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You have to admit that scooters are sleek. The freedom of pushing yourself along, zooming past everyone else... But to enjoy your scooter long-term without any pain, you need to do things right. Here are a few tips to avoid any little niggles.
The first step to successful scootering is to use a vehicle that suits your build. In other words, buy yourself a scooter that's the right size. Were you thinking of using that kids' one you've got lying around? It's up to you, but when you're folded in half trying to push yourself along, your back won't be thanking you.
Although scooters are easy to fit into your daily routine, practical, and accessible to anyone of any age, there are nevertheless a few essential rules to follow to keep you and other road users safe. Avoiding pain also means avoiding accidents and falls. The first thing to look at is brakes. You've got your classic fender brake that you work with your foot, which is practical but not very stable and damages the wheel. The best option is a scooter with a hand brake (like on a bike). Then, if you want to be a cautious rider, make sure you invest in a helmet (particularly if you're riding into town in traffic), and even elbow and knee pads (even if it means looking a little odd).
Scooters have a number of advantages over other sports, and even without the right clothing your risk of injury is less serious. However, the right position will prevent pain in your lower back and shoulders (as well as in your legs). Experienced "scooterers" will tell you the same thing: it's best to stand upright, hold your head high and relax your neck. Be proud and at ease! This will relieve pressure on your joints. And if you want to avoid having a He-Man physique on one side and looking puny on the other, make sure you alternate which foot you use to push off so that both sides of your body get a workout.
This also helps reduce pressure and aches in your legs. Try to change leg around every five kicks. That's not all: by varying your position and (relaxed) movements, you'll stretch your body as you ride. Another way to save time!
There are several types of wheel, but no matter what the size of your wheel or the quality of your rubber it's always more comfortable riding on smooth terrain. Avoid bombing it down a paved road and weaving your way around stones, potholes, roots pushing up through the asphalt, manhole covers, furrows, tarmac joints, sleeping policemen, etc.
Basically, use the brakes when you're passing any gravelly or bumpy surface–and other features of the road that you only really notice once an ache has already set in. Riding a scooter in parks and gardens is tempting, but don't forget that scooters are primarily an urban means of transport for gliding over a smooth surface. With a classic model, there's no way you could go for a ride on bumpy terrain. So if you're interested in trekking around parks, get yourself a different model.
In short, when it comes to pain the winning trio is the right position, the right scooter, and the right route. It's child's play!
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