Meet the Scooterers of Harvard

By Betty Anne Richardson

Mother Nature has rightfully respected the Scooter Hustle this Fall and I feel truly #blessed. Had it not been for the beautiful weather these past few months, I would have already spent my entire life savings on one-mile Uber rides, and thus would have never fallen in love with my Razor A5 LUX Kick Scooter, and thus would have never maximized my glute and quadricep game.

Scootering on Harvard’s beloved campus is something of a beautiful phenomenon. Just a few years ago I may have questioned the sanity of a passerby riding his scooter up the cobblestones of DeWolfe Street, but today I smile admirably at my fellow scooterers, knowing full well that we would make great friends. There are more and more Harvardians whipping out their Razors (or Yaaks) past the Science Center by the day, each with their own wonderfully unique perspective on Scootering at Harvard. Some scooter for the convenience, others scooter for the accessibility, and a select few (myself included) scooter because the shuttle just doesn’t come around often enough.

Every scooterer has a story that deserves to be heard. Learn from five Scooterers of Harvard about what scooters they rep, their best/worst scootering spots, their worst scootering injuries, and how to “to ignore the haters and just keep on scooting.”

Roman L. Berens '16

Scooter of preference: Razor A5– red

Flyby: Worst injury?
RLB: I was on the way back from MIT from some event and I totally just wiped out. I think I was on the street and saw a car coming so I tried to get on the sidewalk and I didn’t make the angle steep enough so I grazed against it. Because my hands were on the handlebar, I fell forward and my face actually hit the pavement. My chest absorbed most of it, but my face hit the pavement and my hands were under so they couldn’t do anything. Then I got a bloody nose, so that was the worst of it. So that was probably the worst I’ve had– a bloody nose and some scraped up palms, which is really not that bad.

Flyby: Best scootering spot?
RLB: The downhill on the street over from UHS is pretty great. That one is really good because you can come right out of one of the Harvard gates from the Yard and you go down that street, and then you take a very slight right and you coast across two lanes and then right up the street to Lowell gate. Lowell gate is on an uphill, but you’re going so fast that you don’t even notice. So that’s a fun one.

Flyby: Worst scootering spot?
RLB: I mean, a lot of them. The cobblestones are pretty awful– the bricks and whatnot. The Common actually, if you’re going up to the Quad and you decide to cut through the long stretch of pavement in the Cambridge Commons and not on the sidewalk, the pavement there is so bad. They’re redoing it now. There were just so many cracks big enough that you would go over it and get stuck.

Flyby: Any special scooter moments?
RLB: About two weekends ago, I was over at a different event down at MIT and I scootered over there and then my friends decided to come. When we were headed back to the dorm, my friends took the T and I wanted to save a few bucks and didn’t want to take the scooter on the T and whatever, so I just scootered back. I actually beat them and got dressed into relaxed clothes, because I was dressed up for the event, and used to bathroom and everything before they got back from the T. And I didn’t think I was going insanely fast, I guess the T was a little slow. It does save time and it saved me like 5 bucks that night. I got pretty sweaty, particularly in a suit, but yeah it’s pretty fast.

Amanda M. Pirola '17

Scooter of preference: Small Razor or Yaak

Flyby: How long have you been scootering?
AMP: I’d like to say I started scootering 6 to 8 weeks ago. It was right at the beginning of the year. So basically it started because my blockmate got a bike and we have class Tuesday and Thursday together up by Pierce, which is kind of far from Dunster...and I was like I can’t run next to you or trot awkwardly so he was like, "You can use my scooter" and I was like, "Sure, sounds good." So it started off as a Tuesday-Thursday kind of thing. Like he would bike and I would scooter. Still looked kind of weird doing it.

Flyby: Best scooter spot?
AMP: Best spot hands-down is down Mount Auburn. It starts all the way up at the Fox, then you just cruise all the way down by Lowell and the garden, then you gotta get into the bike lane by Quincy. It’s just bliss. Or going down Lamont hill, also known as "Lamontimanjaro." It’s fun, but also kind of scary considering you’re going straight towards an intersection, whereas at least going down Mount Auburn, you just cruise.

Flyby: Do you feel super cool when you scooter past people?
AMP: Well sometimes I get random comments, like if it’s 10:06 and I’m on a scooter going to class and there are people walking I’ve gotten comments like, "Ugh, I wish I had your scooter," because they’re late to class and I’m only gonna be a little late to class. Then if I’m passing someone I know peripherally, everyone is always happier to see you when you’re on a scooter. You get comments like, "Nice scooter’ or "I like your Razor." Then you get the haters. I’m gonna go with the majority of my inner circle hates the scooter. I’ve gotten some derogatory things yelled at me like, ‘You look like a loser.’ Also sometimes if you’re passing a cute boy, you’re not sure if he’s gonna think, ‘"Wow, she’s really cool on a scooter,” or if he’s gonna think, "Why is this weirdo on a scooter?" You know? It’s kind of a tossup.

Christian J. Floyd '18

Scooter of preference: Red Razor A5

Flyby: How many people have you almost scootered into?
CJF: I haven’t actually hit anyone, but there was one pretty close call. So I was coming down the hill by Adams and The Crimson and it was raining and this guy was walking down and I saw his umbrella and I was like, "Oh shoot." I hit the umbrella, but luckily I didn’t hit him. He was kind of holding the umbrella out in front of him and I kind of flipped it with my head. Besides that, I haven’t really hit anyone.

Flyby: How many cars have you almost scootered into?
CJF: Uh, really only one, and this is really my only scootering accident. So I was scootering down DeWolfe Street the wrong way and a car started coming so I go to the side, and I’m trying to get on the curb, but it was covered by leaves so I flipped over the curb. I took a decent chunk of my knee with that fall.

Flyby: Best scooter spot?
CJF: The best scootering route is from the Science Center down to Lev at nighttime, because there’s no foot traffic and it’s downhill. So I can get there in 2 and a half minutes about. That’s my favorite. I go through Tercentenary Theater, out Widener Gate, down [Plympton Street], past Mt. Auburn, and then I’ll either turn and go down DeWolfe or I’ll go straight and take a left to Lev.

Flyby: Do you feel super cool when you scooter past people?
CJF: I don’t know if I feel super cool, but I feel like it takes a certain type of confidence to ride a scooter, because a lot of people kind of mess with you about riding a scooter. You see people even making fun of it on Yik Yak and stuff like that, but you have to ignore the haters and just keep on scooting. I don’t necessarily feel cool, but I also don’t feel like a "loser." It’s really convenient, so I think it’s worth it.

Gabby T. Sims '18

Scooter of preference: Razor A5 Lux Kick Scooter

Flyby: How many people have you scootered into?
GTS: Honestly, too many to count…people really don’t pay attention when they walk sometimes.

Flyby: Worst scootering spots?
GTS: The worst are right in front of the John Harvard Statue, the Science Center Plaza, especially during peak lunch hours, and the sidewalks along JFK. Also trying to scooter over the bridge is more taxing than it would seem.

Flyby: Do you have any special scooter moments?
GTS: Anytime I scooter past a proctor or tutor’s child who is also on a scooter always makes me feel great.

Willy S. Xiao '16

Scooter of preference: Small, blue Razor

Flyby: Worst injury?
WSX: I haven’t had any bad injuries, but with a scooter you never know what’s going to pop up in front of you, like a little curb, and then you flip. Especially at night. I bring my scooter with me essentially everywhere I go– when I go to New York and when I go to San Francisco, I like to bring the scooter along with me. You can fly with it– you can check it in and everything. In San Francisco one time, it was nighttime and I was scootering really fast, and this was right when I got my scooter, so I was trying to clock how fast I could go on it. So I was going and going and then I flipped over a little curb and I completely ate the dirt. I scraped my knees, but nothing really bad.

Flyby: Any special scooter moments?
WSX: I love just like sometimes when you’re scootering and someone’s like, "Oh yo I used to do that when I was like 7. I used to do tricks and stuff!" Then they take your scooter and try to do something cool with it. So that’s always fun. Also, all the moments in which I get some hatred. Those are pretty special and interesting.

Happy scootering, Harvard.

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