A scooter for Beijing, by Nicholas Flesch

There are few adventures that match riding an electric scooter through Beijing. Best of all, this adventure can be had every day. The electric scooter has replaced the bicycle as Beijingers’ transportation of choice, and as such they are everywhere. Little dealerships are located on almost every street corner, and you can pick one up for less than $500 new or $200 used. They’re great for getting around, too, so long as you can develop a Zen attitude when it comes to traffic.

Traffic rules are fluid here; people do what’s convenient when it’s convenient. For every person going along with the flow of traffic there is another person going against it, and for all those people there’s going to be someone coming at you from the side. I don’t know how it all works out, but somehow between the slaloming between oncoming traffic and slow moving grandpas no one gets hurt and everyone makes it to where they’re going more or less on time.

Although in the first month or two a scooter, new or used, feels like a big investment it’s worth it. The freedom it gives is great. It makes getting around so much easier. I don’t have to figure out the bus schedules or wait for the buses. I just walk out my door, hop on my scooter, and take off to wherever I want to go (within about a 20 kilometer range).

The only word of advice I have for buying a scooter is to expect nothing, and that way you will expect everything.

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