Monday, June 15, 2009

Lynn Ellen's Scooter Milestone

The photo is of Pier 14, Bay Bridge & Oakland behind Lynn Ellen

I had some fear about going traveling on public transportation on the Scoot, as well as going out for several hours with the Scoot as my only support - no car or even a cane. I didn't intend for this trip to be via Scoot, but when I learned that my destination was close to the ballpark where the San Francisco Giants play, and that game time was the same time as party time, well, here was my opportunity.

I parked at the BART station, assembled the Scoot and mounted both of my batteries. That Hardy, he thinks of everything. The strap that holds the battery didn't look adequate, but then I saw that he'd installed velcro in such a way that the two batteries sandwich together with the velcro and the straps are ample to fit around both of them. I have no idea how this works with the less expensive, bulkier battery, but my two golden beauties just nestled perfectly. I plugged one in, and tucked the end of the cord of the spare in such a way that it didn't move or risk being snagged. I purchased a ticket and found that BART has installed a wide gate, so I could scoot right through.

The train was coming, and I couldn't see where the elevator was. so I got off the scoot, held it firmly next to me, hitched the front wheel onto an escalator stair, and up we went. Now I'm strong, so virtually carrying the now 40 lb. Scoot wasn't much of a challenge. At the top of the escalator, I just walked through the closest door of the BART car and since there is a designated space for disabled people, I saw two guys get up (gee, thanks!) and I sat down and tugged the scoot close to me so it was not too much of a traffic obstruction. The BART car wasn't crowded, but if it had been, I figure we would have just worked it out. I rode to the Embarcadero station in San Francisco, walked off and hoisted my Scoot onto each of the two escalators I needed to use to get to the street. Good thing, as the elevator to the street for that station was out of service.
I'd left the house early (a pause, as those who know me aren't used to me being on time, let alone early), and I made my way through the street vendors at the foot of Market Street, and then I went into the Ferry Building. I took advantage of the bathroom there. Again I was surprised when someone motioned me to the head of the line to use the big stall. When I'm on foot, I will wait til the big stall becomes available so I have enough room, but I wasn't expecting to get to go ahead of others. Then I rolled around the Ferry Building, enjoying the sights and smells. After that, I went back outside and made my way along the water, enjoying the sun, the wind in my face when I could go faster. Only once did I get yelled at when I was aimlessly weaving a bit, and it was a man on a bicycle yelling that I was in his way. Funny, I didn't think bicycles were allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Oh well.

Along the way, I found Pier 14, just a stretch of walkway that jutted out into the water about a block long, ending in a circle where several people were fishing. I was still on the north side of the Bay Bridge, and I asked a tourist to take a picture of me with Oakland and the bridge in the backdrop. I then proceeded to my destination, and as I arrived early, I found a patch of shade nearby to park (the parking brakes were helpful) and talk on the phone.

At the party, I mostly sat with friends on chairs, but at one point I did use the Scoot to move between the two rooms. it was a good group, and there was good food. I even used the seat of the Scoot as my table at one point, as there were more chairs than tables. When I left, I made my way back on the other side of the same road. The entire journey from BART to party was about a mile each way.

I rode an escalator down, also holding the Scoot, but couldn't find a working down escalator when I got inside the paid BART area, so the attendant pointed me toward the inside elevator. That was fine, and my ride back was uneventful. I found the elevator before the escalator, but overall I was glad to have both options. When I got back to my car, I was disappointed to have to get off. And while I felt refreshed and invigorated by having had my adventure, I wasn't exhausted by it. nor am I apprehensive about taking public transportation, or being out on my Scoot out in the world, with no car nearby. who needs it!!??!


  1. Wonderful journey. Thanks for sharing,
    I may have my first experience with public trans next week. Dear daughter wants me to come to downtown Chicago. She goes to the Art Institute of Chicago and wants to show me around. She says the only way to get there is by the el. Oh NO!!!

  2. Look at the joy in your face. Too cool!!

  3. What a great adventure, thanks for sharing your trip with us.

    Did you need to switch to the 2nd battery at any point or did you make the whole trip on one?

  4. Georgia, at least you know now you CAN do it! If you can, please get your daughter to take some pictures of you using public transportation. It would be great for us to see. If not, when I go to D.C. in July/August, I'll try to get some there.

    Cynth, I'm wondering about the second battery too. Another reason she might have needed to switch at some point is if she overloaded the first one. I've had that problem three times. I just ordered an SLA battery as my second battery, so I'll be reporting on how that works out.

    Lynn Ellen, could you possibly take a picture of the two batteries and how they're stacked for us?

    Thanks to all of you for helping make this a great blog!

  5. I'll get a pic of the double battery sandwich.

    nope, I didn't need to switch, but I just don't want to be out there without the back-up.

    The Art Institute - I love that place. please go visit the Monets and Renoirs for me, that large room where the walls are littered with them is so grand. and the Chagal wall. now you know where my favorite part of that place is.

    and last time I was there they had wheelchairs to use, but they were fairly narrow, and manual, so I used one as a walker for the most part, as it's so damn hard to roll one of those for any length of time, the angles are all wrong.

    anyway, I am going to Melbourne, Australia next month and plan to scoot all over town, as it is a very accessible city.

  6. Lynn Ellen, thanks for the update. I am impressed you were able to make the whole trip on one battery.

    I too plan on ordering a 2nd battery in the future so I feel "safer" even though I may never have to use it.