- Aging & Longevity
Seniors are finding Adult Kick Scooters to stay active | Kick Bike | Kick Scooter
Kick Scooters may not be for everyone. Active Seniors should always consult their personal physician before starting any new program like using a kick scooter.
Many people regardless of age who have knee problems or have had strokes or other medical declines may no longer able to, mount, balance and navigate and enjoy a regular bicycle.
On a scooter the rider can switch between feet or use only one foot if one side is partially paralyzed from a stroke, or a bad knee.
This is an interesting interview with a remarkable gentleman who recently purchased an Amish made aluminum kick scooter. He has been using a kick scooter since 1996.
We will call him Mr. T. Like many seniors Mr. T has been facing multiple health issues.
Mr. T has found that kick scooters provide a very good physical exercise to keep him active and in shape while living with his health issues.
Seniors need to have meaningful activities. Those activities that can help them stay fit when medically advisable is an important part of living long and staying happy.
In Mr T’s enthusiasm about the kick scooter adventures I could quickly tell that not only does it give him physical support it is helping him emotionally with a very positive and energizing outlook on life.
Mr T lives in a Northern state. In the winter when there’s snow and ice he also uses a kick sled, similar to a dog sled frame to keep up his exercise routine going.
A Kick Bike is really no more than a grown up kids scooter. It’s very easy to mount and propel using either foot.
If a person becomes tired or feels they are going to lose balance they can simply step off the platform rest or walk with the bike.
Many of us as kids first learned to balance and how to ride a push scooter long before they were able to ride a normal bicycle.
The kick scooter consist of a standing platform mounted between two wheels. Although the terms kick bike and kick scooter are used to describe the bike, a kick scooter actually has smaller wheels and tires whereas a kick bike uses regular bicycle tires.
You may also hear the term push bike or push scooter to describe this type of wheeled transport.
For those who live around or have visited the Pennsylvania Amish have probably seen or tried a kick scooter as they have been used by the Amish in that area since the 1970s.
The Amish in this area are not allowed to use regular bicycles based on their church rules. In visiting the Pennsylvania Dutch Amish you will see all ages of Amish scooting along to shop, work, or school instead of using their horse and buggies.
Many of the shops rent kick scooters to tourist and that is how Mr. T first discovered the kick scooter and soon fell in love with the option.
Since then he has owned several models. Like most kick scooter riders who become hooked he has been looking for a comparable one that are sold in Europe.
Kick scooters are also very popular in many European countries. They are also called kick bikes as well.
In the US people from all age groups are finding that kick scooters/ bikes are a fun and enjoyable way to stay active over a traditional bike.
Many of the kick scooters being made and sold in the US are coming from the Amish communities.
The kick scooters made in Pennsylvania have been made form steel for several years. The weight of a kick bike is directly related to the performance.
As Mr T explains the lighter material used in the kick scooter frame the less weight that has to be push along.
Frustrated with being unable to have the ideal all aluminum kick scooter imported from Europe, Mr T began to pour over the Internet to find one made in the USA.
Not only did he want one made from aluminum he also wanted to find one with a 26” front wheel and a 20” back wheel. That specific setup is used on the European market but has not been available in the US.
He was also looking for one that also had high pressure tires. Mr T explained that the high pressure tires roll easier with less resistance than standard bicycle tires that he has used on other kick bikes.
In his search he found the Amish made aluminum kick bikes available at Cottage Craft Works .com and ordered the LA MX 26/20 which fit his needs perfectly.
It was all aluminum, had the wheels and high pressure tires that he has been looking for. It was also about $250 less than an imported bike that he was looking to purchase and modify.
Since the Amish tend to be more conservative their kick scooters might not look as fashionable as the European models, but to Mr T it’s more about the basics of the scooter he uses to help keep him fit than having a trendy image.
He ordered his in red as he always wanted to conquer his challenges like a fire engine racing to a fire.
The aluminum model weighs up to 7 lbs less than his steel frame models, which according to Mr T means that he can glide further between the kicks.
His routine consist of a 2mile route three times per week. On this route he encounters one particular hill that he has always struggled with on his other push bikes.
On his new bike he topped the hill with no problem. He has been amazed at how much the lighter weight, the wheel size and high pressure tires has made his new bike so much smoother and faster to cruise on.
On the return home he cruised by a policeman running radar. He circled back to explain that this was a new bike for him and he was just curious on how fast he was going.
The policeman told Mr T that he clocked him at 10 MPH. As Mr T shared this story he told me this was much faster than he ever cruised on his other kick scooters.
The foot board is also an important factor that Mr T pointed out. The aluminum Amish kick scooters only have a 2-7/8” height, lower than the ones on his previous bikes.
Most seniors have knee problems, and that makes it hard do the deep knee bends required to propel a kick scooter with a higher foot board.
When asked about what safety precautions he takes Mr T told me that he always wears a helmet. Over the years he has taken some falls on his kick bikes and a bike helmet is a proven must for him.
He also warned of trying to make sharp turns on a kick bike. Unlike a normal bicycle the turning radius on a kick scooter is not limited so the front wheel can turn sidewise and lock spilling the rider.
Mr T is one senior who believes and seems to have proven that kick scooters has been a life changing event for him.
Just like many likeminded events enjoyed by others look for kick scooter and bike clubs to form in the US like they have in Europe.
Especially for seniors kick scooters clubs could provide social and physical exercise options for seniors to stay active.
To find out more on the benefits of kick scooters/bikes just Google Kick Scooter-Kick Bike benefits.
Amish kick scooter pictures courtesy of Cottage Craft Works .com and www.LetsKickScoot.com