The Outsider: Getting a good kicking
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | February 21, 2019|
Just what real use is a scooter? Its wheels are so small that it doesn’t go very fast or travel over anything other than the smoothest of tarmac with any real velocity. There is no space to store or carry anything other than draped over the ridiculously upright handlebars. To power it, you basically have to run with just one leg. How awkward is that? And, to make matters worse, there’s no seat, you have to stand up all the time, too. And scootering, if that is actually a word, is a definite non-starter in the winter.
“Why?” I hear you ask, “am you ranting about scooters? It’s mid-winter, there’s two feet of snow on the ground and, well, all sorts of other reasons, too. So why?” Well, the thing is the conversation turned to scootering just the other day after my family and friends had spent a fun day doing wintry stuff like snowshoeing, igloo building, tobogganing, and kick sledding.
Yes, kick sledding. Have you ever seen or perhaps partaken in it? It’s like dog sledding without the dogs. Hmm, yes here I go again. I can see some of you squinting your eyes and asking why, already. Long runners, like skis, an upright handlebar, and in the case of our kick sled, a small seat in front of the driver. Said driver, or kicker, or sledder, maybe - I don’t know the correct moniker for the person powering the sled - that person doing the kick sledding, or is that sled kicking because that’s how I felt about it after our afternoon with the contraption ... that person who is powering the sled stands on the back of the runners and then swings one leg and kicks, or pushes at the ground to make the sled move. It glides forward a bit. They do it again and again and again, and the sled glides across the packed snow reasonably well. The kids seemed to do OK with it, the adults not so much. Let’s just say that the amount of energy expended did not seem proportionate to the distance and speed travelled. And when someone sat in the small seat in front of the kicker our little kick sled travelled across the ice about as quickly and effortlessly as if you’d kicked a bag of sand.
We had fun, don’t get me wrong, our kick sledding was invigorating, exhausting and hilarious in equal measure but that was all it was. No one swore to buy one. No one is now a kick sled convert. No one has decided that this is the way that they’ll get their kid to school, haul firewood, do the grocery shopping. No one is doing any of those things because as we sipped a cool beverage or two afterwards, we discussed our afternoon and came to the conclusion that kick sleds are the scooters of the north.
They are scooters on snow. Some overgrown kid, who probably rode his scooter to work in summer, was more than likely brooding away the cold dark winter months in Scandinavia, wishing for sunshine and smooth black tarmac, when he had an idea. Eureka, a scooter on skis! And kick sledding was born. So no, there is no real use for a scooter, and short of making for 10 minutes of good conversation, I can safely say the same for kick sleds, too. Unless your sled dog has gone on strike.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider