Electric scooters are one of the hottest recreational e-vehicles on the market today.
They seem to be everywhere, being both privately owned and rented through scooter-share companies like Bird and Lime.
It’s easier than ever to have access to an electric scooter in your city, and that’s great news because electric scooters offer a great, fun way to get to where you want to go.
But how do you ride one?
Electric scooters don’t work exactly like the manual razor scooters we knew and loved in childhood. You may need a bit of practice to get the hang of it, especially on the faster scooters that can travel upwards of 25 miles per hour.
Don’t worry, though—learning to ride an electric scooter is easier than you may think. This guide will help you get started so you can ride easily.
Designate a Place to Practice
When you were learning to ride a bike or drive a car, chances are you didn’t start your first ride on the road with everyone else. While electric scooters are relatively easy to ride, it’s still a good idea to have a safe place to practice while you figure out balance and handling.
Ideally, your practice spot will be free from traffic or have very little of it . A back road or parking lot would be great for this purpose, just as long as the ground is even and there is a lot of space for you to ride without needing to swerve around other people, vehicles, or obstacles.
Practice here until you feel confident in your scooter-riding ability.
Start Off Easy
Before you can ride, you’ll need to flip the latch at the bottom of your scooter’s steering column. Unlock your scooter and unfold it until it is standing fully upright. Press the “on” switch on your scooter to power it up and make sure the battery is charged enough for you to ride.
Always practice safety when riding your electric scooter. Head injuries are the most detrimental to e-vehicle riders, so it’s important to protect yourself with a helmet . Proper clothing is also a good idea, so your arms and legs can be guarded against a fall. If you’re a beginner or a kid, it’s recommended you wear knee and elbow pads for further protection.
To position yourself on the scooter, place your non-dominant foot facing forward on the deck. Grab the handlebars with both hands and use your dominant foot to kick off. Then place that foot behind your weaker foot on the deck.
To keep moving forward, hit the throttle. Ease up on it to reduce your speed, or press harder to increase it. Stay at a speed you’re comfortable with while getting used to your scooter.
It may feel easy to stay balanced when going slowly, but the faster you go, the more practice you’ll need. Pace yourself to prevent a fall and potential injury or damage to your scooter.
Use the handlebars to steer and make turns. Try not to turn them too sharply or suddenly, as this can throw you off balance. Slow, steady movements are the best way to keep the ride smooth and controlled.
Use the brakes to come to a complete stop when you’re ready. There’s a handbrake on the handlebars, just like a standard bike. There’s also a foot brake. Beware not to brake too hard at first, as you may need to get used to the sensitivity to avoid sending yourself flying forward. Pull the break gently until you become more familiar with it.
When you’re done with your scooter, power it down and fold the scooter up again. Lock it with the latch and store it in a safe place until you’re ready to ride it again.
Ask Your Friends to Help You Learn
If you know someone who can ride their electric scooter and is willing to practice with you, they can be a great resource as you learn the ropes. Ask them for tips and have them watch you ride so they can give you pointers. If they can ride alongside you, even better.
After you’ve finished riding, check the battery life on your scooter. Some need a long time to recharge, so be mindful of your particular model’s needs and recharge as necessary. A consistent recharging routine will ensure your scooter is ready to go next time you want to ride.
It is generally good to know how much mileage your scooter gets on a full charge.
You definitely don’t want to be stranded miles from your charger with a dead scooter; electric scooters can’t be operated manually when they run out of battery, so instead, you’ll have to walk alongside and push it all the way back. Don’t travel more than half of your scooter’s range without having a charging option to get you home.
If You Fall Off Your Electric Scooter…
No matter how careful or experienced you are, you’ll likely have accidents on your electric scooter every so often. If you feel like you are going to fall off, do your best to stay calm. Becoming flustered could make the accident worse and cause greater harm to you and/or your scooter.
Don’t grab the throttle or try to brake if you are in danger of falling. You could further lose control and put yourself at more risk. Just let go of the scooter and jump off and out of harm’s way. Let the scooter come to a stop on its own. Your safety is more important than if your scooter gets a dent or scratch.
Interested in buying a scooter? Here are our favorite electric scooters for adults 2020.
If you’re new to electric scooters or it’s been a long time since you’ve ridden any kind of scooter, it doesn’t take long to acquaint yourself with your vehicle.
Be sure to read your scooter’s owner’s manual to become familiar with your model’s setup, battery range, and other needs. Having patience while you build skill, practicing in a safe place, and relying on others for help will get you riding like a pro in no time.