Suddenly, i am able to run with my dog. To see him bounding at full speed next to me brings an inexplicable joy into my life. Around sunset, at a nearby park, you'll find us running together, me giggling and smiling like a child. How do we do this? A contraption i call The Surf Checker.
The Surf Checker came into being out of my desire to get around town and run down to the beach to check the surf without using my car. Everything is a little too far to walk but too close to drive. Its all bike distance. I have a bike. Well i have two. I have a lot of toys, but my downhill bike is pure downhill, no drive system. Unless there's a hill, it just looks cool. My road bike could take me everywhere but once i'm there, i'm stuck. Its not functional for life and really just likes to go straight. Could you see me in the grocery store on that thing? Um...no. That would be weird. Good because you never will. I guess i could tow my chair behind me, but that's a bit too much of a production, even for this hammy Leo.
So i had this desire to figure something out. Then, one brisk November afternoon, while on a walk around a Colorado neighborhood with my niece, it hit me. She ran off into the bushes for some crazy reason in her kid head, but handed me her little Razor scooter to watch over. "Hold this, Uncle Jeremy!" and ran off. I didn't care. A hefty beer in my hand and the rugged scenery filled me with content. Then i remembered seeing a guy in a chair ride one of these things before. I stuffed the beer in my crotch so it wouldn't fall and precariously held the scooter up with one hand while i wheelied over the top of it using my other hand. Have you even done a one-handed wheelie before? Can you roll forward holding a beer while doing it? I can. Once situated on the death mobile, my front casters sat perfectly just off the ground and i was able to use the scooter's steering and brake to control myself. I took a refreshing sip of my beer, released the brake and started to roll downhill. To my surprise it was really easy. "Uncle Jeremy! What are you doing?" A yell came from the bushes. "I'm experimenting." She ran along side and we got going pretty fast. "I want it back now." "OK hold it while i dismount." She scooted off and i sipped my beer...the wheels in my head turning.
When i returned home, i researched electric scooters. Once i figured what i needed, i started shopping on Craigslist. Finally, i pulled the trigger one night and bought one. A well lit deserted parking lot made the scene for the experiment, after gorging myself on an Animal Style 3x3. It was awkward. I could ride it but my chair would not stay in place and i actually fell a few times. It was heavy too. Much bigger than i thought it was going to be. Lifting it into the car was a bitch. So the next day, i was resolved to figure this thing out. A ratcheting motorcycle tie holding it all together and a bungee acting as a steering damper pulling everything back to center did the trick. I am now running with my dog. Sometimes we charge through the nearby trails in the middle of the night, headlamp pushing through the dark thick ocean night air, dog galloping behind in the dust, me giggling. The thing goes 15mph ya know? Not only that but my sans-car-reach is extended. I can jet down to the store or beach quickly no problem. I take it on the bus too. People trip out. The thing is bad ass, but i've kind of off roaded it a little too hard. Surfer Checker 102 coming soon...
See it in action right here in the newly released Drop In Teaser! There's a quick shot of me riding it in the beginning. Makes me laugh every time.