In a rush and needing a quick meal, I decided to make a stop at Leo’s. As I headed out of the doors of New South, I began the short stroll toward the dining hall; that’s when it happened. Suddenly, I heard the whirring of wheels on concrete, and when I turned to investigate, I noticed the enigma that is Scooter-Man. He was speeding down the hill, heading dangerously rapidly toward the curb. Conventional wisdom and ’80s movies have taught me that, in moments like this, life is supposed to slow down.
Scooter-Man, however, was not inclined to slow down for anything. Exhibiting split-second timing and moment-to-moment reflexes — traits only a true scooter enthusiast can possess — he nimbly leapt onto the curb and snatched his ride along with him. Baffled, I watched as he proceeded to calmly walk into Leo’s. Apparently, such dazzling displays of dexterity are common occurrences in the life of Scooter-Man.
Why exactly is this particular mode of transportation gaining popularity among students? To the casual observer, the scooter may seem silly or ineffective. But if we put aside our preconceived notions and examine scooter use objectively, maybe we can begin to see its allure.
“I use it to get everywhere. I take it to class, I take it to meetings. It’s my go-to,” Adam Ramadan (SFS’14) said.
Ignacio de Lera (MSB ’17) has been at Georgetown for only a few weeks, and he’s already found his ideal mode of transportation.
“About two weeks after arriving on campus, I was so tired of walking I decided to go on Amazon to buy a new scooter,” de Lera said.
To many it may seem odd to choose a scooter over the more traditional bicycle, but de Lera has a different perspective.
“If you have a bike, you have to know where to find a bike rack ahead of time. With the scooter, you don’t have to worry about that. With a scooter, you just ride to class — or wherever you’re going — fold it up and you’re good to go.”
There was a genuine look of excitement on de Lera’s face, and he began to make a pretty compelling case for joining the scooter-riding community.
“Look, people don’t like going to places when it means taking a long walk; with [a scooter], it’s only a $60 investment, and you can ride it anywhere, you can feel the wind in your face and you save energy,” he said.
For upperclassmen, it can make a world of difference.
“I can make it from my place in Burleith to Lau in four minutes,” said Ramadan. “In terms of being efficient, it has improved my life. I don’t think people realize that it makes things so much easier when getting across campus.”
Cannon Warren (SFS ’14), however, is reluctant in welcoming more students into this trending mode of transportation. When I asked Warren if he could make a persuasive case for other students to buy scooters, he demurred.
“I won’t do that,” Warren said. “I look cooler if I’m the only one with a scooter. If too many other people get scooters, I’ll probably have to switch to inline blades.”
Aside from sparking my imagination with the thought of swarms of inline-skating students scurrying about M Street and weaving through traffic, Warren also told me about his reasons for making the switch from bike to scooter.
“My freshman year, I had a bike; it was convenient because I lived in Darnall. But once I moved into Copley, I found that, without bike racks, a scooter was just much more convenient.”
Warren went on to say that his scooter was particularly useful for navigating Copley’s halls.
“While I’m not sure if the use of scooters indoors is endorsed by the university, I have it on good authority that it’s quite a good time.”
Whether like you think that scooter use should be exclusive, or you want all the campus to ride along with you, one thing remains abundantly clear: Scooters aren’t going anywhere. The tiny two-wheeled contraptions are simply too convenient. Far cheaper than a decent bicycle, highly portable and with less of a learning curve than longboards, the scooter was made for Georgetown students.