I've been meaning to write about this for a while. A side interest of mine is finding the perfect transportation. I don't believe in convention and I don't care what other people think which leads me to try out some unusual things.
For a few weeks, a couple years ago I had "shoes with wheels". Street shoes with wheels that fold out of the soles so that they become skates. The problem with those was that the wheels were too small so you tripped everywhere. What finally did them in was that I actually bent one of the locking mechanisms. My diagnosis is that they are just toys and not meant to be used as actual transportation.
I rode a Razor scooter a little while I was an undergrad because Stage3 had one. For the past year I have owned one and rode it all around. A few days ago I replaced my first set of wheels. A week ago, while braking, the rear wheel locked up and the bottom rubbed off.
Which brings me to my point about authentic vs. rip-off scooters. I'll only buy an actual Razor. The rip-offs are cheap and bad. My friend Jared has one. There are a number of things that I think are more poorly designed about it, but I'll only mention one. He bought silly light up wheels, so he let me use one of the original ones as a spare while I ordered my new ones. The first time I rode it I rode to work. My route is quite downhill including one really steep part. I know that after going downhill fast and breaking I have to be careful because the friction break could actually burn me. With the rip-off wheel, because it was too plasticy, it melted.
People ask me about having a Segway or one of the electric Razors. I don't need a motor, I'm fine with foot power I just want to go faster than walking. I could take my bike and that would be faster than my Razor too. For short distances a bike is a pain because of the hassle to secure and unsecure it at each end. With my Razor I just get up and go. I can ride it in buildings, step off to go up and down stairs, or fold it up and carry it anyplace, even on the bus. This flexibility is lacking with a bike or Segway or the heavier, less foldable electric Razors.
One other thing I have thought about is Rollerblades. My problem with them isn't just that I'd have to change my shoes. It isn't as bad as locking a bike, and I would mind except I don't like that I'd have to be carrying shoes while blading. What I'd want is rollerblades where the bottoms detach and the boot is an acceptable street shoe. I wouldn't mind carrying the blades when I get wherever I'm going. I finally found a company that makes them, HypnoSkates
. I think I'm going to get a pair. I'm only worried that I'll be more likely to get hurt, and it will be harder to stay in control and use them on any terrain, since I can't just step down like I can on my Razor.
Finally, I look forward to the day when we have teleportation. Although tricky, I believe it ought to be possible. It really is the ultimate in transportation in so many ways. I feel that any transportation research that isn't into teleportation is a waste of time. I'm willing to give up advances in faster or better cars, trains, and planes to speed up the developement of the perfect transportation method.