AFTER YEARS OF COMPETITIVE RUNNING, I COULD BARELY WALK…then I found KICKBIKE
I used to say ‘I Hate Running’ as a twisted term of endearment…like after a grueling run or after a marathon or triathlon, we would joke and tease and post pictures of our battered bodies with the sarcastic #ihaterunning, almost as a badge of pride that we finished, that we survived. But after my Runner’s Knee condition worsened to the point where I could barely even walk some days, it was no longer funny. I didn’t stop running and training because I wanted to. I stopped because my body broke down and I had to. As someone who is insanely hyperactive and has run competitively since middle school cross country and high school track, this was the worst thing that could have happened to me.
Around the same time my knees felt like they had been replaced with rocks, I stumbled upon the Kickbike and all hope was restored, and then some!
Growing up a kid in the 80’s, I remember the good ol days of pneumatic scooters and their freedom and coolness. Then growing up and seeing my kids ride these dinky little Razor scooters, I just assumed that scooters were just done for people like me.
With my new injury and situation to tend to, I started searching for a low impact alternative to running. Something that would still give me the sensation of running, but without the jarring impact. Although you would think that riding a bike would be a good solution, I have just never really liked feeling violated the way I do on a bike seat, no matter how ‘padded’ it is. I simply prefer to stand up (and medical science strongly agrees!).
My searching leads me to some articles on Kickbiking and its advantages to running and cycling and also how it can be used to effectively cross-train for marathons and triathlons. So here I am…face to face with what is easily the coolest scooter I have ever seen…made specifically for adults…and it solves all the issues that I am trying to solve. Is someone reading my diary?!
“Holy Shit!” I exclaim…over and over…understandably. I urgently order myself the Cruise Max. It seemed like the most versatile scooter in Kickbike’s arsenal, where they have scooters for just about every person and adventure you can think of.
As a kid, we rode scooters for fun. We would ollie over each other laying flat in the street and see how many steps we could clear. Now, I am old. I am a dad. I am nursing some significant ailments but I still have the energy of 10 year old me. So, how well can this newfound ‘adult kick scooter’ keep up with me and what I am wanting to accomplish? Brilliantly perfect – is the answer.
Scooters take no explanation. They are intuitive. You have to learn how to ride a bike, how to rollerskate, how to OneWheel…you do not have to learn how to ride a scooter. Kickbiking is such a natural thing to do, that it is impossible not to invision a world where bikes were never invented and this is the thing that everyone does. It just makes sense, especially when you are riding it.
So let me tell you just a bit about the Kickbike and my first impressions. They are simply sexy. Sleek and simple, with extraordinary fit and finish. You can feel the quality of the components and craftsmanship. They are designed in Helsinki, Finland so they have a bit of that exotic Euro-style, but still remind you of your childhood scooter. I call it a ‘familiar surpise’…it’s just a scooter after all, but you’ve never seen a scooter like this.
The ride…OH MY GOD the ride! Silky smooth like butter. You are only a couple inches off the ground, so you feel like you are gliding right over the street. Experimenting with different kick motions unlocks different speeds and works different muscle groups. Every time you ride a Kickbike, you will get better, more efficient and learn new kicks that do different things. The low center of gravity makes the ride very stable and connects you to the ground in a totally different way. Unlike a bicycle where you are perched up high, on a Kickbike you almost always have a foot on the ground or just an inch or two away. Taking fast turns, carving through crowds, rolling over loose gravel…it handles everything with extreme confidence.
Not for the shy, you will be hard pressed to go anywhere and not have every person ask you what you are riding, if they can try it and where to get it. Good thing these things are FAST and you can just zip on by.
So all that is fine and dandy (told you I was old)…but how is the workout? How can a scooter compete with good ol running and cycling? Well, not to destroy your hopes and dreams and everything you know about the world, but riding a Kickbike is simply a better, healthier workout than either of the ‘Big Two’. First off, it works all the same muscles as running and biking. All of them. Plus more core and upper body. It is very close to a total body workout. The best part, it is extremely low impact. I mean, dare I say, zero impact. I am not even kidding when I say that I can barely jog to the end of my street at this point, but I can Kickbike 10+ miles for hours at a time and not feel one bit of pain during or after the ride. The kicking motion actually stretches and lengthens you leading to a loose and relaxed feeling even after a grueling ride. It truly is like nothing I have ever tried.
On average you can expect to burn twice as many calories as riding a bike, and cover twice as much ground as running. At first I was hoping that by training on a Kickbike for a while, I could rehab myself to the point where I could start running again. But that flawed logic would just land me back to where I was when I was a hobbling mess. Right now, I feel great. I spend hours each day exercising and exploring outside. My knee has little pain and my body feels great. When I ride I feel a sense of renewed youthfulness, that younger me would be very proud of. Kickbike America’s motto of ‘Feel Like A Kid, Train Like A Pro’ is very accurate. If you are like me, or headed that way, I would strongly suggest you take a look at Kickbike’s impressive fleet of adult (and kids) scooters. I cannot say this emphatically enough, you have never seen anything like this. I would bet a million dollars, that these will be the next big thing.