Poughkeepsie, New York – We are attending a wedding in Poughkeepsie, where the bride and groom have planned a few extra-curricular activities to keep the guests entertained. Yesterday–a cold, windy, November morning–we were invited to traverse the Walkway over the Hudson. This is an awesome rails-to-trails linear pathway that spans the Hudson in 1.28 miles. It is the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world (for whatever that’s worth). It yields glorious vistas up and down the Hudson River. Sounds lovely, right?
It is. But it’s a walkway. Perhaps not too much fun for a four-year-old, especially in sub-freezing temperatures.
Fortunately, we brought our scooters.
I remember the days when we always traveled with an extra suitcase stuffed with diapers. Or the travel cribs. Or whatever. Nowadays, the extra suitcase is used to stash the twins’ scooters. Ever since their third birthday, these zippy three-wheelers have been an invaluable form of entertainment and transportation. We don’t go anywhere without them. (At least in theory. We actually forgot to take them to Moscow and we lamented it the entire month.)
Here we are in New York.
Here we are in Detroit.
So what’s so great about scooters?
Transportation We like to walk around town, but the twins don’t. Or maybe they do, but we don’t have time to find out because they are soooo slow. On their scooters, the twins can keep up–and even go faster than we do. They get to expend some energy without getting too tired. And if they do get tired, it’s a lot easier to pull a 40 lbs on a scooter than to carry 40 lbs in your arms.
Entertainment The scooters are a blast! They turn a walk from work into play. Even if we’re not trying to get anywhere, the twins speed around on their scooters for fun. To keep entertained, all they need is a relatively flat, relatively open space (and preferably someone to chase them).
Portability The scooters are easy to disassemble and reassemble. When taken apart, they fit easily into a large duffle bag or soft suitcase, with room for other stuff.
A word to the wise: all scoots are not created equal. We have one Mini Micro and one Y-Bike GLX, both of which I recommend for beginning scooters. They have three wheels, so they are relatively stable compared to two-wheel models (which might be better for older kids). Urethane wheels allow for a smooth ride, and the lean-and-steer turning mechanism makes for excellent maneuverability. The twins can navigate turns and dodge obstacles at high speeds, pulling off moves that make me gasp. They also have easy and effective brakes–crucial when speeding down busy city sidewalks.
The only downside is that both of these brands have a 44lb weight limit, which means that this may be our last season on these scooters. The end of an era, indeed.