As soon as the pandemic hit I flew into crisis mode. I'm at my most effective during a crisis. I stocked up on medicine, food, water, and, yes, toilet paper, and various health and beauty aids (I'm going to be wasteland chic) and a whole assortment of other necessities. Then I realized: I have no means of transportation outside of the New York subway system.
Sorry about it in advance but I am indeed one of those New Yorkers whose license has expired and who can barely bring a sedan around the corner without incident. I do not own a car. I do not like driving. I do not trust myself to drive. But with public transport now a life-or-death cesspool of deadly virus (in my mind at least), I was going to have to find other means of conveyance.
And although I read the other sections of Input, unlike Evan Rodgers or Craig Wilson, I'm not exactly an expert on electric vehicles.
In any other city, during any other time, I'd happily make do with Lime or Bird scooters. I've loved using them to get around Los Angeles, D.C., and Paris. But thanks to NYC's recently-lifted-but-previously draconian ban on such solutions (though we were allowed to have Revel? Why?) and my aversion to touching communal handlebars — that was out of the question. And while I certainly understand that CitiBikes are an option, what am I going to do? Sweat?
So I bought a Segway. Not the kind you used to see mall cops use or tourists whipping around Epcot on, but one of Segway's new line of more conventional products. For $800, I brought the Segway Ninebot Kickscooter Max into my life. It's been fantastic.
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Stats — The Max features 40 miles of range from a 551 Wh battery with 6-hour fast-charging, 10-inch tires, front LED lights, IPX5 water resistance, and some killer phone integration. It has several modes that offer varying speed and acceleration — though if you wear clothes larger than a medium, be prepared to throw that thing out of eco-mode immediately — and fairly intuitive cruise control.
Locale — So far my husband and I have used it to go down to our offices, shopping, to an outdoor restaurant, through the park, to deliver groceries to ill friends, down to see the Statue of Liberty, and many, many other locations. For urban dwellers with environmental concerns, it's the perfect solution to our current transportation crisis owing to its electric power, small size, long-range, and durable build-quality. I've increasingly seen other city folks zipping around my Upper West Side neighborhood on them and I hope they continue to catch on.
Safety — However, despite this glowing endorsement, I should caution you. I have seen many people on devices like these using no protection and that is utterly ridiculous. My husband has gone flying off of this thing more than once (he is a silly man with almost no experience operating a device like this so I do not blame Segway Ninebot.) You must wear a helmet when using any personal transportation device especially if it is mechanically powered. I know it will mess up your hair but, more importantly, the road will mess up what remains of your brain if you don't.
The Segway Ninebot Kickscooter Max has my seal of approval as the best non-bike urban transportation option for under $1,000. Yes, it's pricey, but think of what you'll save on car insurance and COVID treatment.