‘Commuting is great!’, said no one ever, including me, who used to commute more than three hours daily to the office. I enjoyed lockdown for the single reason that I didn’t have to go through that drama frequently.
After the lockdown ended and we had to return to the office, I dreaded the thought of sitting on the crowded bus for hours. That’s until I discovered that e-scooters provide a much faster – and more enjoyable – way of commuting.
Much like everyone else, I used to think that even the best electric scooters were too goofy for an adult to use. Sure, you see them everywhere and curse at all the university students riding them a bit too close to you when they pass, but I never thought I’d end up using them on a daily basis. I’m more of a running and cycling kind of guy, who enjoys nothing more than getting pleasantly exhausted after using any means of transportation.
However, I was in a bit of a conundrum when I tried to find the best way to commute to the office after the lockdown ended. I didn’t want to take the bus again – I had enough of the stuffiness and people breathing down my neck – and although I did cycle before to work on my road bike, that was more because I was training for an Ironman which fell through because of the pandemic.
The only option I had left was the train, mainly because there is no way I’m going to use a car for commuting. Trains are more expensive, but also blisteringly fast; it takes just over 10 minutes to get to the office on the train. Better still, the train station is right next to the office, so there is no time lost walking around town in the morning!
The problem is, I live further away from the train station. It took me around 45 minutes to walk there – believe me, I tried. And it’s not even your casual walk, but a proper power walk with my backpack, coat, and whatnot on my back. Not a pleasant thing to do, especially when the skies open and it starts pouring down. I haven’t got a folding e-bike, and I really can’t be bothered to fiddle around with a full-size bike on the train.
What other option have I got left? Electric scooters, of course. After putting my apprehension aside, I signed up with the local e-scooter rental company and gave them a try. And it was amazing! I couldn’t believe how much fun it was to ride electric scooters. It’s like being a child again – I could lean, accelerate, stop, and even hop slightly over potholes.
Best of all, there is a rental electric scooter pickup point right next to where I live, and I can leave them right next to the train station where there is another one. So instead of walking miserably in the rain, now I can ride my e-scooter to the train station, which is not only way faster but also a whole lot of fun.
Of course, it would be much better if I could use my own e-scooter for commuting – I already started eyeballing a Pure Air Pro – but due to legislation in the UK, it’s illegal to ride privately owned electric scooters on roads at the moment. This is strange as you can ride an electric bike – bigger, heavier things – without a license, so one wonders why it's taking so long for e-scooters to be legally accepted.
Anyhow, the main thing is that I can use an electric scooter for commuting, and the result is that instead of having to sit on the bus for 3+ hours, now my commute takes around 45 minutes a day, half of which is pure e-scooter fun times. Do I see myself going back to riding a bike to work again? If I could justify the price of a Brompton M6L Electric or a similarly nimble foldable e-bike, I might hop on the saddle again.
But until then, I’m more than happy to scoot around town on an electric scooter – rented or otherwise.
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Matt is a prolific fitness writer who covers everything from running shoes and watches to home weights and multi-gyms, You can often find him eating some sort of rice dish straight out of a plastic container, staring at an empty word document. When he isn’t writing fitness news, reviews and features for T3, TechRadar or Fit&Well, he’s probably out testing running shoes (wearing four fitness trackers simultaneously) or doing home workouts in his tiny flat.