August Lipp

Behold, the mighty and beloved e-scooter! After these high-tech “electric personal transportation devices” took Silicon Valley by storm, they raced across the country... at which point a whole bunch of cities either kicked them out or served them with cease-and-desist orders, so then they ended up in Portland? Cool!

E-scooters are now the hottest craze in town—it seems like one can’t go 10 feet without seeing a fashionable tech bro scoot-scootin’ along, and one for sure can’t go 10 feet without tripping on an e-scooter that another fashionable tech bro has dumped in the middle of the sidewalk. Like the mighty and beloved Segway, e-scooters are clearly the transportation of the future—but are they right for you? Read on!

Is an e-scooter right for me?

That depends! Do you consider yourself “too good” for public transportation? Did you fail driver’s ed? Are you physically able to walk or bike, but just, y’know, don’t feel like it? If you answered “yes” to each of these questions, an e-scooter could be for you!

Should I wear a helmet?

Yes, dummy. The only reason not to wear a helmet while riding a questionably engineered piece of poorly maintained technology is to preserve your dignity. For you, that is no longer a concern; you lost all dignity the moment you stepped onto an e-scooter.

I have one friend. Can they ride on my e-scooter with me?

Legally? No. Technically? Yes! You will crash.

Can I ride on the sidewalk?

Legally? No. Technically? Yes! Portland’s police officers are way too busy dealing with actual criminals who do not look like giant fucking dorks.

I heard e-scooters are only in Portland as part of a “pilot project.” When will this pilot project end?

Portland’s e-scooter pilot project will conclude when each and every e-scooter has been chucked into the river.

Many Portlanders dislike e-scooters, mock those who ride e-scooters, and enjoy chucking e-scooters into the river. But e-scooters have gotta be better than cars, right?

They totally are! But, like bumper cars, it’s maybe a bit disingenuous to get all high and mighty about riding them. Our children are already doomed to scream and die in a vicious and unrelently horrific ecological hellscape; e-scooting to the Doug Fir doesn’t exactly make you Captain Planet. You need way more facepaint to be Captain Planet.

Can I do cool tricks and sweet jumps on an e-scooter?

HELL YEAH BRO! If you’re gonna scoot, SCOOT-SCOOT TO THE X-TREME! (Please note: “Cool tricks” are limited to “starting,” “stopping, usually,” and “letting another app owned by Silicon Valley vampires gather all of your personal and financial information and obsessively record and sell your every movement.” “Sweet jumps” are limited to “small curbs.”)

Support The Portland Mercury

Can one wake up, get just a little bit high, rent an e-scooter, ride that e-scooter into the street, onto the sidewalk, into the Mercury’s office building, down the hall, into the elevator, out of the elevator, down the other hall, through the Mercury’s front doors, and around and around in a loop around the Mercury editors’ desks while shouting “SCOOT-SCOOT TO THE X-TREME”?

Yes! But only if someone (Suzette) holds the doors open for you! Also, you should be aware that if you do, you might crash at full speed into the newsroom just a little bit, and then someone (Steve) might make you (me) write this piece as punishment.