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Red Deer Reality Rant #7 - Scooter Madness

Hello and thanks for checking out this 7th edition of Red Deer Reality Rant! It was with some trepidation that I posted the last blog, possibly it was too personal. I would like Red Deer Reality Rant to be about Red Deer issues. However it is from my perspective and since I am a Red Deerian I feel qualified to do so. Before coming to Red Deer I was in B.C and also lived in several different places around Alberta. I have to say, there are definitely worse places to be than Red Deer!

Calgary is a great city, not too far away, but has less of an influence it seems on us than Edmonton. Red Deer is a central city and it is an even distance between the two. Everyone seems to have an opinion on which larger city they like better, but I feel non biased on the matter. I have lived in Red Deer long enough to make it my home, but I do notice the influence of Calgary and Edmonton here.

Last summer, Red Deer acquired one such influence from larger places: E-Scooters. As it is in Calgary and Edmonton the bulk quantity of these machines are situated downtown. Last year around this time I saw dozens of E-Scooters in use continuously all around Red Deer. So far this year, not so much, and I wonder how long the novelty will last. I believe that, in theory, E-Scooters are a good thing for downtown and the rest of Red Deer. A new form of transportation and source of amusement for us.

E-Scooter as seen in Downtown Red Deer

Once, and only once I tried to use one of these contraptions, but to no avail. My sister and I went to Bower Ponds and imagined that we would zip around the trails on these E-Scooters because, it looks like so much fun. You have to download an app to use them and it charges by the minute to your credit card, I used Apple Pay because I am one of those Apple product snobs. I don’t remember what the going rate was, but my short lived 15 minute trip cost over $7. As a mode of transportation it would be cheaper to use transit.

Anyway, back to my ride experience. Upon pressing “start” in the app I quickly discovered that it’s not as easy as everyone else makes it look. At least not for me. Jerkily, and weaving side to side I started off with a yelp even though my speed was minimal. It’s been a few years since I have used a bike, and my balance is poor at best. My sister fared no better than me despite once being in figure skating, and almost ended up in the pond. After 15 long minutes of making fools of ourselves we gave up and I haven’t tried again since.

In the app, it promptly asks if you are over 18 years of age, however I have seen so many kids, some of them obviously children, flying around the trails on E-Scooters. Although it is none of my business when parents sign in on their apps and let the kids have at it, I am appalled at how skilled the kids are on these machines! Somehow I am missing something, maybe the confidence that comes from the lack of fear that kids have.

In any case, E-scooters have pros and cons for Red Deer. The pros are: novelty, entertainment, and makes us look more urban. The cons are: drunk driving, abandoned and misplaced scooters driving the cost of using them up, and the recklessness of some users. I don’t know if these contraptions are here to stay or not, but likely they will not if they are not used responsibly or the novelty of them wears off completely.


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