Monday, November 30, 2009

Rhonda's Thanksgiving Cruise

Rhonda and her family took a Thanksgiving cruise, which was her first cruise with her TravelScoot. I thought you'd enjoy seeing some of the pictures she sent and her comments...

"When not in use, it doubles as storage."

"Boarding was smooth, I handled all of the ramps with no problem and so far no obstacles. Elevators are a little smaller than I am used to, so I guess no donuts in the elevator."

I had asked her to take a picture of her scoot in their cabin, which wasn't a handicap cabin.  Rhonda said she was able to get the scoot through the cabin door with about an inch to spare.

New Adventure to Report From the Streets of New York

From Kay:

Wednesday I had the longest scoot adventure I have had so far. I work in Manhattan and we had a half day on Wednesday. My son was coming home from Washington D.C. and I arranged to meet him at the K-Mart on 34th Street and 7th Avenue.

I started out about 1:30 from lower Manhattan where I boarded a No. 15 city bus for 34th Street and 1st Avenue-a distance of about 6 miles. The wheelchair lift was amazing and I sat on a regular seat with the scoot brakes locked, of course. When I exited the bus the lift was again in fine form and we were off. I had already decided that I would try to ride the scoot to my destination.

The avenues in New York are quite far apart - each is probably equal to 5 or 6 city blocks. What I did not realize was that 34th Street is an uphill climb all the way to 5th Avenue. My motor did overheat once (with the large L'ion battery), but I sat through several walk signals and was quickly on my way again. I really enjoed getting a close up look at the architecture.

Did I tell you that there was a light mist in the air? After checking out our intended meeting place I headed to Sixth Avenue do a little bead shopping. It started raining harder so I headed to Macy's to do a little retail therapy. As it turned out the trip from Washington DC took a lot longer because of the holiday traffic, so I had a lot of time on my hands.

I spent this time scooting around Macy's, which has to be the largest store in the world. I can tell you that people do not look where they are going - at least 8 people ran into me in the store.

Three hours later, with no bus in sight, I headed to our meeting point and the dreaded amber light came on. I channeled our mother and drove right up to the service desk at K-Mart and told them my battery was dying and asked if there was there a place that I could charge it. Just as if they got this request every day they pointed me in the direction of the nearest electrical outlet where I sat for about an hour charging my battery. I then had enough of a charge to scoot the rest of the way to the Ferry while my son walked alongside me. We actually had a really good time catching up on his life for the last several months.

This was definitely an adventure to be repeated.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nancy's food tray invention for the TravelScoot

From Nancy:

The problem I had was that a regular size paper or styrofoam plate would not fit in the basket. I sometimes go down to the cafeteria at work to get take out, so I needed a bigger, but secure, tray to carry the take out plate or box on my travelscoot back to my office via the elevators.

This picture shows the braided nylon with cordlock at the top of the basket which allows for quick leveling of the basket when the tray is used. It also is stronger than the original plastic and less involved than undoing the velcro tie that I was originally using. Still use the velcro tie to hold the scooter wires to the tiller. This pic also shows the 2-3/4 inch and 22 inch long velcro one wrap strapped over the top of the basket. (you can get 6 feet of this from Campmore for 3.99 plus shipping and cut it to the size you want but the ones I used were originally sold at Lowes for holding water hoses).

This one shows the underside of the kids play tray I got from with two pieces of 2 inch wide stick on velcro stuck on it. You just lay the tray down on the basket and the velcro sticks fast but can be removed. Really this same plan would work with a wooden or plastic tray just as well. That sticky back velcro sticks to just about anything but I really like the one wrap best since it can be used over and over again for many things.

And this one shows my tray in place and ready to use. Works great.

Lubricating the Throttle

Cynth wrote Tony at TravelScoot, telling him her throttle isn't as responsive as it used to be and asked for instructions on lubricating it. This is his response:

Hi Cynthia,

You can try applying Vaseline at the rotating grip of the throttle and see if that helps. If that doesn't work you try a spray lubricant, preferably NOT WD40 to the area. Let me know what works.

Best regards and Happy Thanksgiving,


Elford and the Helsinki Metro

From Elford:

Here are some fotos on the Helsinki Metro. I usually get on the Metro at Vuosaari (our suburb) and go to another station, get off and then scoot to another station. Then return to Vuosaari. This allows me to see parts of Helsinki I have never seen before. I have never run low on battery yet. The Li battery seems to work very well.

Buddha enjoys scooting too!

From Debbie:

I took advantage of one of the last days of the season for taking my "Silverbelle" out. My little pug, Buddha loves riding scooters, plus it's a good way for him to get some exercise. He used to ride on the floorboard of my GoGo (that doesn't work anymore), so I thought well at least he can run along with the scoot. I didn't think the triangular canvas pouch would support his weight, but low and behold, it does! So if anyone has a little dog, cat, or whatever that likes to join in the fun, this might work for them also. Buddha weighs 18 pounds and the velcro doesn't begin to pull away with him in the pouch. He runs until he gets tired and then I stop so he can climb on and ride for awhile. So now, come next Spring, I can look forward to taking my "scooter ridin' boy" on some Travelscoot adventures.

Lynn Ellen replies to Scootin' in the Rain

From Lynn Ellen:

Thanks so much for all the thoughtful feedback. I forgot that my butt and the bigger seat make a natural umbrella for the motor & battery but I'll keep a rag handy.

And I don't use an umbrella off the Scoot so I won't try one on it. Mary Poppins with Scoot. News at 11.

Brakes on the Scoot, ah yes. Feet on the ground Fred Flintstone style is much safer.

I'm outta here tomorrow morning. I'll report back in a week.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Replies to Scootin' in the Rain

Lynn Ellen inquired...

I am going to Florida next week, and I am wondering how the TravelScoot will do in the rain. Of course I am wondering how I will do in the rain, perched on my Scoot seat, but I think I can keep myself fairly covered.

In particular, I am thinking about the connection between battery and motor, and if I need to cover anything. Also, I have two Lithium Ion Batteries, and I keep them velcro'd together so I can swap off if I run out of juice on the go. Should I be covering the wires that aren't in use?

I know that stopping distance won't be the same, for some of the same reasons that is true in a car (wet wheels reduce traction). And going uphill might be a little more dicey as well. I can probably make those adjustments.

I have also selected one of my old bath towels to keep on hand in the trunk of my car so that when the car is wet, and I am leaning forward to put the main body of the scooter in or out of the trunk, I am not leaning on a wet car.

So please, tell me your stories, your solutions, your innovations, and let's hope I also have a few un-rainy days to go along with the 80 degree weather so I can make my way into the ocean.

Advice for Lynn Ellen

Kay said...

I have actually had a lot of experience using the scoot in the rain and so far it has been uneventful. Often I use an umbrella while driving and this works out fine. I am, however, extremely well-coordinated. I don't think this is a choice for everyone. I have also found that the battery doesn't get very wet. If you are like me and larger than average your body should protect the battery somewhat. It has been my intention to try to create a sort of cover for the battery, not a cover like the SLA, but just something that can wrap around the lithium ion battery and also help secure it to the scoot and protect it from getting scraped. That is another story, though.

Since I commute to work on my scoot I have been out in the rain a lot. I'll let you know how it does in the snow - that I am worried about. Anyway, when it is raining I carry a can of compressed air and some paper towels with me. The can of air is great for blowing the water away from the battery, brakes, tires and just about anywhere on the scoot where it collects. It is great for lots of other uses, too. I have driven through leaves that were wet and sticky and have even had some mud on the Scoot. You don't want to know what you find on the sidewalks of New York City. I don't think that I have scooted over anything that used to be alive!! In New York the air is pretty dirty so I usually use the canned air to get rid of dirt that collects in the nooks and crannies. I always dry the battery and wet areas on the scoot as soon as I can.

Now - the REAL rain issue - the BRAKES!! Even on a flat surface the effectiveness of the brakes is greatly diminished when they are wet. You have to be very careful. I usually go at a slower speed (I am proud to say that I love speed!) Sometimes when it is wet I ride with one foot on the pavement. This will give you some control and help you stop. If you only have flat areas to deal with that is not as much a problem. I regularly ride up and down ramps to the ferry and many of the cut-outs in Manhattan are very steep. Wet or dry when I ride up the ramps I always lean forward. A couple of weekends ago while visiting my son in Washington DC I was not as careful as usual and ended up doing a 360 over the back of my scooter. Ouch!! That still hurts.

Experience is the best teacher as to how comfortable you will be when riding in the rain. If you can, practice in a familiar area when it is raining. That will help you gain confidence in how you need to handle your scoot in the rain. The most important thing is to be as careful as you can and don't take any chances. That is what I do very day, not just in the rain.

Krystal said...

Sounds like Rhonda found out about unbrellas like I did. Here in Atlanta it rains frequently. I actually can use an unbrella in one hand while driving with the other. It is not easy, but I don't want VroomVroom and my eletronics (mp3, phone, etc) to get soaked. Here's some of the things I've learned about unbrellas. DON'T scoot like you normally would! I'm serious. Slow down to window shopping speed where there's a lot of sparklies - you know, a bare crawl - otherwise the wind will catch it and pop it backwards - many times until you get the hang of it. (Meanwhile you are stil getting soaked, so what was the point of the whole thing?) To make sure that you and the motor/battery are covered, you need a large one. That only magnifies the problem.

OK, now that I've told you all that, the truth is that it has to be really, really pouring for me to break out the unbrella now. Sprinkles don't seem to do any harm. I usually put my briefcase in a plastic bag and put it under the seat. For the most part that seems to protect the battery, and the seat (and what's on the seat) gives added protection. Sometimes it's to the advantage to have a well rounded bottom.

I have tried to make a poncho for just the motor/battery. The thing to take into account with this is that the wheel rolls down and back up towards the motor. Yep, it gets the motor wet anyway, but the battery stays dry. Back to the drawing board. . . . .

Rhonda said...

I can tell you what "not to do". I strongly recommend passing on the urge to use an umbrella while scooting in the rain . . . and I really wish someone had gotten a picture, or a video.

Elizabeth said...

Rhonda, I'm thinking there's a story to be told here. Are you going to share with us? I'm sure Lynn Ellen wants to know what to avoid. :-)

Rhonda said...

Let's just say that it was "less than a graceful moment". I would have gotten less wet if I had just gunned the throttle and not tried the umbrella. As long as I crawled along, it was fine, but every time I increased my speed, the umbrella would blow out of my hand. I eventually just gave up. I'm sure it was fun to watch.

Anne said...

Wow, Lynn Ellen -- you're really racking up those frequent flier miles! I welcome any tips you care to share on flying with the 'Scoot.

I asked Hardy about 'Scootin' in the rain recently, and he said the motor must not get wet. He also said to avoid puddles.

We didn't go into the detail you request here; maybe Hardy will see this post & reply?

I'm wondering if wearing a poncho that covers me and the motor would do the job, at least in a gentle rain?

Oh, by the way, last night, I ORDERED MY TRAVELSCOOT -- WOOHOO!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Scootin' In the Rain

From Lynn Ellen:

I am going to Florida next week, and I am wondering how the TravelScoot will do in the rain. Of course I am wondering how I will do in the rain, perched on my Scoot seat, but I think I can keep myself fairly covered.

In particular, I am thinking about the connection between battery and motor, and if I need to cover anything. Also, I have two Lithium Ion Batteries, and I keep them velcro'd together so I can swap off if I run out of juice on the go. Should I be covering the wires that aren't in use?

I know that stopping distance won't be the same, for some of the same reasons that is true in a car (wet wheels reduce traction). And going uphill might be a little more dicey as well. I can probably make those adjustments.

I have also selected one of my old bath towels to keep on hand in the trunk of my car so that when the car is wet, and I am leaning forward to put the main body of the scooter in or out of the trunk, I am not leaning on a wet car.

So please, tell me your stories, your solutions, your innovations, and let's hope I also have a few un-rainy days to go along with the 80 degree weather so I can make my way into the ocean.

TravelScoot Owner's Manual

If you'd like to read the TravelScoot Owner's Manual, click the link below:

When Leo Roars!: The larger lithium ion battery

The battery in front is the single lithium ion battery and the one in the back is the larger double lithium ion battery.

My new double lithium ion battery, who we've named Leo the L'ion, is a workhorse. Yesterday I parked my car at Walmart, drove to Sam's Club and shopped there with Rhonda. Then we went back to the car and into Walmart to shop there. After Walmart and another trip back to the car, I took off by myself to Kohl's and shopped that store. The battery handled it beautifully. When I tried this same thing with the single lithium ion battery a few months ago, I made it from Sam's Club to Walmart and my battery overloaded at the front door of Walmart.

Oh the places my TravelScoot has been...

Last weekend I went to my nephew Shane's 40th birthday party, a not-to-be-missed event. Shane was my very first nephew. I remember the night he was born, when he took his first steps, and how he'd want me to hold him because I'd go stand by the light switch so he could turn the lights on and off. Now he's gone and grown up on me, choosing a shot of tequila over a bottle of milk.

The party was in the bar at Superior Grill, a favorite local spot, and I felt like I was parking in Egypt, so using my scoot was a "must do." When I got there I worked my way through the tables, then encountered two steps up to the bar. Lucky for me my scoot's light, and was easily carried up the steps. At the table we needed a place to store it, and that's what the picture is of. That's my scoot, folded up, in a bar, under a chair against the wall. It still amazes me that it is this versatile.

Moments like this...

This is Rhonda and Dave, and if you look up "happy marriage" this is the picture you should see. Dave is so supportive of Rhonda having a TravelScoot, and using it this summer kept her out the hospital because of an asthma attack. It also allows for moments like this, where they're out going to a Willie Nelson concert.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nancy took her TravelScoot fishing!

From Nancy:

I did get an email from Tony and from Hardy at Having trouble with my seat something another coming loose and hanging down. Will try a staple gun to fix it.

I've had two more successful flights on American Airline by just gate checking my TravelScoot and putting the LiO battery in the wine cooler I got at TJ Max then into my small Jansport daypack and carried it on the plane and put it under the seat in front of me. No problems what so ever. I just mentioned that "They recommend that I carry the battery with me on the plane" and no one questioned it or even asked who "They" were. Of course, I had a plan B had they objected. The scooter was waiting for me at the door when I got out and I usually had an audience putting the battery back in and uncovering the throttle. Even the airline pilot was interested. The cargo guys loved the light weight. Weighs no more than the larger foldup baby strollers.

Also took the TravelScoot up on a fishing pier at North Top Sail Beach this weekend and had a great time pier fishing. Nice ramp up to the pier from inside the office. I am working on a way to carry more food on top of the front basket. If I get it to work, I will send a picture. The basket is too small to hold a paper plate of food from my work cafeteria.

Thanks for all your help.

Has anyone else had the trim on their seat come loose? If so, how did you fix it? Mine is coming off too. I think a staple gun will work, but I haven't tried it yet.

Rhonda's Advice for Anne

The only thing I could add is how I handle PITA's and people who I think will be a PITA. I generally give a big enthusiastic smile and exclaim that my scoot has changed my life (it has) and that whatever activity I am doing would not have been possible before. I agree with KM, never apologize. Some people will still be a PITA but that really is their problem, not mine.

See Rhonda demonstrating the TravelScoot at the NAAFA Fashion Show:

(Kay, a PITA is someone who is a pain in your accelerator!)

Kay's comments on Anne's questions

This is my sister Kay and my husband Alan, putting together her TravelScoot

2. Speaking of excursions: How does it work w/ the TravelScoot (TS)? Other than Princess Cays, all our ports this trip are non-tendered, which will make a big difference. But how to find out which excursions will accommodate the TS? How do tour operators/bus drivers respond to it?

KM - I would go in with the expectation that all excursions will accomodate the TS. The tour guides have probably never had an experience with a TS, but may have experience with the larger heavier models of scooters and may have had negative experience because of the size of these scooters and the fact that the people who use them are more handicapped than someone who can use the TS. Be passionate about the TS and treat this as new territory and I bet you will not be disappointed.

On a daily basis I take a ferry from New Jersey to New York. The deck hands are EXTREMLY accommodating. Once your tour guides find out how light it is and how little space it takes it will not be a problem in my opinion. It also depends on how you treat the situation. You have to go in not expecting to have any problems. Treat it as an extension of yourself. No apologies for using a scooter and only a positive attitude.

3. What do you do about securing your TS when you're not actually sitting on it, for example in the dining room, or at the pool, or while on some part of an excursion that doesn't accommodate it?

KM - I keep the scoot within arm's length in most situations. In a restaurant or other enclosed area you may not have to be as concerned. You will have to use your own discretion on the safety of the TS. You could always get something to attach it to a table leg or something else. A dog lead would work or any other number of such things. Be creative. There are also leads for toddlers that probably come in a great variety of colors and patterns.

4. OK to scoot to muster drill?

KM - Is this a fire drill? If so, I would scoot to it if possible. You want to always have your scoot handy if it is needed. If there is a real fire and you have to abandon it that is one thing, but usually these are just drills. The people who would help you in case of a fire need to know that you cannot use the stairs, but need the elevator. In the building where I work the guards are aware of everyone in the building who cannot escape via the stairs.

5. My memory of Princess ships is that they are not very size-friendly. Are you able to use the TS as seating in the buffet area or the theater, for example?

KM - I agree that it would be best to sit in a regular chair. If you have no other option then you will have to make do, but do not forget to lock your wheels while you sit. Also, don't forget that the TS is VERY size friendly, in that it doesn't take much room You can scoot in the space that you (or most people) can walk in.

6. Do you "scoot" thru the buffet lines? What do you do with your tray?

KM - If this is a buffet there must be wait staff around. If they don't ask to help you then you should ask them. When you enter the buffet area tell the Maitre'd (not sure of the spelling???) that you need assistance. I am certain that there is someone to help you. These companies are customer oriented - that is how they get their business. Again - no apologies!

7. How do you manage getting in/out of elevators w/ no reverse?

KM - I agree - it is never a problem. You will find that people want to be helpful. All it takes is a little experience on your part, too. So.practice getting in and out of smallish spaces. You will be surprised at what you can do.

8. Are other pax generally helpful or PITAs?

KM - Not sure what a PITA is, but I can guess. You sometimes get people who walk through a door and don't pay attention to anyone else, but my experience is that many people are aware of the surroundings and will automatically hold the door for you or _____________ (fill in the blank.) On the other hand using a TS is all about independence and mobility, so you should be able to open your own doors and make you own way and not have to depend on others to help you get around. The TS allows you to help yourself with mobility issues. I NEVER apologize for taking up the space that I do - with the TS or without.

9. Any recommendations for TS accessories -- for example, should I buy either of the baskets? What accessories do you have on yours?

KM - I agree, with the addition of a couple of those bags (.99) that you can buy in many grocery stores for anything that is extra that you might happen to find. I also have a Mommy Clip and a Baby Clip that I got at BuyBabyBuy. It is a carabiner (1 about 3 inches and 1 about 8 inches) and I use to attach a bag such as a camera bag or my purse to the frame of the scoot so it can't be stolen easily. You could attach a leash as mentioned in question 3 to this, too.

10. Any tips, beyond Hardy's, for air travel with TS?

KM - No, Hardy has it all figured out!

Bee answers Anne's cruise questions

This cute couple is Sarge and Bee. 
They've had their TravelScoots for over a year and are our experts on cruising!

Q. Any advantage (other than price) to having a lead battery as 2nd battery as opposed to a 2nd Li-ion? I'm thinking in particular on excursions, heat issues.

A. yes, i prefer the heavier battery on a ship as there are a lot of ramps and the lion will overheat and cut out often. i have both but only take the heavy one on cruises. it runs all day and charges at night.

Q. Speaking of excursions: How does it work w/ the TravelScoot (TS)? Other than Princess Cays, all our ports this trip are non-tendered, which will make a big difference. But how to find out which excursions will accommodate the TS? How do tour operators/bus drivers respond to it?

A. first of all some tenders will let you on and some will not. if you go on a ship's excursion they will not let you book ones that you can't take the scooter on, they are good about it. be careful about private excursions, they only want the money and will tell you anything. if you get a private taxi to tour most ports do have vans and will help you take the scooter. honestly we have been to the caribbean ports so many times we usually stay on the ship! or just go off and ride around the port and get back on. the ramp to get off and on is really steep and you might have to walk up and down that but i can do it.

Q. What do you do about securing your TS when you're not actually sitting on it, for example in the dining room, or at the pool, or while on some part of an excursion that doesn't accommodate it?

A. well other than one time i have never had a problem anywhere. once we had a cabin on the lido deck and left the scooters outside the door for an afternoon nap. (i say scooters because charlie and i both have them) well some kids took them and did their best to trash them. security got the scooters and carnival repaired them to new but it was scary for a bit! when we opened the door and they weren't there! yikes! but it all ended well. and in the dining room and theater and such, just park it out of the way and i don't think there will ever be a problem. i have taken mine on seven cruises now.

Q. My memory of Princess ships is that they are not very size-friendly. Are you able to use the TS as seating in the buffet area or the theater, for example?

A. never cruised princess.

Q. Do you "scoot" thru the buffet lines? What do you do with your tray?

A. the crew will carry your tray, just ask someone and they are very nice about it.

Q. How do you manage getting in/out of elevators w/ no reverse? Are other pax generally helpful or PITAs?

A. pita's for sure. i try to leave the theater late after the rush is gone because i don't like to walk out before the cast gets their applause to get there first. otherwise if i have to get in a crowd i just sit at ONE elevator door and sort of block it so i am first whenever that one comes. our problem is we have two of them! but we always manage, just relax and enjoy. if someone pushes in front of me i usually very nicely say something like "you must really be in a hurry, go on in front of me and i can wait for the next one" or something like that to embarrass them if i can.

Q. OK to scoot to muster drill?

A. yes and at least on carnival you don't have to go in the crowd, they have a special place to go and you don't have to take the life vest but i don't know about princess. i always go before time so i can get an elevator though to get there.

Q. Any recommendations for TS accessories -- for example, should I buy either of the baskets? What accessories do you have on yours?

A. i think the baskets are way too big. i went to walmart and got a small purse like velcro thingy and put that on the handlebars and a small schwinn cup holder. otherwise i just use the bottom canvas thing.

Q. Any tips, beyond Hardy's, for air travel with TS?

A. no, he's the pro!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Questions from Anne

Anne has some questions for us. I'm going to include my answers here, and hopefully others will comment as well.

1. Any advantage (other than price) to having a lead battery as 2nd battery as opposed to a 2nd Li-ion? I'm thinking in particular on excursions, heat issues.

I do own an SLA battery but it almost never leaves the trunk of my car. I keep it there because I don't have to protect it from the heat, and I store my scoot in my trunk. If I need to use my scoot and hadn't planned in advance for it and brought a lithium ion battery, I use the SLA. This means I always have the choice of using my scoot.

2. Speaking of excursions: How does it work w/ the TravelScoot (TS)? Other than Princess Cays, all our ports this trip are non-tendered, which will make a big difference. But how to find out which excursions will accommodate the TS? How do tour operators/bus drivers respond to it?

3. What do you do about securing your TS when you're not actually sitting on it, for example in the dining room, or at the pool, or while on some part of an excursion that doesn't accommodate it?

4. OK to scoot to muster drill?

I'll pass on all of these in favor of someone with cruise experience. You may also want to search the message boards. After my cruise in March I hope to have better answers!

5. My memory of Princess ships is that they are not very size-friendly. Are you able to use the TS as seating in the buffet area or the theater, for example?

I don't know about the Princess ships seating, but I do know that you're only going to want to sit on your scoot as a last resort. The TravelScoot (as Rhonda says) is NOT a recliner on wheels. It's intended for getting you from point A to point B, but it's not intended to sit on for hours. I have my seat on the highest setting, and it's too high to sit at a table or in a theater. I think I'd be talking to the crew about making sure there is comfortable armless seating available for you.

6. Do you "scoot" thru the buffet lines? What do you do with your tray?

I can open doors while seated on my scooter, and I can carry something in my left hand while I use the right for the throttle, but it would be difficult to carry a tray. What I did at the NAAFA Convention was to just make several trips if I used my scoot, so I could carry one item at a time.

7. How do you manage getting in/out of elevators w/ no reverse?

This is super easy. You just Fred Flintstone it! Put your feet down and scoot backwards. The TravelScoot is small and has a tight turning range so you'll find it much MUCH easier to get in and out of elevators than with other scooters.

8. Are other pax generally helpful or PITAs?

Just like in the world in general, you're going to find some of both. I regularly have people stop and ask if they can help me load it into my car. Folks are also great about opening doors. Just keep a big smile on your face. You'll probably also end up in situations where you want to scream. I was at an outdoor craft fair recently and I was near a table looking at some art. A woman backed into me and turned around and gave me a dirty look. I was sitting still, and she backed into me. This was NOT my fault. Most of the time other people are great but you really have to keep your eyes open all the time to avoid problems.

9. Any recommendations for TS accessories -- for example, should I buy either of the baskets? What accessories do you have on yours?

I highly recommend two things -- the Think-King soft buggy cup (cup holder) and the Think-King mighty buggy hook. They're both available at If I don't have a drink in the cup holder it's great for my camera or any little things I'm carrying. It will hold a HUGE soft drink. I use the hook for my car keys or a shopping bag. I have both of the baskets and have never used them because I just don't like how they are mounted. Other people use them and love them. The cloth triangle that comes with the scoot will hold a LOT of stuff too. It's a great place for your purse or packages.

10. Any tips, beyond Hardy's, for air travel with TS?

None that I can think of. Hardy's instructions are really very good.

Re: Helping a spouse understand

I am taking the comments and posting them as a separate post so that folks who read this blog via an email subscription can read your enlightened and wonderful posts about dealing with loved ones who have objections.  This also allows me to post the comments from those of you who comment by email.

One comment I'd like to add to the great ones below is that no one understands better than you what it feels like to be in your body, and what is best for your body.  Sometimes people who love you need to be reminded of that.

From Kay:


I had a lot of negativity from my husband and 18 yr old son when I made it known that I wanted to buy a TravelScoot. I think that they were worried that they would be embarassed by the Scoot. Although I don't need to have knee replacement, I do have osteoarthritis and suffer from terrible pain when walking. I think that the cost was also an issue with my husband (that is always a problem with him). But, my mother recently passed away and left me some money. She would have wanted me to have whatever I thought I needed to be comfortable. She was such a lovely supportive mother. Elizabeth is my sister and she and our mother had many scooter moments, so I knew that it would be a good thing for me. About 2 weeks after I got the scooter we went to Washington DC for parent's weekend and my husband said to me on one of the many journeys we took that weekend that he could see why I needed the TravelScoot. (I never really gave him a chance at NOT accepting it, though.) Maybe your husband/ family has the same fears about being embarassed. I would rather they be embarassed instead of you having knee surgery that potentially might not work. It didn't take long for my family to see what a good thing this was for me.

I don't let anyone get between me and my Scoot. Love you Hardy!!!


From Krystal:

Anne Sweetie, first off remind your lovely, caring Hubby that it is YOUR body. ANY TIME you have the body opened up for any reason it is traumatic. If it is for a surgery that you do not feel is really needed at this time only makes it worse - mentally.

You obviously have some moblitity or you'd have gotten a wheelchair instead. As you have chosen moblitiy help instead of the possible relief (no, I don't trust the surgery either), it doesn't sound like you have reached the end of the line where surgery is the only option for some kind of relief. Has Hubby even googled knee replacement? Strongly suggest that he gets all the possible facts first.

Just so you know, my first few weeks with the Scoot were the worst. Not because of it or me, but because of some of the negative responses I got from supposed friends and family. My feelings were hurt that they didn't seem to want the best for me. Or even thought that I might know what is best for me. IGNORE THEM!! You have a grand support group here whether you know it or not.

Now let me tell you about riding the Scoot. I now go places like malls, aquariums, and expos without worring about planning my paths for the fewest steps. Or worrying that I'll be in agony for the next two days. Riding the Scoot is so fun, I now go out to places like the Outlet Mall to ride around and be out and about - just because I CAN! It's also fun being the fast one in a group instead fo the slowest.

Just had a thought, maybe the reason Hubby doesn't like the Scoot is because he is jealous. You know men and their toys. . . . .

Maybe you should get him one also?

From Lynn Ellen:

This does not have to be an either/or decision.

I've had one hip and a partial knee replacements 10 and 4 years ago, respectively. even tho the knee was partial, the surgery and recovery was just as painful as a full replacement, and more painful and complicated than the hip replacement. I am not complaining, as each gave me a whole new lease on life and I had excellent care, a brilliant surgeon, and everythng was textbook. further, my best friend had both knees replaced on the same day about 4 months after my knee was done, and we overlapped some on our rehab, which was done entirely in the water, and she is now doing quite well.

Still, with each joint replacement, it takes months, even a full year and a half, to feel like everything is back to normal, and meanwhile it is hard work, because it is essential to do the rehab exercises.

So why do I now use a TravelScoot? my back has osteoarthritis as well, and the surgery they could do has a lousy prognosis, so I get my exercise in the water (and lifting the scoot in and out of my Volkswagen Beetle trunk), but I save my strength by riding the Scoot whenever I'm faced with having to walk more than the 5-10 minutes that usually kills my back and I am no longer in nearly as much pain overall.

So, ultimately, you might benefit from both the Scoot AND joint replacements. however it is your body, and your life. not that the Scoot is cheap, but it is cheaper than having to get a new vehicle, with a lift, for a traditional scooter, and you can take it wherever you go, and fit it in practically any vehicle, so you are much more mobile. and the decision about if and when you get your knees replaced should be yours and only yours. I am hoping your husband is wanting you to have less pain, but he may not understand that these are two very different options, and are not mutually exclusive.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Helping a spouse understand

From Anne:

Hubs is giving me a hard time about getting the TravelScoot, because he'd rather I had both knees replaced. I don't want surgery, and there's no guarantees that knee replacements -- even if they go well and I don't die from the anesthesia or an embolism -- will magically enable me to be as mobile as I was 20 -- or even 5 -- years ago.

Help, anyone?

From Denise: Cruising with My Travelscoot

We just returned from our transatlantic cruise on the Carnival Dream. This was the first time I used my Travelscoot on a trip and let me say that the Travelscoot far exceeded my expectations. We christened my Scoot “The Silver Chariot” when in Rome.

Though I have both the SLA and Li-lon battery we decided to travel with only the Li-lon battery. I am so happy I left the heavier battery home as I NEVER ran out of power. At first I charged the battery every night but eventually I only charged every other night and I never got low on power. Also, on many of my tours there were steep grades and hills. Though I am a queen sized gal at almost 250 pounds I never overheated the battery. But I always made sure I got a good running start whenever I could.

I never had to fold down the Scoot the whole trip, except for the trip home from the airport as my son-in-law’s vehicle was too small for it and our luggage. On the trip to the airport in my daughter’s van we were able to keep it set up.

I had booked this cruise long before I had the scooter so we had a non-handicapped cabin. Though the cabin door was too narrow to drive through it was VERY easy get it into the cabin. First off, the room steward said it would be OK to leave it in the hall in front of my door if I wanted. We did this during the day when we would come back to the room for anything or to take an afternoon nap or get ready for dinner. Then in the evening when we were “in for the night”, my hubby would get the back end and I would hold the front handle bars and he would just tip the back wheels a tad and it would make it through the door way. Eventually we would take the seat and battery off and he could get it in without my assistance. I didn’t try this myself but I think I could have done it on my own if need be. The Scoot didn’t take up any room in the cabin even thought we kept it completely set up.

As for leaving the Scoot when parked since it doesn’t have a key, this was never a problem. Sometimes I would park right inside the dining room, off to the side, other times out in the hallway leading to the dining room and no one ever bothered the Scoot. But, this cruise only had about 40 passengers under the age of 18 and very few teens or pre-teens who might be tempted to take a “joy ride”. Even in Spain when we went to lunch in two ports of call I left the Scoot just outside the front door with no problem as the staff and I could keep an eye on it. I had purchased a retractable bike cable to “chain” it if needed.

The Scoot did wonderful over the cobblestones of Rome and all our Ports-of-Call in Spain (Barcelona; Malaga; Palma de Mallorca; Gran Canaries). In Rome we did an all day Highlight’s of Rome tour and the company had a mini van and the Scoot fit in the back without folding it down. The only sight I couldn’t participate in was the Catacombs but there were beautiful grounds to enjoy while the rest of the group went down into the caves. All our other tours were by motor coach and it went easily into the luggage compartment. King’s Wharf in Bermuda was easy to get around on the Scoot and we took the ferry over to St. Georges with no problem. St. Georges was a little more challenging getting around as it is a very quaint village and the sidewalks very narrow. We had been there before so I really didn’t feel like I missed anything as I was able to get around the waterfront area with ease and we had a nice waterfront lunch and shopping. I am sure if we had decided to go into Hamilton it would have been more user friendly. Oh, in Mallorca we took the antique train to Soller and though the Scoot couldn’t fit in the passenger car, they either put it in the caboose or the engine with no problem (I am actually not sure which of the two they took it too)….the beauty of the Scoot being so light.

I wish I had a batch of business cards for Travelscoot….it was a big hit with other passengers aboard the ship. Everyone wanted to know about it. I had a lot of envious looks from folks with mobility issues that were using canes or crutches.

I will attach a link to some of the pictures we took of me and my Scoot on tour. I was disappointed that I didn’t get more pictures in Rome… camera battery went dead and I had left the spare in the hotel room. Unfortunately since I am the chief photographer in the family there aren’t many of the Scoot anyway. But this might give you an idea on what to expect. I am so happy I purchased the Travelscoot as it gave me the freedom to get around that I wouldn’t have had without it.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scooting around the GA aquarium and Abilities Expo

From Krystal:

Yes, the Scoot can handle the Ga Aquarium.

The best so far was the Ocean Voyager where the shark whales and mantas are. You get to walk (roll) through a tunnel under them! I didn’t get to check out The Cold Water Quest part as it was closed for construction on the new dolphin area. The Shark exhibit was educational to say the least and well worth the extra cost.

There’re ramps or elevators so there isn’t trouble getting to the upper levels. The best ramp was the one going up to the ballroom – one whole floor curving around. I didn’t quite run over a couple of people. I still have to remember that I can go fast again.

If you haven’t visited it, there’re a few hints:

1) If you have anyone with you who can’t walk far comfortably, you drop them off at the entrance and then scoot to meet them. Yes, the walkway from the parking is that long.

2) Don’t go into the Deepo Wondershow unless you are willing to sit in the very first row in front of all those children and get a creak in your neck as you are way too close to the screen or are willing to be separated from your Scoot. Yes, they even took a walker away from an elderly lady.

3) Definitely go during the week in the mornings. Less traffic to have to zip around. Be careful of the walkies, sometimes they go way too slow. (Did I just say someone was too slow? Cool.)

4) Have fun in the bathrooms. There’s only one full size accessible stall in each and it’s also a changing station for babies. Yep, you guessed it, if you can get in one, it smells – literally. The other accessible stalls aren’t really as they are just little wider versions of the regular stalls with handrails.

Now if you really want to show off a Scoot, go to one of the Abilities Expos:

Yes, I got a lot of attention – or rather Vroom Vroom did (yep, that’s my name for my Scoot).

Two of my favorite incidents:

One of the Rascal scooter men wants to sell Scoots also. He tried showing off the Rascal – I zipped around with the scoot. The real tie breaker was me picking it up. I’m only 5 feet tall, so it’s more impressive.

I finally let someone else try Vroom Vroom. She said she was thinking about getting the Scoot, but the price and the fact that it didn’t look all that sturdy put her off a little. She was sitting in one of those monster scoots, so I happily showed off a little. Rocking back and forth trying to tip it showed just how sturdy it really is. The tiny little donuts proved the maneuverability. Just how convenient it is, I got off and picked it up – two batteries, goodie bags, and all to show. Then I let her try the ride. Think she’s hooked. I also happily pointed out that the price was nothing when compared to the fact that you don’t need a special vehicle, lift, or extra person to help. (Having the van dealers there helped – 45,000 for special van.)

One of the things I’ve come to realize at one of those shows. Be prepared to pick it up a lot to prove your point if you really want to show off. I didn’t break it down because most people could see how easy it would be. I did let them know how big the box it came was.

Hardy really needs to put printable cards up on his site. I could have papered the place.

Happily Scooting in Atlanta,


Monday, November 9, 2009

Nancy's American Airlines Adventure

From Nancy:

I recently flew American Airlines to and back from Oklahoma City using my travelscoot junior with the regular size 23 gram LiO, lithium ion battery. In all cases I gate checked the scooter and rolled to the airplane door. On flyout I used Hardy's method with the battery and the back up battery in a separate insulated grocery bag. It worked, but took time for take down.

In Dallas, I had to change planes and to do so I had to take a monorail. Did alright on the train, but a little hard to hold on to something and keep the brakes on. Anyhow, I ran into to the same scooter handling that that you did in Dallas. I did take a spill since I was going too fast and there was a 90 degree turn in the jet way. However, two attendends (one of which may have been "Scoot") picked me up and I continued on. I really do need to learn to slow down. At the door, the lady wanted me to leave the scooter functional and then drive it away. I was not entirely comfortable with that. When I arrived at Oklahoma City, the scooter and battery bag were waiting for me out side the airplane door. It looked like the battery, had been left on the scooter and just some paper stickers put over the red connectors. However, everything worked well and I had a wonderful visit in Oklahoma.

On flyback, I did not have to change planes and gate checked the scooter the entire way even though we did have a short stopover in Dallas. I had UPS shipped the spare battery, which I did not need, back with my luggage. I did have the charger with me, but did not need to use it. I was pleasantly surprised when the airplane steward in Oklahoma City suggested I bring the battery on the plane with me which I did. It was enclosed in original styrofoam packaging and in the insulated grocery bag and fit easily in the luggage area on the plane. Really, one of the three air travel regulations on batteries also suggested this.

I had all three (albeit inconsistent) air travel battery regulations printed out and with me but I did not have to use them. After removing the battery, I just put bubble wrap and the original handlebar bag over the right handle and battery indicator and snugged it up. I watch the cargo chief unload my travelscoot when I got to my destination since I have to wait until everyone else gets off. He just rolled it on the tar mat to the steps up to the jet way and easily carried it up to the door of the jetway with one hand. He did carry it by the tiller above the clamp, so it would have been possible for the handle to come off, but I had it clamped tight, and it did not. Don't think it would have had any damage had it come apart. Anyhow, I had quite an audience as I replaced the battery outside of the plane door including the flight captain. I told him that the inventor was a small plane pilot and that the small lightweight battery was something new that would power the electric cars of the future. I did have a little too much help and the connector was put together too tight, but otherwise, they were all quite surprised as I easily went up the little ramp in the jet way and on my way. I'll have to admit the flight back was the best airline trip yet with the travel scoot.

Fly out again this Sunday to Key West. I do plan to look for that neoprene wine cooler which will be smaller than the insulated grocery bag and easier to slip into my carry on backpack (except in Dallas). Now if somebody can invent a wheelchair version of the travel scoot (strong, lightweight aluminum, lithium ion battery,and all parts visible, repairable, upgradable and replacable) the entire world of assistive mobility technology will be changed forever more.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Elford from Helsinki

From Elford:

Enjoying your website and all the valuable information. I got my TravelScoot last February. The reason I got it is old age and arthritus caught up with me. It also comes in very handy for carrying my camera equipment around. The elevator in our apartment here in Helsinki is small and scoot just fits. My wife and I live about 12 miles from the center of Helsinki, so if I want to go downtown I just drive my Travelscoot aboard the Metro. All the Metro stations have elevators for the handicapped or mothers with baby buggies. The cobblestone streets downtown present a little problem but I go around them if I can. I have two Li-ion batteries per Hardy`s recommendation. I rotate them after every use. No battery problems yet. "knock on wood". It gets pretty cold here in Finland in the winter so I wiil take my scoot by auto to our shopping malls and use it there where it is warm. Anyway, I really like my TravelScoot glad I got it.

Welcome, Elford!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Can we help Dianne find Happy Trails?

From Dianne:

OK, everyone has such wonderful things to say about the, it's up to me to bring realism to this "party". So, I'm headed to work for a meeting (usually, I work from home, YEAH!); which is 75 miles away. It's raining; so that means it takes almost two hours to get there. But, I'm excited to use my Travelscoot for the first time. I haul this puppy out of my car (it's pretty high up there), but mostly it isn't too hard to unload. I bring the handlebars up, and the seat. I put the back on--easy right? I have had the baskets installed earlier; so my "brief case" goes in the back and my purse in the front. I hop on turn it on and....nothing happens! No lights; which means no power, so I hop off...juggle the battery wires and still...nothing. Did I mention it's raining?! I guess this means I'm not going into the building--can't walk that far these days. So, I load the scoot back into the car (REALLY heavy--(have you girls done this yourselves--or has hubby dear been there?) and the wheels don't slide; so pushing it in to clear the door is hard work, oh, I've also had to lower the handlebars and remove the seat back. The seat is fine where it is. I re-load myself; call into to work and advise them I won't be able to make the meeting and I head home. What else could I do; I was depending on the travelscoot. So one warning out of all this. MAKE SURE YOUR BATTERY IS CHARGED before you start out. AND, each time you use your travelscoot; make sure the power is turned off. (I think that's what happened to me--when hubby dear re-loaded it the switch got bumped or was left on and that drained the battery.) So, maybe NEXT time I'll have happier news to report.. Happy trails to all of you who have had successful runs.


I'm sorry to hear you had a problem on your first run. That must have been upsetting. Hopefully you've already figured out the problem, or contacted Hardy to get some assistance from him.

Had you ever ridden your TravelScoot before this trip? What several of us have suggested to new users is that they take their scoot out on the sidewalk in front of their house, or up and down the hallways of their apartment building, or on a quiet neighborhood street and spend time getting to know how it operates. As with any battery-powered mobility aid, there are some things you have to familiarize yourself with in order to operate it successfully. Of course before you do this you should read any manuals that came with it.

It's also important to plug the battery in correctly to charge it. With the lithium ion battery you plug the charger into the wall and then plug the charger into the battery. With the SLA battery you plug the charger into the battery first, and then into the wall. If you don't do it in this specific order, the battery will not charge. The manual tells you which lights should light up when.

With my scoot, and I'm assuming yours is just like mine, if I forget and leave it turned on it will shut itself off within a couple of minutes. I don't think it's possible to leave it turned on and run the battery down with it not being in motion.

It is also helpful to spend time just putting it together and breaking it down. Some of us have to take ours almost completely apart to put them in our cars, and others can load them fully assembled, depending on the vehicle. It was important for me to be able to fully handle my scoot by myself, so yes, I do lift mine in and out of the car. Without the battery it's only 29 lbs.

Educate yourself, practice, practice, practice, and you'll get familiar enough with your TravelScoot to understand how to get rolling again when something unexpected happens.

Keep us updated on how things are going. I hope everyone will post their most helpful tips for you. Also, would you please send me an email ( and let me know where you live? Thanks!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Denise in Palma De Mallorca, Spain

From Denise:

Hi from Barcelona and the Carnival Dream

Hello to Elizabeth and all her Blog followers from a beautiful day at Sea. The Mediterranean today is calm and the weather is just delightful. Life is good. I’ve taken a number of spins around the outside deck with my Scoot today. As I sat out on the deck enjoying the sea air I’ve had a number of my fellow travelers stop and ask questions about the Travelscoot. Everyone is impressed with my “Chariot”. I only wish I had a bunch of Hardy’s business cards to hand out LOL.

Yesterday we had a wonderful excursion in Palma De Mallorca Spain. We took the tour to Soller, Dei and Valdemossa. From Palma we took the Tren de Soller, an old fashioned electric train that is preserved and 100 years old. The station had a steep ramp but I was able to get up good speed and make it up without overloading the battery. The train runs on narrow gauge track so the cars are not very wide so the scoot did not fit in the car without folding it up. But it would fit up with the engineer so they took care of it while we enjoyed he hour ride to Soller.

Soller is a quiet picturesque town between the mountains of the rugged north coast of Mallorca. We had free time to explore the village square and all the small streets leading off of it. The Travelscoot had no problem on the cobbled inclines of the streets. After our free time we had quite a hilly hike to where a motor coach was parked to take us on the rest of our journey. This was a walk I would have never been able to make without my Scoot. I had many looks of envy from my fellow travelers who were walking with canes. The drive over the mountains, through Deia to Valdemossa was just breathtaking over winding roads with spectacular views of the Mediterranean below….and hair raising in some spots. I am amazed on how the motor coach took the hairpin curves to find a car zipping around the other side and no crash resulting.

When we arrived in Valdemossa we had an hour of free time to explore the shops and visit the La Carteja Monastery. Once again the Travelscoot proved she was made of the right stuff and handled extremely well. It’s wonderful that when steps are required that my husband can carry the scoot up for me. After exploring the village we met up with the group at Restaurante Can Pedro for a wonderful late lunch. Lunch was served family style and we had so many wonderful dishes…..bruchettta with chicken, tomato and capers; friend calamari and sardines; baked squash, eggplant, thin sliced potatoes and mushrooms with tomato puree; another baked veggie dish that had bread in it; and a delicious slow cooked pork. This was served with baskets of fresh homemade bread and wonderful garlic butter and lots of wine. Dessert was sponge cake and ice cream which were both homemade. The meal was a true feast which we really enjoyed. We still had some free time after lunch but we relaxed and enjoyed the ambiance of the restaurante and the wine with our tablemates.

The drive back to Palma and the ship was only about a 35 minute drive. We chose to board the ship after the long day. It has been a memorable day.

Debbie and Silver Belle at the Cincinnati Zoo

From Debbie:

I went on my first real TravelScoot adventure today, to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens. I was a bit concerned that the battery would have enough charge (the SLA) to get me through the day. I had heard the Cincinnati zoo was hilly, so I knew I would consume a lot of energy. We were there for about six hours and most of it was being on the move. I am happy to say that my battery light did not even budge from the green light.

The terrain of the zoo had a lot of paths leading through the different regions which all had pretty good size inclines. I was able to climb all but one, my sister had to give me a little push to get up it. I don't think I would have had the problem if I would have had a run for it. If I would have been by myself, I would have just turned around to get the run I needed. Of course with the inclines you also have the downhill sides, my brakes are not very effective, so I think I left some of the rubber from the bottom of my shoes throughout the zoo. The scoot does go down the hills with a lot of speed, most of the time, I just coasted down because there weren't that many people there.

I have read entries on the blog about riding through gravel, rain, snow and grass, but today I had leaves to contend with. Being autumn, there are leaves on the ground everywhere, I had some difficulty going up the inclines in places because my scooter was spinning out over all the leaves on the pavement.

All in all, my scoot, which I have named "Silver Belle" after my little silver Persian cat, deserves an A+++++ for the day! I can't wait to find some place to go just to have fun with it again.

Climbing inclines in Washington, DC

This picture is of an incline Kay encountered in Washington, DC. She has 'Leo the L'ion' (the large lithium ion battery) and she says she had "no stalls and no problems."

Kay is 5'9" and between me and Rhonda in size.  I don't think I could climb these inclines, even with Leo, but I have better results with Leo than I do with the cub (the smaller lithium ion battery).

Kay also says that she has the larger seat and when she sits on it and uses the backrest that she has plenty of room for her legs.   

A Bag for the Cub (the smaller lithium ion battery)

From B'racha:

I got this insulated wine bag for $4.99 at a TJ Maxx, hoping it would work for the cub (the smaller lithium ion battery), which I had been carrying in an ugly, and cumbersome, "camelback" carrier.

As you can see from the pix, it is great. I believe the Company makes other, larger varieties, but whether there are any Leo shaped I don't know.

A close watch at places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and even Tuesday Morning (if one has them in their area) might unearth a larger neoprene, for a reasonable price, capable of holding LEO (the larger lithium ion battery).