Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Just Call Me Speedy!




Recently I've been staying close to home because of health issues, and it's caused me to appreciate my TravelScoot in a whole new way. With my scoot, all I have to do to find an adventure is head out my front door.

I live in a beautiful older neighborhood, with lots of trees and green stuff. Here I am headed down the street. I have a plastic bag hanging over the handle, and you can also see the straps of the bag I use to hold my portable oxygen tank.


Not too far from my house is the type of shopping center you might remember from your childhood, before the advent of big box stores. I often pass through it on the way to Sammy's Grill, a popular local place, when Rhonda meets me at my house and we scoot over for a long lunch and lots of visiting.

A few days ago I needed to mail a few packages so I loaded them on my TravelScoot and headed over to Quantum Express. I had hardly made it through the front door when the man at the counter looked up and called me Speedy! He'd been watching me scoot past and was amazed at how fast I flew by on my little scooter.

He put a smile on my face, but also made me think about how some might see using a scooter as a negative, a display of disability. But with mine, I've been meeting neighbors, keeping up with what's blooming and getting the chance to enjoy the sunshine -- what a gift of ability.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Creaky Seat Fix (with pictures): Installing a washer under the seat

Thanks to Sheron for sharing more information about this fix.  Read this post too:

http://mytravelscoot.blogspot.com/2013/10/more-creaky-seat-solutions.html

From Sheron:

Base of seat

Undo hex bolt to loosen the clamp that holds the seat pillar

Extract seat pillar from seat base

Shows the 26mm OD rubber washer ready to insert into tube on seat base

Push rubber washer down to bottom of seat base tube

Insert tube and tighten VERY tight (I used a pair of pliers to hold the allen key to get the bolt nice and tight)
It's a 5-minute job .... really.  Job done.

Note: The 25.5 & 25mm washers are a lot thinner than the 26mm ones.   If anyone is using either of them instead of the thick 26mm ones, they'll need to use several of them .... for best results just under 1/4inch thickness is good.

Hope that helps

Sheron

Welcome, Margaret!

A shot from FantasyFest 2012
From Margaret:

My wonderful little scooter arrived last Monday. I was a bit intimidated when I saw all the pieces in the box, but it soon became clear that with only a little bit of help from my mechanically inclined husband the scooter would be upright and ready for its first ride.  My townhouse is small, so I kept riding about 15 feet back and forth trying to tell what it would be like when I really went "on the road."

That happened the very next day. We live in Miami and had planned a trip to the Florida Keys for a few days of R&R. Every year we go to Key West on this particular weekend to attend a rather unusual weekend called Fantasy Fest. It's part Halloween festival, part adult (very adult) costumes that range from elaborate to barely any clothing at all. On Friday there is a street fair with food vendors plus arts and crafts booths. Although we've been attending this event for 18 years, for the past five years or so I haven't been able to wander the seven blocks of the street fair. I've always parked myself somewhere while my husband and other family members walked around. I did enjoy watching the costumes stroll by, but it's just not the same as being able to walk it. THIS year I was off and scooting! I was a bit uncertain because I hadn't really tried the scooter on a sidewalk before. I jerked it a bit, forgot how to brake a little, but it was awesome!! What a feeling to be able to be mobile like most others. It was downright exhilarating! I could go as far as I wanted without needing to sit down, and I could enjoy what I was seeing without trying to plan for the next place I could find a seat.

The scooter and I wandered around for about three hours and we had a great time together. After three hours I began to see bait of yellow on the battery indicator when I accelerated, so I called it a day. I'm not sure how long I have after that light turns on.

The pros: FREEDOM! No pain (alright, less pain!). The scooter fit in my car without collapsing it. I just needed to lower the handlebars. I have a RAV4 and it fit with room to spare! Without the battery attached I could easily load it by myself. Now I can just scoot off to the mall anytime I want.

The cons: I didn't use the back rest but I did find the seat to be hard and uncomfortable. I'm planning on having it reupholstered as I have read that others have done. The only other con is that I wish there was a way for more people to learn about Travelscoot. It will change my life and I know I'm not the only person who could profit from the freedom it's bringing.

I'm smiling as I write this…Thanks to all who wrote about their experiences: They truly helped me make the decision to get my scooter.


Margaret

Maintaining your dignity as a handicapped person

Dean participating in a mini tractor race

From Dean Hughson:

I suppose in the scheme of things all people can claim to have handicaps. Some are more 'inside' than others. At age 47 I began to have signs of my lymphedema. If I had looked closely at pictures of ...my ancestors I probably could have seen the swollen legs which were signs of my primary lymphedema to come but I didn't see it.

I hadn't had many friends who had physical handicaps before that. Like many I saw people in wheelchairs and thought "Gee, that doesn't look easy" but didn't contemplate I could end up needing assistance to move around. When I was 56 or so I found myself starting to use the free mobility scooters at grocery stores and a year later it became apparent that I too needed to have one. My first one came from a pawnshop; it arrived and we assembled it and I thought "I will only use this when I am traveling overseas" but after a while I realized that it is only a tool and not to be ashamed of it. I progressed to the amazing 34 pound scooter I use now www.travelscoot.com and I have been around the world several times, accompanied by my light metal scooter with the 2 hour continuous use lithium battery. I have endured strange things like in Tokyo where the manager of the airport insisted on having an engineer take it completely apart and after seeing it was harmless ruling I should have someone run along side me whenever I was in the airport; I cranked it up to 6 mph for a long run and my aide quickly decided he wasn't needed. I haven't had a problem there since. I once was asked by someone at an airport "Why do you use a scooter?" like it was a choice. Some people don't understand.

5 years into being an official handicap my job is to maintain my dignity and show respect to all. I always talk to fellow handicaps when I see them; I know the frustration when check in people will talk to my wife instead of me, like I am retarded or something. I am careful to always tell people about my machine if they look like they need one; for many it is a question of pride that keeps them for getting one. Honest, you aren't giving up when you choose to use aids to get around but are helping yourself and saving your family and friends problems of helping you get around. I always kid that there must be a shortage of eligible men in scooters because women flirt with me in it a lot; my wife just laughs when I say that. I am still a man; just a man in a 34 pound mobility scooter. My spirit is strong. Life is good.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Jim from Australia is impressed with the new TravelScoot!


Jim from Australia shared an email he recently sent to Hardy Huber (TravelScoot's inventor) about the new model.  

Congratulations on the new model

Dear Hardy

You must be very proud of your newest creation!

Mine arrived last night, but I didn't get to use it until today.

Am I impressed!

The controller function is brilliant!
No sudden take-off from start.
No sudden take-off from slowing down.

The brakes are a great improvement - easier on people with weak hands like me.

And all the little finishing details - the easier battery plug, the easier charging in place, those hard plastic protectors for the cables and electrics, the neat hand grip and throttle, the clear motor power LEDS.

To all this add a motor with no belt, and still the lightest portable scooter on the market!

Many, many thanks for the time and trouble you have put into this design.

Cheers
Jim Marshall
Indooroopilly, Australia


COPD and using the TravelScoot in the UK as Transportation


From Jed:

I’ve had my TravelScoot now for about four months and am delighted with it. What I looked for was something different from most scooter buyers. I don’t have a car so I needed it to handle ordinary pavements and to travel on public transport, including British mainline trains, which I will return to as the info may be useful to anyone visiting this country.

I have COPD which means I cant walk very far without stopping for breath, but I am otherwise fairly fit, with the lower body mobility to sway in reaction to any lateral slope of the ground. The only serious problem I have had is turning left on an uphill slope, so I get off and push.

I initially tried another make which folded down very quickly and stayed in one piece.
However it had three problems. One that it had very little ground clearance and weighed about seventy pounds. The main problem however was that, with the necessarily high centre of gravity, its narrow wheelbase made it dangerous on uneven pavements.

The wider wheelbase and the lighter weight of the TravelScoot therefore made it the obvious choice - the only problem being that when folded you are surrounded with bits and pieces.
(Remember I have no handy car boot to pack it away in)

The solution I devised works fairly well. I have bought a 23inch (internal measurement) sports bag which takes the seat, crosspiece, canvas sling and the battery. This I sling over my left shoulder with my shopping bags in my left hand and carry the frame with my right. I can manage this for a short distance.

The longest trip so far was from my home town of Belper to a COPD meeting at Nottingham, involving travelling by train, tram and bus.

Talking them in reverse order, practically all buses in Britain apart from long distance coaches have low floor entrances and space for wheelchairs. Generally these are in demand by mothers with enormous push chairs so I usually fold the TravelScoot up. In this case however it was the hospital bus, which I guessed would be used to carrying scooters, and a very short journey, so I carried it aboard without folding it.

The tram car was dead easy. A number of large cities in Britain now have tram networks and the platform of the tram aligns exactly with the pavement with a very small gap. You can simply drive on and off.

Now we come to the train. Train services in Britain are operated by a number of different companies with different conditions. This is two hundred year-old system and not all of it has been brought up to date because of the sheer expense involved. Not all stations are accessible, platform heights vary, there are different classes of train with different degrees of accessibility. Generally with a wheelchair one phones the different companies the day before and they will lay on help. However mobility scooters are a different matter because of the range of different types and sizes and they may not be accepted at all.

Which is why I need my scooter to be foldable, as generally there is then no objection to carrying them. You do need however to research your journey by looking at National Rail Enquiries, at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ Click on “Stations and On Train” to look up the facilities at the various stations you will be using. There are maps for each showing the location of ramps and lifts if they are provided, so you wont have to carry your scooter too far. For London Underground you can use the step-free access map http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/step-free-tube-guide-map.pdf
The biggest problem you’ll find is the interest it arouses when you set to work opening it up or folding it, and being held up chatting about it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Amsterdam Disability Rights -- Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam doesn't allow scooters


Caroline has been looking forward to going to the new Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and even though they allow pushchairs and electric wheelchairs, they do not allow scooters, including the TravelScoot.  In the United States we have protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which gives scooters the same protection as wheelchairs have.  Caroline is wanting to know if there are other places that scooters are banned from, but I'm wondering too if their policy is legal?  Caroline says it's a new museum, so I would think it was designed to be handicapped friendly.  Is anyone familiar with disability laws in Amsterdam, or have experience with this?  There are no places in the United States where a wheelchair is allowed and a scooter is not.  It's considered discrimination and it is illegal. --Elizabeth

From the museum's website, at https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/organisation/frequently-asked-questions/visiting
From Caroline:

Having had freedom restored by the purchase of a Travelscoot we had really been looking forward to going to the new Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Luckily just before buying airline tickets and booking hotel I noticed a tiny small print sub page on their web site that said that mobility scooters were not allowed. I presumed this meant big on roaders as they allow pushchairs and electric wheelchairs but after contacting various bodies I am still stuck with the reply below. Probably will not affect too many users but I am concerned that this might be more general than I think. Does any one else know of places the scoot might be banned from?

From: InfoBalie@rijksmuseum.nl
Subject: RE: Mobility scooter Rijksmuseum

Dear Madam,

Please accept our apologies for not answering sooner.
Unfortunately it is not possible to visit the museum using a travelscoot. We have looked into all the possibilities but it is not safe.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.
With my best regards,

Claudia Oliveira
Informatiebalie/Information desk
+31 (0)20 6747 222/ 444
infobalie@rijksmuseum.nl

Front and Rear Basket Questions

TravelScoot front and rear baskets are available at http://www.travelscoot.com/usa-prices.htm

There have been numerous posts on the blog about baskets, which you can read at http://mytravelscoot.blogspot.com/search?q=basket.  Anne has a specific question that she'd like your input on.  You can answer her question by posting a comment or by sending me an email, elizabeth@ifisher.com.  --Elizabeth

From Anne:

How easy/not easy is it to add the front and/or rear baskets to the 'Scoot? And how far do they extend the length of the whole thing?

I'm thinking bout ordering them to make shopping easier, but they'll probably need to come off to get my TravelScoot into my car, so on and off need to be simple enough to be done while standing behind the car even in lousy weather.

Riding the Phoenix Airport Bus


This picture is from Dean, and he and his TravelScoot are riding the bus at the Phoenix Airport.  He says it almost looks like they planned for the TravelScoot.  I agree!




Multiple Myeloma and the TravelScoot


Please welcome Janice.  I met her through Facebook.  She and I were talking about how important a positive attitude is, and that goes for using mobility aids like the TravelScoot or dealing with health conditions.  If you use a TravelScoot to help you live a fuller life, I'd like to hear from you.  My email address is elizabeth@ifisher.com.  --Elizabeth


From Janice:

I had breast cancer last year and multiple myeloma this year so I figured out that a positive attitude is all I can control. The TravelScoot has been a GodSend for me. I can walk but not long distances.  My kids are rewarding me for cancer treatments with a land sea trip to Disney World in June. I will take my TravelScoot for the ship.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

More Creaky Seat Solutions


More Creaky Seat solutions are available in this post: http://mytravelscoot.blogspot.com/2013/10/fixing-creaky-seat.html 
--Elizabeth



From Sheron in the U.K.:

I too have had creaky seat syndrome .... it took a while to find exactly the source of the creak, partly because the noise resonates through the wooden seat making it difficult to pinpoint ...... but after a while & using a screwdriver against my ear it became obvious what it was.  The pillar underneath the seat (the one that slides & clamps into the top yoke fitting) had moved slightly & the top of it was rubbing against the metal bracket under the seat.
-  Just take the seat off & loosen the hex nut that clamps the pillar to the underside of the seat.
-  Extract the pillar, cut a small piece of rubber to match the internal circumference of the tube that the pillar slides into & slide it down the the tube.
-  Push the pillar back in to the tube, but don't let it go right to the end stop, then tighten the clamp as tight as is humanly possible.
The offending seat pillar takes the entire weight of the rider & over time will slip till it reaches the end of the tube, then it's metal against metal & will creak ..... unless the piece of rubber is in place to stop that happening.

If done properly it'll be a permanent fix.

As a footnote, I've always found silicone grease to be the best lubricant -- not much money & found in your local plumber store.

UPDATE:

Sheron says he used a standard thick rubber washer with 26mm OUTSIDE DIAMETER (that's a fraction over an inch) and they were an absolute perfect fit.

This is one place you could get them from:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M6-Rubber-Washers-Choose-from-13-different-sizes-/141091949368?pt=UK_DIY_Material_Nails_Fixing_MJ&var=&hash=item20d9bc4b38

I ordered from the same seller, but through the U.S. eBay site:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/M6-Rubber-Washers-Choose-from-13-different-sizes-/141091949368?pt=UK_DIY_Material_Nails_Fixing_MJ&var=&hash=item20d9bc4b38



10/24/13 update: I've just noticed the eBay listing on my link has ended. The link below is good for 21-days (ends 15th November)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M6-Rubber-Washers-Choose-from-13-different-sizes-/141091949368?pt=UK_DIY_Material_Nails_Fixing_MJ&var=&hash=item20d9bc4b38

They're showing the 26mm Outside Diameter are out of stock.  No problem, the 25.5mm will do just as well.


From Peter in Australia:

I had the same trouble with noise coming from my seat on my TravelScoot about 2 years ago  It was terrible when I was in a small place like a lift. After a lot of searching I realized it was coming  from below the yoke. I cut some flat rubber the same size as the tube of the yolk, and then placed 2 pieces, one under each tube.

UPDATE:

Peter replied that the rubber he used was about 1/8" thick from an old motor car tire. He said you should be able to get some from a Motor tire repair shop, but any old thin rubber should be okay.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

From the Heart


I recently received this email from Margaret.  Big welcomes to Margaret, and I know I'm not the only one looking forward to hearing about her adventures!

Hi Elizabeth,

I've read every post on your TravelScoot blog. Your blog has been so helpful to me. I know I've needed mobility help for several years as my ability to go out and enjoy excursions has decreased, but I always was reluctant. I too am I woman of size (and tall also) so I figured that any scooter small enough that I could load it in my car couldn't possibly carry my weight. And I was just plain stubborn, and a little embarrassed. When I read about your experiences as well those of the others on your blog I began to feel so hopeful! You have no idea what it means to me to read that others have had their lives returned to them by having a truly portable mobility scooter. The price is high for the TravelScoot, but so is the price of confinement in my house. Yesterday, I spoke with Tony and ordered my TravelScoot! I can't wait to have it, to do simple things like go to the mall...

Thanks you so much.

From the heart,
Margaret

Fixing a Creaky Seat

More creaky seat solutions are available in this post:
http://mytravelscoot.blogspot.com/2013/10/more-creaky-seat-solutions.html
--Elizabeth

My friend Melissa has been having a problem with her seat creaking since she got her TravelScoot, and we've just never taken the time to diagnose the problem and fix it.  Last weekend we held a "scooter clinic" at our house to fix the problem, and I thought you'd enjoy reading about it.

These are my TravelScoots.  The previous design is on the left, and the new model is on the right.  (The fabric triangle isn't on the one on the right.)

This adds Melissa's TravelScoot to the lineup.  That's a Peterboro basket she uses, like Peggy recommended in this post: http://mytravelscoot.blogspot.com/search?q=peterboro 

Alan, my 'scooter wrangler', is trying to diagnose what is causing the creaking.  We couldn't tell exactly where the sound was coming from, but me, Melissa and Greg were all putting in our two cents on how to fix the problem.

The seat is off and Alan is lubricating various parts that might be contributing to the problem.  He uses LPS2 for lubrication.  Hardy Huber told me once that he uses vaseline but Alan's an audiophile and has the LPS2 for his audio equipment. It seems to work great on the scoot too.

This is Greg on the floor, trying to see if he can hear where the creaking is coming from.  So far the lubrication isn't working.

One of the things Alan tried was swapping out the metal parts on 2 seats, to see if the problem was the seat itself.  It wasn't.  

Here he is putting the correct metal part back on the correct seat.  
The solution for this problem ended up being that the clamp at the top of the yoke (that's the curved metal bar over the battery) needed to be loosened AND it needed lubrication.  After Alan did that we had a very quiet seat, and a very happy scooter owner!

Basket on Back


Can anyone help answer Fern's question?  I don't use the back basket, so I don't have personal experience with it.  Hopefully Mary Ray will have input too.  You can either post by writing a comment here, or by sending me an email, elizabeth@ifisher.com.  -- Elizabeth

From Fern:

Elizabeth,

Thanks for starting and keeping up the blog. That's how I found and fell in love with my Scoot.

I've had my basket on the front for years. It recently got hit and the bracket broke off. I either have to get it welded (or otherwise fixed) or put it on the back instead.  I see Mary Ray has hers on the back.

So...here's my question(s): Does it make it more difficult to get to the battery to remove it for charging with the basket there?  And does the basket swing around if it is only tied down in one spot?  If the answers are no and no, I may try it.

Again, thanks.

Fern

Cynthia at the State Fair


I wanted to share a photo of my latest adventure with my TravelScoot, the South Carolina State Fair.  Thanks to my Scoot we were able to see the entire fair without having to stop every time we saw a place to sit.  I even got to enjoy my once-a-year treat of a deep fried Snickers bar.

Now, I have a question - does anyone else's scooter creak and pop?  It makes me nervous when I'm riding it.  Is this normal?  I've checked it over and can't see anything that would cause this.

Cynthia in SC

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bob the Cat and Mary Ray's TravelScoot

Bob the Cat

From Mary Ray

This is Bob the Cat, whom I first saw in the window at Recycle Bookstore in Campbell, California (http://recyclebookstore.com/cats.html). I went in to greet him because, of course, I was missing my cat (Smudgie the Cat), who was bravely guarding the home territory while we were away. Bob came right over to me, nuzzed my proffered fingers, purred very loudly, and jumped onto my scoot in hopes of going for a spin. Turns out he has a habit of trying to hitch rides in strollers, too! Many thanks to you, Bob the Cat, for the much-needed kitty fix!  — in Campbell, CA.

This is also a good photo of a back basket.  It's attached with a yellow cable tie.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Have TravelScoot, Will Travel!


From Laurie:

I just wanted to share a photo of the license plate I have on my TravelScoot.   I just got back from a trip to South Africa and my scoot went with me on safari!   

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lymphedema, the TravelScoot, and Flying 150,000 miles/year

Dean and his lovely wife

From Dean Hughson:

Lymphedema after 15 years


About 15 years ago I began swelling in my one leg and couldn't figure out why. I shouldn't have been surprised because my daughter had came up with lymphedema when she was 9 but I didn't put the pieces together.  The doctor tried to inject dye into my ankle and it just hurt too much. Then I realized....drats, I have primary lymphedema which is the type that you inherit. I got to looking at pictures of other old men in my family and realized that my great grandfather had it and even my mother perhaps.  in the beginning it wasn't too much of a hassle. I just had to buy larger shoes but slowly it got to be a problem.  The proper way to handle it is to get manual lymph drainage massage and to do compression bandages but living in warm areas it is miserable to do that and I travel. So I do periodic 'tuneups' and do my best.  Approximately  10 years into it my walking got difficult. I can walk but not long distances. I started using the scooters at the grocery store and Walmarts and found that helped me so I bought first a large one, a Celebrity X model. It weighed 190 pounds and I had to drive it up a ramp into our van. Airports hated it because under ADA rules they must load it but it would take 3 or 4 people to do it. I then ran across a mobility scooter at www.travelscoot.com  I am now on my second one. It weighs 34 pounds with the lithium battery in it and I can lift it out of my van with one hand. Airlines like it.  It took some training; ANA Airlines in Japan took it completely apart down to the last screw to see if it was dangerous and assigned a man to run along aside me in the airport; his name was Rabbit.  He quickly got tired of running and the next time, no runner. I have flown on many airlines and they 'get it' now.  They know me and actually are happy because the scooter isn't a bother. SAS Airlines actually took it into the baggage in business class and I was the first person off but usually it goes into the hold of the plane.  I also have become an expert on batteries and have learned much about how to keep the travelscooter running. You need a 'pit crew' if you fly more than 150,000 miles/year like I do.  The thing is that no longer am I forced to not go when people want to go to wine tastings or music concerts. I go right along now.  It has taken some 'emotional' work to accept being handicapped but I now understand I am just using a tool.  Like a hammer, it is what I need to do my job.   If you too are in need don't by shy; take the help that is available.  Life is good.

Why the TravelScoot was the right choice for Deborah

In my Target Misses The Mark post I talked about the problem with how stores maintain (or don't) their store mobility scooters.  Below is a site I often see in my local Targets -- a scooter abandoned because the battery ran out.  Deborah sent me an email that puts it much more eloquently, and explains how she chose the TravelScoot and why it's the right scooter for her.



Hello Elizabeth,
 
I'm Deborah and I'm a supersized woman from England.  I also have a twisted leg (born with it) which has led to arthritis in my knee and ankle and a shortened achilles tendon.  I work full-time in a national job, and because of my lack of mobility, have been finding my life has been restricted more and more.  I do travel by car and train for work, but that usually wears me out!  A couple of years ago I did try a mobility scooter, but it was so big (to accommodate my size) that I could only use it if I went out with my husband.  Gradually I used it less and less and relied on a cane or rollator. 
 
In desperation I searched and searched for something more portable that would give me back my independence and freedom, and allow me to go where I wanted.  I came across Travelscoot, and your blog, and began to feel hopeful.  Anyway, people I talked to said that I should keep walking as long as possible, blah, blah, but then a few situations really got to me.  My lovely husband and I travelled to a nearby town specifically to go to a large store full of household items.  I thought I'd be OK to look around, pushing a shopping trolley, but it has been very cold in the UK lately and my joints were really sore.  We ended up buying one item and then I had to return to the car, and then go home.  The next incident was at a large supermarket.  I usually use a store mobility scooter, but they were being repaired and the two that were still working were being used.  Again, I sat in the car whilst my husband shopped.  Then on a trip to London with a colleague for a business meeting, we finished early and had time to spare before our train. Unfortunately after getting on and off the train and the bus and walking to the venue,  my legs were hurting too much to look around the wonderful array of shops in the centre of London, so I ended up spending two hours in a coffee shop.  That was the final straw for me, I knew I need to do something to regain my mobility.
 
Although I was very tempted by the Travelscoot, and inspired by the stories on your blog, I hadn't actually seen one in 'real life'.  So I contacted Hardy and he passed on details of satisfied Travelscoot customers within easy travelling distance.  I received some very enthusiastic replies in response to my emailed enquiry, and found a lovely lady, Julie, who lives less than an hour's drive from me.  Julie was happy to let  me try her Travelscoot and really helpful with lots of Travelscooting tips.  My two concerns were: would I be able to get on and off it OK, and would it fit in the boot of my sports car?  The answers to both these questions were a resounding 'yes'!
 
So my new Travelscoot is now on order, and I have such a list of places I want to go, things that I want to do.....  I just wanted to say thank you for your blog, and I will let you know when I have my first Travelscoot adventure.
 
With kindest regards,
 
 Deborah 

Deb's new Travelscoot



From Deb:

I have to tell you - because of you and your site I now have my very own Travelscoot!

I too am a woman of size. I've suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for years and have struggled to get around. But it isn't my size and arthritis that forced the decision to get a scooter. It was my lungs. Just recently I was diagnosed with a paralyzed diaphragm, a condition that makes it extremely difficult to move much without getting out of air. My doctor recommended a scooter, and knowing I wanted something I could manage on my upcoming cruise made me want a Travelscoot. The weight limitation of the scooter held me back - until I came across your website. I placed the order earlier this week and it arrived on Friday.

It has been up and down my driveway, the grocery store, and just yesterday it served as a "spray truck" (you can see the picture here http://debzpicaday.blogspot.com/2013/05/day-801.html ) Now my family can't wait to "bling it out". Thank you for my independence!

Deb

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Frankie and His New Wheels!

First, Frankie met Tony from Chicago:




Today I had the pleasure of meeting Tony from Chicago we both met for the 1st time and I got my photo taken on his TS...OMG, I love it and on Thursday, I ordered one... I can not wait till it comes....Thank you Tony so so much!!!


Ten days later, Frankie has his very own, very new TravelScoot:


From Elizabeth:  This is the first picture I've had on the blog of the new TravelScoot.  It has a reverse, there's no belt, AND the motor is in the left rear wheel.  You heard that right, INSIDE.



Today Sept. 24th, 2013 I received my new TravelScoot, so I went out this evening around my neighborhood and loved it...!!!  I'd like to thank all the people from this beautiful blog for all the info you gave me on TS. Again thank you all so very much...!!!

Peace,

Frankie




Check out the new TravelScoot at http://TravelScoot.com 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Oxygen and the TravelScoot


I've recently begun oxygen 24/7, and I'm wondering how other TravelScooters who use oxygen carry it around?  I started out with with my portable oxygen being an M9 (C) cylinder tank set on a pulse rate of 2.  Carrying this tank on the scoot was easy.  However, using the pulse rate isn't keeping my levels up high enough, so I need to find the best way to carry continuous oxygen.  Do any of you use a portable oxygen concentrator with your scoot?  Have you come up with a clever way to carry it around?  I'd appreciate input and pictures.  I'm sure I'm not the only person trying to figure this out.

Anyone in Chicago?

Dear Blog,

Well today is Sept. 1, 2013 and I need to wait till mid Sept. till the TravelScoot gets to the US...

Everyday seems like years but I know I want wait I just want to go out on my TS and enjoy life...I have very severe Emphysema, and I am on oxygen and with TS I can take a ride around the block or go to the lakefront and enjoy my beautiful city of Chicago, In the Midwest winter is around the corner and I just wanted to enjoy the last of summer as I can't take my TS out in the winter...!!!

Does any one know of a TravelScoot person living in Chicago???

When I get my new TS I will take photos and post on this Blog!

Frankie from Chicago

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why Frankie Should Get a TravelScoot -- Your Testimonials

I had asked you all to share your TravelScoot experiences with Frankie, and share you did.  Compiling all your wonderful testimonials reminded me how much I love our TravelScoot community.  --Elizabeth

Shirley in Portland

That is exactly what I wanted and to my surprise got, My Life Back! I also need oxygen. I have a homefill and purchased two small tanks from Ebay. I put one (all I need in a grocery bag and throw it over my handle bars and away we go. I don't have any pictures to share but I can tell you my TravelScoot has traveled to more places than a lot of people. I have taken it on commercial airlines and Amtrak with no problems whatsoever. The airline let me drive it to the airplane door and when the plane landed my TravelScoot was at the airplanes door waiting for me. Amtrak was just as accommodating. I take it out on a regular basis on our local transit system and travel all over town (Portland, OR). It turns on a dime so it is a snap to get on and off the bus/rail/tram. I watch other people struggling with their bulky scooters and am so thankful for mine.

I have traveled to Tijuana twice (rode it across the border both times), San Diego (zoo and Sea World), Disneyland, 2 cruises (one to Alaska), Victoria BC and San Francisco. I can go almost anywhere with my family. I'm not stuck in a motel room hoping they are having a good time, I'm out there with them enjoying! We travel to the Oregon Coast on a regular basis and I can NOT take it in the sand. It will NOT go on grass or gravel. If there is a way I haven't figured it out.

I only have one battery and do just fine with it. Usually I can go all weekend with one charge. I am a small person, I don't know if that matters. I do think it is a good ides to have a spare. I can fold it down and put it in the backseat of my car. It is made out of airline steel so it is strong, solid but lite in weight. No reverse. The owner of the company told me when they designed the TravelScoot they debated on a reverse but that would add another 5 lbs to the scooter. It is so simple to turn they decided not to add that extra weight and I am so glad.

So as you can see, My TravelScoot indeed, Gave Me My Life Back, good luck to Frankie and God Bless. Shirley from Portland, OR

From Bev

I've always ride my scooter all the way to the door area of the airplane.  I just disconnect the battery connection (I keep the battery in the TravelScoot red bag right on the scooter attached with the Velcro straps), lower the handlebar and get off and walk into the plane.  When I arrive they have me wait almost after everyone else is off - and there is my scooter for me to ride.  (Delta, Alaska).  Saves me the hassle and also saves my energy for later. Bev

From Dona

Oh I really enjoy my TravelScoot.. Just went on a airplane trip with it.. Rode it to the entrance of the plane and they but it in with the luggage.. The luggage handlers were very impressed with it.. The size of it and that is so light.. I use it most every day..I don't even have to take it all apart to put in the trunk of my car.. Just take the seat etc. off  and I take the battery of to make it a little lighter.. Best investment I ever made.. Have recommended it to several people.. One man that lives in my condo complex bought one he liked mine so well and really likes it.I don't think anyone that needs one would regret getting one.. My family tells me I should be a distributor!!!

Bob in Tucson

Tell Frankie that Bob in Tucson weighs 390 and I have had my TravelScoot for almost 2 years and I have not had a bit of trouble with it. I say that it has given me my  life back and have never regretted the purchase!

From Chuck

Fr. or Bro. Frankie.

I cannot begin to tell you the freedom that the TravelScoot has brought into my life for the last 4 years.  I am about 300 to 305# and have bad knees, hips, and back.  It is difficult to walk more than 100 yards and very difficult to stand more than 10 minutes.  (I can stand during Mass but it is very hard!)

For the first two years, I had a sedan and I folded it into the trunk every time I went somewhere.  Two years ago I bought a SUV and now I can just lift it up and into the back. I have a rug attached to protect the rear of the car and I have a bungie cord to keep it from rolling around.

I take it where ever I go, grocery, Mass, eating out, movies, etc.  I go to several concerts every year and get seats in the wheelchair section.  I can, and have, sit on the 'Scoot for several hours.

I travel a lot via airplane.  I check it plane side and it is delivered back to me at the next stop.  I also check in with the gate agents and explain that I have it and when it is ready to be transported it weighs 27 pounds.  (I remove the battery and carry it in the cabin.)  The normal comment is, "Oh, I can carry that down."

I bought mine from Hardy, the inventor of the "Scoot, when he was working and shipping out of his hangar at Lantana airport here in Florida.

You should be prepared to talk about it to a lot of people you encounter. I carry business cards from Bonnie and Tony at the distribution point in Washington. I sometimes have brochures but go though them quickly.  The cards are easier.  I usually mention that if they are computer competent, the website will tell them EVERYTHING they need to know.  If they have an interested party here in South Florida, they give them my number and I arrange to meet them somewhere for a demo.  I have lost track of how many I have sold.

It is very easy to fold up, once you get the hang of it.  I would place it, back wheels in, on the lip of my trunk, take off the seat and battery, then press in two spring-loaded pins.  The handlebar would fold downward and the two rear wheels would fold inward.  I am sure there must be a video on the website that shows it.  I unfolded it the same way by balancing it on the trunk lip.You could put it on the ground but I don't bend over that well!!

I have upper body strength and lift it easily.  It comes with a back rest that is removable.  I do not use it because I am very tall and mount it by straddling the seat.  I am uncomfortable when trying to place one foot through the area between the seat and handlebars while trying to balance on the other foot!!

I have the lithium battery.  It weighs about 4 pounds.  The other battery is much heavier and defeats the purpose of the light weight advantage.  I had two batteries but one shot craps on me. I have been resisting ordering another spare but have almost talked myself into it.  I went to Batteries Plus and they made me a dry cell battery to fit.  It looks like two motorcycle batteries taped together.  Cost about $250 and weighs a ton.  I use it when I am not planning on having to lift the 'Scoot up.

The seat is very comfortable.  One of Elizabeth's blogs from several years ago showed an upholstery job that someone had done using a little extra padding and a vinyl or leather cover. I have been wanting to do that but just keep putting it off.

You make it go by twisting the right handlebar grip, like a motorcycle.  It starts out slow and gradually increases speed to about 7 MPH.  It does not like grass, rough pavement, etc.  Miami airport is all marble floors and I zip right along passing everybody.  It is okay on carpet but is slower.

The brakes are two friction brakes on the rear wheels operated by hand grips on the handlebar, again, like a motorcycle.   The brakes are far from efficient and I usually put one foot down to slow or stop in an emergency.  People are always walking out in front of me.  I don't understand it.

 

As an afterthought I have included two pictures.  One of me and one of me, the 'Scoot, and my great grand daughter.  She was probably about a year old and we were at Hollywood (FL) beach. Now she is four and rides standing up with her feet on the lower bars.  The problem now is she wants to drive and she only knows one speed, fast!

From Joyce

Frankie,

Are you as excited as I was to find the Travel Scoot?  It gave me me life back.  I have emphysema and my life kept getting smaller and smaller.  I'm 72, 370 lbs. and live alone.  I needed something I could put in my trunk myself.  I bought it within days of finding it.  It's been my mobility now for about 2 years and I love it.  I don't use the back support and often I think I've got to get the seat padded better, but that's minor.  I'm always thinking about ways to fit on the scooter with me when I'm shopping.  Recently I bought one of those sturdy reusable water proof shopping bags for the handle bars, so I can carry more at the farmer's market and Target and Trader Joes and etc, etc. I'm hard on my scoot and it's still in great shape.  Here are some of the places I go and things I do on my scooter.

1.  Take my 80 lb. dog for a walk.  At full tilt she can almost run.

2.  Ride it right up to the door of a plane when I'm going on a trip.  They put it in storage on the plane with baby strollers and stuff.  They have it waiting for me   when I get off the plane.  There are a few things you need to take care of to do that, but Elizabeth walked me through the process.

3.  Go to the movies.

4.  Go to busy places to eat.  Staff always find a spot for it.

5.  Go to concerts.

6.  Go to the pool.

7.  I actually took my grandson paint balling and rode around in a bumpy field to the bathroom and target practicing (he insisted I try it.)

8.  The top of my bucket list is to go on a cruise.  I've never been and had given up the idea until my Travel Scoot.  I'm going this year!

You're getting the picture now I'm sure.  One more thing, on steep inclines if my yellow light comes on warning me I'm loading the battery, I put one foot out and push like a kid on a scooter.   It's easy to do and gives you that little extra help.

Last but not least.  This was a major purchase for me, but I didn't hesitate and I'm so glad I didn't.

From Larry

I am 6’2 220 pounds with severe emphysema on O2 I would not have a life w/o TravelScoot…buy it TODAY

From Pam

I just returned from a week in Florida.  My son rented a house with a boardwalk so I could scoot close to the water.  My TravelScoot once again allowed me to be with the family.   My son even commented on how the TS let me live my life.

From Dean

Frankie---I flew 180,000 miles last year. My scooter fits in our VW New Beetle and has fit in Japanese, Hong Kong, Chinese, English, French, German, and numerous other countries taxis.  I am bigger than you. Buy the TravelScoot and get freed to travel. Happy to talk with you if you want to ask questions.


From Rhonda

Frankie,

I've had my TS for about four years and can assure you that I've never regretted the purchase.  It kept me working for a full year longer than I would have.  Although I've since left the workforce, I still regularly use it and still get excited whenever I hear, "hey lady, hey lady", only to turn and see someone motioning for me to come talk to them.

I recently decided that I needed to send it to Tony for a little check-up and preventative maintenance, since after all, I was still using the original belt.  It was gone three weeks and boy did I miss it.

There have been many posts on this blog written by me and about me, but my favorite is about the day Elizabeth, Melissa and I rode around our down town and took pictures of me going up and down an incline.  I'll begin by admitting that I'm not tiny, but with the Li-ion battery I can climb a 45 degree incline, but it's not nearly as much fun as coming down.

(Left to right) Melissa, Elizabeth, Rhonda
To see the "Our Big Adventure" post, click here: http://mytravelscoot.blogspot.com/2010/09/our-big-adventure.html

From Jim

Bought one for my wife prior to going to Europe and 19-day cruise.  Best investment I have ever made.

From Eileen

Hi. This is for Fr. Frankie.  I got my TravelScoot about 18 months ago and since then have sailed the Caribbean several times and spend a few weeks in Hawaii and in the Redwood forests of

Northern California.  It has been a lifesaver for me and my family.  I am able to do things that I was not able to do before my TravelScoot.  I weigh 325 lbs and make it with no problems.  I had the seat cushioned as suggested by others and it is a pleasure.  Hope it works out for you.  Bless you,  Eileen

From Susan 

Do it!  We bought one for my husband because we weren’t going anywhere.  Even a trip to Target, Lowe’s or Home Depot depended on a electric cart that was available or that would work.  Now he takes his TravelScoot.  We take it to Costco and he buzzes around getting things that we need while I shop.

We are going on a cruise in December and he’s taking the scoot.  I couldn’t get him to go anywhere before and now he’s feeling that he wants to get out and do things.

Just get one.  Get the bigger one.  My husband is 330 pounds and it carries him without a problem.

Enjoy your life.  Get one!!!  Even if all you do is ride around the block, get some air and meet neighbors.

From Janet

Frankie, I have had a more "normal" scooter with the plastic fenders, etc., and the TravelScoot. The TravelScoot cost a lot more, and I feel was worth it. I not only get compliments on it, it is easy to maneuver and has some power when I need it.

I had to take the back off, because it pushes on my back more than just a place to lean, making me uncomfortable. That might be different with you. I'm fine without the back.

The other thing I had to do was buy a "gel" cushion. The seat just wasn't comfortable, but with the gel cushion, it's great. That could just be me. We're all built different. But I'm glad to have that cushion, because I can use it for more than my Travel Scoot.

On mine there was a little dinger bell, which was not worth bothering to put on in my opinion. I am currently looking for something better in a bell.

The TravelScoot is very "cool" I'm told. People actually stop me and ask about it. It is quiet and smooth to ride. And hey, it is just fun. I feel free. In a way it's a transition for me to go from a "normal" scooter to the TravelScoot. I feel more confidence and just FREE FREE FREE! LOL I know that's in my mind, but hey, the mind is part of getting through things well.

I like mine a lot now that I've sort of customized it a tiny bit (the back and seat and bell) and have no regrets about buying it. I couldn't be happier with it. It suits me.

From Coach Anne

I will share that having mine has made a world of difference for me, giving me independence, and making travel (air, cruise), shopping, museum-visiting, festival-attending, etc. etc. etc. possible

when they were not before. Even visiting friends/family in the hospital. And can't forget, making it possible to see my awesome MD, whose parking lot is too far from her office for me to walk.

For me, buying my TS was an easy and no-regrets decision.

From Debs

Hi Frankie,

I bought a TravelScoot earlier this year, after reading the stories on this site. I am a large woman and my mobility is impaired by arthritis. It took me a little while to get used to the TravelScoot, but now that I am comfortable with it, I appreciate how narrow my life had become before I had the scoot. I used to go to work and that was about it. Now my life is full of all sorts of adventures and I feel much happier as a result.

Over the past few days I have been to two museums, a play and on two shopping trips, none of these would have been possible in my pre-scoot days. And I don't have to rely on my husband or anyone else, the scoot goes into the boot of my sports car, and I can manage it on my own.

Hope this helps. Debs

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ergonomic Bicycle Seats

This question is from Ronnie, who is wondering.. 

Has anyone ever tried one of those ergonomic bicycle seats on their TravelScoot?

Brian at the Arts Festival

Brian and his TravelScoot at the Arts Festival in State College (Penn State University) 

TravelScoot in Australia

From Denis, in Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia

We took my TravelScoot with us on a holiday around Australia and it performed very well.  We purchased a more robust (than the one it arrived in) and wheeled case for it and it survived the trip without any damage. We plastered fragile and scooter stickers over it. In total we had about 8 flights.  I obtained written approval for the LI Ion battery before I left and had no issues with taking the battery on board as hand luggage.  The approval was checked each flight.   The case itself caused some indecision due to its large size and fragility but , with patience , it eventually got the ok for all flights.  I would recommend you give yourself plenty of time to check in – at least  1.5 hours prior to departure.

Next time I think I will try the alternative “ride the scooter to the plane” strategy. I think it will result in less explaining and will also allow me to ride those long airport corridors without “hitching” a ride on a airport cart or slowly walking.

Overall the scooter was a tremendous asset. It allowed me to go for many long “walks” with my beloved and family. My 3 y-o grand-daughter just loved riding on my lap , especially when she worked out how to twist the accelerator!

Share your experiences with Frankie

I have been corresponding with Frankie in Chicago, who is a big guy thinking about purchasing a TravelScoot.  He actually told me I "made his year" so I suspect he's got his finger on the "order" button, but he's wanting your input too.  Do you think the TravelScoot will work for him?

Frankie wants to get his life back and go back out in the world, while also having a way to carry his oxygen. And as we say in Louisiana, the lagniappe (little something extra) is that the scooter is small enough and lightweight enough to fit in his car.

What words of wisdom do you have for him?



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Where's the TravelScoot?

Hi all!  I thought you might enjoy seeing how helpful (and fun) a TravelScoot can be when you're shopping.    

Sorry I've been so quiet lately.  I hope you're all scooting along nicely!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Broken Brake Cable



When I get on my scooter I squeeze the brakes to keep the scooter still while I swing my leg over the seat. A couple weeks ago while doing this I heard a weird noise and my brake handle went limp. I got off the scooter and squeezed the right brake and noticed the little bar that gets pressed against the back wheel when applying the brakes wasn't moving. The brake cable had broken. I saw a spring and 2 round washers on the floor and this little small barrel looking thing with a piece of my brake cable attached to it:

I called TravelScoot and talked to Bonnie, unfortunately they were out of brake cables. Fortunately my son was visiting that weekend so I waited for him to take a look at it. My son went to a bike shop and picked up a new cable and housing (the housing is the black covering for the cable) for like $8. It was kind of tricky to get the new cable on because you have to thread it through the frame of the TravelScoot. It took about 30 min and my brake was back in business.

If your brake cable breaks I recommend looking for the parts that fall off when this happens, you can reuse them: one spring, two washers and the barrel looking thing above. I recommend taking a look at the brake assembly by the back tire and note how the spring and washers and barrel thing fit while it is not broken so you know what the parts look like if your cable breaks.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Question about Smaller Size TravelScoot


Jodie needs help deciding on which size TravelScoot.  Do you have any thoughts or want to share your experience?

Hey there! Believe it or not I got my TravelScoot from the "original creator" Hardy. I picked it up after he built it in his airplane hangar in FL. I obviously LOVE it & have enjoyed your blog too. My question is this...I'm obviously in need of a new one after the wear and tear over 7-8 years and am not sure if I'd be better off on a junior size one that's available now? I'm fairly small (110 lbs or so) & think I would like a little smaller frame. Does anyone have any ideas regarding the comparison? I'm hoping for someone's (anyone's) outside experience with them.

Thank you!

Jodie

Joe in Browns Bay, Auckland

Joe with his daughter and grandchildren, at the ANZAC Parade in Browns Bay, Auckland

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ding's Velcro Replacement

Ding's Hog


 This is Ding (Arifin) from Singapore, and am a heavy user of my TravelScoot (I call it my Hog) for the past 2 years, and have had lots of dings (no relation to me .. lol!) and accidents (particularly running over people's toes ... Singapore is a very crowded place, especially when you are on the subway train platforms here).

As for the velcro strap, I didn't bother with it, and have used the elastic rubber hooks that you probably can find at a motor accessories shop. I have attached a picture for your readers' reference.

Cheers!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Velcro Replacement


Stef wrote in to say that the velcro that holds the batteries on their tray is getting worn.  Have any of you had this problem, and if so, how did you deal with it?

You can respond to this post by making a comment, or by sending an email to elizabeth@ifisher.com.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

An Update and some Questions from Frank in Melbourne, Australia


A TravelScoot with FOUR Wheels

An interesting item of news about the Travelscoot from our agent is that for SYDNEY (Australia)  customers who wish to use it on Public Transport, changes had to be made, for it is now mandatory for all “scooters” (baby carriages and all) to have FOUR wheels.  The front wheel is now being offered with two (twin) wheels.  This also is said to make the Travelscoot a little more stable (it is said).  This, of course is offered for the client’s decision, but at an additional $AU200.

Any experience with Allure of the Seas?

In May we are off again to your fair country, which involves Las Vegas (of course!) to take in a few shows and a Globus tour along the Eastern part of the States and Canada, finishing in New York.  Part of our journey also involves 2 x back to back 7 day cruises to the Western and Eastern Caribbean on the “Allure of the Seas”.  We believe that this is quite a “humungous” ship and which we are really looking forward to.  Has any of our tri-cycled gang ever done a cruise on this ship and/or visited its ports and can they give us any ideas of what to look out for (and what to be careful of or miss?)

How do you transport your TravelScoot? 

I find that transporting my scooter in the bag provided, whilst travelling,  can sometimes be a little precarious, for non of the modes....air or ship, still seem a little dodgy, even though we have FRAGILE posted all over the bag.  We have looked at golf bags, but they don’t seem rigid enough or long enough.


Frank and Evelyn's South American Trip

Evelyn and Frank at Iguazu Falls.  A "must see" destination!!  The roar of those Falls still rings in my ears............

Evelyn and Frank in La Boca, a must-see destination in Buenos Aires.  Note the cobble stones.  Not very comfortable on your tail-bone!

Frank's Ferrari, as he and all others know it.

Anonymous Comments

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Dean's Custom Seat Cover


Monday, March 18, 2013

Once again, another GREAT vacation made possible by TravelScoot

Denise and Jan in New Orleans

Jan in Cozumel

Denise, scootering under the influence!

I wanted to share my recent travels on my Travelscoot with you.  We went on a cruise once again, this time out of New Orleans on the Navigator of the Seas.  We were traveling with a group of friends from the website Cruise-Addicts.com and my friend from Minnesota Jan also uses a Travelscoot.  I've attached a picture of Jan and me on our Travelscoots on the streets of New Orleans.  Next is a picture of Jan scootering down the International pier in Cozumel Mexico.  And then a pic of me after too many Margaritas.....and yes, I should have gotten a SUI (Scootering Under the Influence).

Once again another GREAT vacation made possible because we can get around and tour on our Travelscoots!

Denise Z