d never seen before, called one-wheels. I investigated getting one of these – very expensive and somewhat dangerous.
Three teenagers pulled up next to me in the parking lot. They each carried skateboards and were headed to a bike trail that parallels the State highway. I thought about how fun it would be to tool down a bike path. But after doing my homework, I learned that skateboards take a lot of dexterity. And, like motorcycle-riding, it’s not if you’ll get hurt; it’s just when and how badly.
A short time ago, I visited a local park close to where I live. A park I didn’t even know was there, although we’ve lived in the area for over four years. There were many paved paths, and I walked them all. Then I discovered that the park links to a long bike and pedestrian trail.
I started walking and, after some time, saw a woman walking her dog. She looked friendly, and so I asked, “How far does the trail go?”
“A long way. About seven miles?”
And my imagination was sparked. I wanted to go the whole way, but it was a significant time commitment.
Was it time to get a bike? I enjoyed riding one in my thirties, but even then, putting the rack on the car and the bike on the rack was grueling. Were there lightweight bikes? Collapsible? I asked the question online that night. There were, but they were very expensive, and still only so portable.
Was there an alternative? One that would allow me to answer the call to go farther – to follow the trail?
My hikes had made me more physically fit; mentally sharp. Something that allowed me to continue this progress was also important.
I found a YouTube video. A senior citizen was riding a Xooter MG – an adult-sized kick-scooter. It looked easy! Fun! Plus it was lightweight (roughly 11 pounds) and easily portable.
I scanned the internet for more information. There were certain things to look for in a kick scooter.
- The width of the platform. A wider deck allowed one to stand with both feet together. It also made switching the pushing foot easier.
- A deck low to the ground (2 inches) was more comfortable than a higher mount (4 inches).
- Wider wheels gave a smoother ride and passed over sidewalk debris more easily.
The Xooter MG was roughly the price of an economic bike, at just under $300. This was substantially pricier than other kick-scooters found on Amazon. But the Xooter met the above standards, and had one important additional feature – a quick-release button to make folding the device easier. And there was nothing to catch your fingers.
Most scooters collapse for portability. But customers who bought cheaper models warned that fingers could be crushed or broken in the locking/unlocking mechanism. Some included graphic photos or descriptions. Their fingers had gotten caught and mangled. The result was a trip to the hospital.
My Xooter arrived today. I ordered the additional braking plate for the rear tire, as well as ergonomic grips. Those were already installed when the box arrived. I only had to attach the shoulder strap – which was confusing at first, but easy once I watched a YouTube video and found online instructions from Xooter.
Tomorrow, I’ll take it for a test drive.