Getting Started

Okay, you’ve watched the videos, you’ve examined the pictures and you’ve read all the online blurb, all the articles you can find and found this amazing blog. You are now thinking about getting a Swifty scooter for yourself. What should you do next?

Right, first thing you should do is ask yourself a few questions, for example:

  • Why do you want to buy a Swifty scooter?
  • What do I want to get from my Swifty scooter?
  • What will I actually do with it?
  • Is it for fitness, adventure, commuting or a combination?
  • Where will I be riding, on hard surfaces, off-road, or both?
  • Will I be able to cherish and care for my Swifty scooter?
  • How about storage space, where will I store the scooter?
  • Should I get a folding Swifty for carrying on public transport?
  • Am I happy getting strange looks and smiles from other people?
  • If I purchase a Swifty scooter, will I actually use it?

And so on and so forth. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to one Swifty. I have a Swifty Zero for fast hard surfaces and a Swifty Air for off-road adventures. Make your choice based on the answers to the questions you have asked yourself, and be honest with yourself. Note the final question. Will you actually use it?

At this point I should mention fitness. As with all outdoor activities kick scooting takes effort, sometimes minimal effort, in some instances a lot of effort. Ask yourself if you are up to the job? If overweight, over 50 years old or suffering from any health problems, I would suggest consulting your doctor first. They will be able to advise the best course of action to take. Use your common sense.

There are essentially three Swifty scooters to choose from:

Swifty One
The Swifty One is the folding version and ideal for commuting where there is a need to carry the scooter. Suitable for mixed terrain and where storage space is limited. Not recommended for off-road use.

Swifty Zero
The Swifty Zero is rigid and ideal for general use and getting fit. Smooth and fast on tarmac but will also handle mixed terrain such canal tow paths, well-compacted dirt roads and so on. Great general purpose all-rounder.

Swifty Air
Similar to the Swifty Zero but with tyres more suitable for off-road use, jumps and dirt riding. Equally at home in urban areas or up in the mountains, even downhill routes at trails centres. Bit more effort required due to the larger tyres.

(Note, I do not have any affiliation with Swifty Scooters.)

Now, you’ve decided which Swifty scooter (or scooters) you want and are ready to purchase. What next? There are two main methods, one, purchase online directly from Swift Scooters. Only takes a couple of days to have your new Swifty in your hands. Note it comes partially assembled and you will need to either complete the assembly yourself which is not too difficult as full instructions and tools are included. Alternatively, get your local bicycle shop to do that for you.

The second method is to buy from a high street stockist. They will be able to supply your Swifty fully ready to ride straight out the shop door. The problem I found, living here near Edinburgh, Scotland, was that there are no stockists north of Manchester, England. My only practical option was buying online. Come on Swifty, get some stockists North of the Border, please! Oh, one small point, installing a nice ding-ding bell is a good idea right at the start.

Moving on. You now have your Swifty ready for your first ride, or rather scoot, what next? What next are final safety checks. Check all the bolts are tight, especially that the wheels are secure and the brakes work. Also check the tyre pressures are correct. Now, we are ready to roll. Almost.

Now that your Swifty is all present and correct, what about you? What should you wear? I would say whatever you want, though I would suggest you wear the same clothing you would use for cycling, walking or running, or other outdoor activities. After a few scoots you will soon find what clothing suits your style of scooting. A helmet and gloves are a good idea. Shin and elbow pads and full Kevlar body armour are up to you. Note that it does not take long to get warm, usually too warm, even in cold weather, so have some means to carry removed clothing.

Now that we are ready to ride, just where should you go? Personally, my first ride was straight out the shed door, along the driveway and then 30 minutes scooting about my local housing estate. Where is totally up to you. Go where you are comfortable. You may prefer a quiet park initially until you build up confidence. Then you can venture further afield.

I will say that scooting is not as easy as it looks. Depending on how much effort you put into it, you will discover muscles you never thought existed. On the flat is great, downhill is amazing but there will always be uphill somewhere. Just take it easy at first and build up slowly to longer distance or durations. Don’t try and do 10 miles on your first trip, of course, unless you are used to regular physical exercise. Short, regular scoots is a good way to start. Try and get out three times a week, even if only 30 minutes at a time.

And that’s all there is to it. Over time your scooting will get easier, you will find the perfect clothing for the job and you may add a few accessories to your Swifty, such as mudguards, lights for night-time scoots and some way to carry stuff. But at the end of the day just go and have fun. If you are not enjoying yourself, you are doing something wrong.

Copyright ©2020 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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