a companion discussion area for blog.codinghorror.com

Geek Transportation Systems


On my first visit to the Fog Creek Software offices in 2008, I was surprised to see programmers zooming around the office on scooters. I didn't realize that scooters were something geeks would be into, but it sure looked like fun, albeit borderline dangerous fun, on the 25th floor of an office building in Manhattan.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/06/geek-transportation-systems.html


Funny thing that scooters mean something very different in the netherlands

Those things are called steps here.


“You don’t have to lock up a scooter” - really? You’ve never had an £70 scooter stolen from where you left it, then.


We have a Fuzion scooter, which is amazingly manuverable due to it’s 360 degree handle turn radius, two joints in the front (so the handle can both lean left and right as well as turn left/right), and a wide deck for stability


Geek the Lifestylist? I am not laughing.


I commute about 20 miles each way. I’d like to imagine that if that was 10 miles each way I’d ride one of my bicycles.

For the distances described though, one of these would be awesome: http://www.instructables.com/id/Electric-Mountain-Board/

Could even charge it under the desk!


Kevin: Those would be called scooters here as well (or, with equal frequency, motor scooters).


Geeks with scooters are not a new thing. Back when I worked in San Francisco (summer 2000) and the razor scooter fad was hitting all the kiddos, myself and a handful of my geek friends (who were working in Silicon Valley at the time) all had them. It was a great way for me to get to work, although the one time I hit some of that soft gooey tar that they use to patch cracks in the ashphalt (and the ensuing trip over the handlebars) was a definite eye opener.


For scooters, I really like the Micro Black ( http://www.kickboardusa.com/scooters/kick-scooter-black ) and Brompton folding bikes ( http://www.brompton.co.uk ) are in a different league to everything else


I remember being impressed with workers getting around Copenhagen airport on scooters. This video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDtatzPIpyc shows they also provide three-wheeler scooters for passengers and their luggage.


I’ve never really lived in an area where walking (or a scooter) is necessary or encouraged. First I lived in Dallas, which is massive, spread out, and you absolutely need a car to get around. Now I live in Colorado Springs, which is a little smaller but pretty much has the same story.

So my personal form of geek transportation is my turbocharged, AWD, Subaru with a driver-controlled center differential, intercooler sprayer, and a big wing. It’s my guilty pleasure.

If I ever move to a place like New York I might have to cave in and get a scooter too. But can it be turbocharged? Hmm.


“You’ve never had an £70 scooter stolen from where you left it, then.”

I think the point he’s making is that it folds up small enough that you don’t have to leave it anywhere.


Fun but a bit big for such usage, you have the Drifter Scooter (http://www.pulsescooters.com ). In a similar vein, you have the Flash Wheel to have wheels on any shoes you wear (instead of having shoes with wheels in the heels – http://streetgliders.co.uk/ ), the Spooner to surf anywhere (kind of skateboard without wheels-- http://spoonerboards.com ), the Magic Wheel (a scooter with only one, big wheel-- http://www.amazon.com/Magicwheel-MW1-The-Scooter-Skateboard/dp/B0013K0MKY ) or even the good old monocycle seen in circus. Alas, most of them need for training/good sense of equilibrium, but they are fun to use and can be easily taken with you, as you point out (no need to anchor them outside).


@Charles Cook: Maybe it’s a Danish thing. I remember wanting to be a doctor when I visited a Danish hospital as a 5-year-old and saw how all the employees used scooters to get around. The thought of using scooters as part of the job routine was very appealing :slight_smile:

@Kevin D: They’re “run wheels” in Danish…


You’re not a true cycling geek unless you commute with a recumbent.


Don’t forget jumping stilts like the Poweriser:

I’d like to commute on a pair of those.


At the hardware (hardware as screwdrivers, iron, … and not as HDD, CPU…) stores here the folks sometimes drives scooters, that are powered by an electric accu drill/screwdriver which you can plug at the rear wheel, looks really funny.

But the best comes: The manufacturer (Bosch) makes every year races with such “machines”. This year the “HAWK” http://www.akkuschrauberrennen.de/dieherausforderer.html, is not build, no it is PRINTED with a 3D-printer. If that isn´t geeky, I dont know what it is.


A survey of folding bikes should probably include http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brompton_Bicycle


What about the ultimate geek transporter known as the Segway?


You have way too much disposable income. The only reason I use a bicycle is because I can’t afford a car (college student). How I wish I could help kill the planet faster.