Well it is nice to be back after a few weeks' rest from writing. Honestly, it probably isn't the best idea since writing is an exercise just like running or riding a bicycle (or perhaps even a scooter) and when you return to the activity, you can feel stiff and sludgy - which is, to a degree, the way I feel at this moment about writing.
With exception of a few colleges and universities, school has resumed for practically everyone, including USC. While I have been looking forward to the new school year (as well as getting paid again), for the most part things have been uneventful - actually I should retract that, because I have been doing lectures and I am seen by my students as the professor - so that is kind of neat in a self-absorbed sort of way. Hey, at least I recognize it and am willing to admit i am partial to being self-absorbed, right?
And speaking of self-absorption, it very well may be the cause of me having to consider a name change for this blog, since I have been forced to change my mode of transportation due to my own lack of awareness, faulty memory, deep introspection, perhaps? Whatever the case may be, I left my beloved Xootr scooter on-board one of the LA MetroRail lines. Not only did I leave it, but it was quite some time before I even came to the realization of what I had done. Sure, once I realized what I had done, I was hoping for a Pasadena miracle (a few months ago I literally left my keys on a ledge on a busy Pasadena street and fortunately for me, someone turned them in), but I knew it was a long shot. To my displeasure, my scooter was gone forever.
It was a difficult adjustment being without the scooter. Distances I would do in only a few minutes seemed to take forever once I had to return to traversing them on foot. Having the scooter meant I was accustomed to traveling relatively short distances quickly and the loss of that ability to do so was extremely unnerving. So I set about looking at a replacement. And that is when the idea struck me that maybe I should consider moving beyond the Xootr - not because I disliked it, but because I was faintly aware of additional products I could consider that might offer even better portability and convenience. This is how I ended up with the A-Bike.
Those of you who know me pretty well, are familiar with my love of cycling. Not only do I consider it to be a wonderful form of exercise, I also find it to be an excellent form of transportation neglected by way too many Americans. Imagine how much better off physically so many of us could be if we were to cut out a car trip or two and ran an errand here or there by cycling to it instead of driving? I know I probably sound like a broken record (or for those of you too young - a scratched CD - a corrupted mp3 file?) when it comes to me encouraging greater use of bicycles and public transportation - but it is something I am convicted of and since I control this little patch of cyber paradise, I shall say what I please.
Now, where was I? Oh yes, the A-Bike. Before I say anything else, let me warn you, the A-Bike is not for everyone. To say it is unconventional would be an understatement. But it would to be unconventional, wouldn't it? Remember a few paragraphs ago I said I wanted something even more portable than my scooter. A bicycle more portable than a folding scooter would have to be small and unusual to meet both criteria. The A-Bike fits both definitions quite easily. Even as I write this, I am riding a Metro bus, with my A-Bike by my side. Convenient indeed.
When I carry the A-Bike in folded mode, it is not readily apparent exactly what kind of contraption it is. In some respects it could pass for a stroller or perhaps a grocery basket. There is not much besides the "A-Bike" script emblazoned on the side that gives a distinct clue to what it actually is. And another fine attribute of the A-Bike, aside from its uncanny potability, is how quickly it can be folded open or closed. The process is nearly effortless.
When it comes to riding, I am impressed with how well it rides and handles and how comfortable it is for short jaunts. Another unadvertised benefit is how much it can contribute to your exercise regimen. Riding it this past week made me feel almost feel as of I were in a spin class. At first glance, the bike looks more like a toy and is not the most graceful looking machine; if you're obsessed with cycling at high speeds, you certainly won't be doing with this machine. But if you could use a portable two-wheeled vehicle to compliment your commute, or as an emergency ride, consider the A-Bike.
Now, as for my scholarly misnomer. I was thinking - now that I am no longer scooting all around SoCal, calling myself the Scooting Scholar has now become technically incorrect - but alas the language provides for more alliterative terms and so I am considering a new moniker - OK, maybe not seriously, but I thought I would try it on you, my doting public nevertheless. What do you think of the Pedaling Pedagogue? Well I thought I would throw it out there - hey I just thought of something, if I am no longer the Scooting Scholar, what becomes of my now world famous tag? I've gotta crank simply doesn't cut it. Let's not think about that, shall we?
Well, I've still gotta scoot.