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My electric scooter life: Riding e-scooter in Shenyang

By Luke Shen-Tien Chi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-11-27 14:47

The author is standing while driving on his e-scooter. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Celebrating my one-year anniversary, just over a month ago, as the proud owner of an e-scooter, I have thoroughly enjoyed the advantages of this lightweight mobility device in China. The e-scooter has made my commuting easier, and has allowed me to explore the city of Shenyang in a more efficient and eco-friendly way. Its compact foldable design and long battery life make it an appropriate choice for my urban transportation.

Over the past year, I have relied on this product as a favored alternative to buses or cabs. The frustration of waiting for a bus, particularly when a missed bus causes further delays, or the challenge of hailing a cab during inclement weather, even with the aid of an app, can be overwhelming. However, my scooter has saved my time and has provided a more enjoyable commute.

The first time I witnessed an e-scooter rider in person was in my neighborhood. He was a security guard who was cruising on one with a seat attached. It was a beautiful summer day, and I thought to myself that it would be nice to ride on one.

A photo of the author(R) with the owners of Muxi Coffee, with an e-scooter in the background. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Although it was a few years ago, in my pursuit of a reliable electric scooter, I continued to conduct extensive research to find the best quality product. When considering buying one, I considered several factors, including weight, design, distance capabilities, and, of course, price. When I finally found an attractive e-scooter, I waited a little longer until it went on sale to get a better price.

Because I'm not accustomed to riding an e-scooter, I bought it from JD.com, a popular app for online shopping of daily necessities. The scooter comes equipped with a seat that features multi-functional storage.

Before purchasing it, I inquired at various Shenyang Metro stations to ensure it was allowed on the subway system. The staff told me it was allowed, which further aided my decision-making process.

When my electric scooter arrived on Oct 22 of last year, I was thrilled. Just like people who buy a protective case and some sort of screen protector when they purchase a new phone, I also searched online for relevant accessories for my new scooter. To my surprise, I saw a broad selection of high-quality products available online.

Over the course of the past year, I have enjoyed some noteworthy experiences with my e-scooter. I would like to share some highlights with you. On Nov 3 of last year, I effortlessly zipped the South Market of Shenyang with ease, passing nine of my favorite shops. This was also the first time I brought my electric scooter onto the subway. A mere week and a half later, my scooter experienced its first ride in the trunk of a car. It then bravely tackled snowy terrain three days before Christmas.

In March of this year, I took my scooter on a food critic trip and captured sleek photos of myself and my mobile scooter at a city café. Additionally, I scheduled my first maintenance check-up for my ride during that month. Furthermore, I was able to operate my e-scooter while standing.

In light of all that has happened, I have gained unforeseen expertise in the guidelines for operating e-scooters on city roads and in the Shenyang subway system. Consequently, I autonomously developed the first draft of the E-scooter Standard Procedures for the subway. This document underwent two rounds of revisions incorporating public feedback and my own fresh ideas.

Recently, I discovered that the eSkootr Championship was in its second year of competition. I jumped at the chance to create a new type of e-scooter racing called E-Scooter Obstacle Racing. The eSkootr Championship is the first International Electric Scooter Championship that focuses on speed racing, while E-Scooter Obstacle Racing requires racers to navigate through a predetermined course filled with obstacles.

One of the best takeaways of riding my e-scooter is the e-scooter app in Chinese mainland. Each time I ride, I earn non-purchasable N-Coins, which can be exchanged for free items or donate it to a welfare program. I particularly appreciate the donation feature, as it provides a sense of purpose and satisfaction knowing that I am assisting those in need. The welfare projects introduced are truly meaningful, and I have continuously gifted all of my N-Coins since the sixth launch.

Although owning an electric scooter is just one of the benefits of being a Chinese foreigner residing in Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province in Northeast China. Currently, I head the first Shenyang Ninebot E-scooter Club, which consists of a small group of e-scooter enthusiasts who share a common interest in the subject. For the readers in search of transportation solutions, I wish you success in finding your perfect ride of mobility.

Luke Shen-Tien Chi is an American spokenologist and writer. The article presented is solely the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of China Daily.

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