Those of us who have a human-powered kick scooter such as the KickPed, CityKicker, Micro Black or Razor A5 are familiar with the convenience and ease they provide for getting from A to B, or for simply gliding aimlessly simply for the fun of the ride.
But we quickly realize that it is much harder to go uphill than to go downhill. The pure pleasure of coasting downhill on a kick scooter without the need to kick or push can be all too fleeting. After all, assuming we are on a round-trip route, we will eventually have to return to the same altitude as our starting point.
Find the perfect ride on your kick scooter
So how can we trick nature and get around this conundrum? We cheat, and rely on mechanical energy to get our kick scooters back to the top of the hill. There are several ways to do this but they all involve cars, buses, trains, funiculars or elevators. These multi-transit rides are best enjoyed on a folding kick scooter rather than a larger road-scooter or Footbike, because a folding kick scooter is so much easier to carry and transport.
The simplest way to get a thrilling free ride, is to find a multi-level parking structure with an elevator. Park near the lowest point, which may be underground, and ride the elevator, with your KickPed or other kick scooter to the highest point. Then enjoy the ride down at whatever speed you are most comfortable at, and repeat as often as you like.
This opportunity is not without its pitfalls however. Often, for reasons of concern over liability, one glimpse on the CCTV of a guy on a kick scooter careening down the parking ramps will send the security guards out to evict you. After all they don’t want us to skid into a Rolls Royce and injure ourselves. Additionally, parking structures that are completely above ground are quite hard to find, and there is something a little spooky about descending seven levels into the void beneath a skyscraper.
Kick Scooters and public transit
So bringing us back out into the fresh air and scenery, what can we do? The best downhill runs are usually far from any town center and the walk back from bottom to top could take an entire afternoon, so we need to arrange transportation for ourselves and our kick scooters, so we can get back and have another ride.
This usually involves an assistant with a car to follow us down and recover us at the end, but with some contour map reading and some planning, most cities have a mostly downhill route that can keep us happy for an hour or so, and a bus route that takes us from close to the ride’s end, to close to the ride’s start.
In Downtown Los Angeles for example, a city with a large hill in the center, you can ride a kick scooter up the historic Angel’s Flight funicular railway and then make large circles back down to the lower station. On weekend mornings, Downtown is almost deserted.
No matter where you live, as you drive around, paying attention to altitude and gradient can reveal some great downhill runs. All you need to do is figure out how to get yourself and your kick scooter back up to the top.
So do a little research, scan your surroundings for likely rides, or use the terrain feature of Google Maps and plan out a nice long downhill cruise on the kick scooter of your choice.