Scooter parking is taking over places on campus previously reserved for bikes and bike riders are now living in anxious fear.
Scooter parking is taking over places on campus previously reserved for bikes and bike riders are now living in anxious fear. By Eileene J. Lee

Choose Your Own Adventure: Biking in a Scooter-Driven World

Every way you turn, scooters are taking over campus. What route do you take?
By Adelaide E. Parker

[Introduction]: After a long day agonizing over Hegel’s “Elements of the Philosophy of Right,” your Social Studies 10A lecture is finally over. You step out of William James Hall, ready to seize the afternoon. In 15 minutes, you and your friends are getting an early dinner in Mather Dhall.

Your mission: Make it from William James Hall back to Mather.

As a Harvard student, you’re all about efficiency—and Mather is way too far from William James Hall for you to walk. You strut over to the WJH bike racks to pick up your bike.

When you get there, something is off. The normally empty racks are packed — but not with bikes. Now that scooters can’t be parked inside anymore, they’ve started to invade the campus bike racks. You push through a swarm of electric scooters to reach your bicycle.

As you unlock your bike, the scooters turn toward you. (You shudder, thinking back to last semester, when you witnessed your roommate get run over by a flock of scooter-riding water polo players. Ever since the incident, he still can’t walk up stairs).

You can feel their aggression, and you jump on your bike. The scooters follow in close pursuit.

You dart onto Divinity Avenue and narrowly lose them. You’re safe—for now—but a long journey awaits you.

What route do you take? To bike through the Yard, proceed to section 1. To bike through the Law School, proceed to section 2.

[1]: You start to bike through the Yard—but you chose an awful time to pass by Annenberg. Ec 10 just ended, and soon you’re trapped in a mob of 700 freshmen walking back from class. How are you supposed to ride through this?

“Psst!” Someone catches your attention from across the Science Center Plaza. You turn around. It’s an Ec Bro™.

“Are you on your way to Mather?” he says. “Follow me, I know a shortcut.”

To follow him proceed to section 3. To keep biking on your own, proceed to section 4.

[2]: You’re halfway across the Law School campus when a man in a suit stops you.

“Excuse me, but you’re going to have to come with me,” he says. You tell him you’re in a hurry, but he won’t listen. “Harvard Law procedure,” he snaps. Rolling your eyes, you follow him into the Caspersen Center.

When you step in the door, you’re walking into a full-on courtroom. But something catches your eye. The judge is not seated at a bench, but rather, perched on a scooter.

“All rise!” shouts another suit-clad law student. “We’re placing you on trial for violating HLS’s new transportation law.”

The Law School has outlawed bikes, you learn. The only vehicles allowed on campus now are electric scooters.

“How can you put me on trial; I didn’t even know this law existed!” you shout.

“It’s too late,” says the jury in unison. “We’ve already decided your punishment.” A student snaps a pair of handcuffs on you and begins to lead you out of the building.

“Where are you taking me!,” you plead. The jury turns around.

“For your crime, you’re sentenced to leave campus and never return,” they say. “From now on, you no longer go to Harvard. You’ll be attending a new school now.”

They place you on a bus headed toward New Haven.

[3]: The Ec Bro™ leads you into the Littauer Center.

“Hey, I thought you said you knew a shortcut, but this is in the opposite direction from Mather!” you exclaim.

Ec Bro™ ignores you. “Haven’t you ever wondered what Ec 10 really stands for?” he asks. He gestures to a giant “EC 10” poster on the wall behind him. Part of the poster is obscured by a tarp.

He rips the tarp away, revealing the class’s true name. “EleCtric Scooter 10.” You start to back away, but the exit behind you is blocked by a row of scooters. You frantically search for a door, a window, something — but the scooters are everywhere. They circle in on you, and you can hear Ec Bro™ cackle. Amidst the buzz of electric wheels, everything fades to black…

[4]: It took 40 minutes to make it through the swarm of freshmen, but you’re finally back to Mather. You dock your bike and walk into Mather Dhall.

“So sorry I’m late, you won’t believe the afternoon I’ve ha—”

Your friends turn around. Where you expected to see human faces, you now see only handlebars. You drop your tray in shock, and your utensils clatter across the floor. You look down.

Where your two feet should be, you see a set of wheels. You dash to the bathroom—it can’t be true! But when you look in the mirror, your worst fears are confirmed.

You’ve been a scooter this whole time.

— Magazine Staff Writer Adelaide E. Parker can be reached at