A couple of Sundays ago, I had just returned from Virginia, where my co-authors and I finished writing our third book, “My Calamity Jane” (due out in 2020! You can find our earlier Lady Janies books online). It was Sunday night, which means bar trivia at Piper Down. A short 17 blocks or so from where I was.
I know what you’re thinking: It would be a really great idea to rent one of those Lime scooters and ride it 17 blocks down State Street. Well, reader, my boyfriend and I were thinking the exact same thing! Because scooters are fun!
At least, they look fun. And super easy to navigate. And economical. And being electric, they’re environmentally friendly. So, it’s a win all the way around. We were ready to have fun and save planet Earth.
We rode in bike lanes for the first few blocks on 300 South.
No problem. I have to say, we rocked it. If two people could get awards for urban scootering (is “scootering” a word? I’m making it one), we would win gold. Well, I would’ve won the gold, and my boyfriend would’ve taken the silver, because I had a few more points for style. I was wearing cowboy boots.
Then, because my boyfriend and I are brilliant, once we turned on State Street, we decided to ride on the sidewalk. State Street is kinda big and busy; it just made sense. And that’s where the real fun began.
And by fun, I mean the seventh circle of hell.
Sidewalks are not smooth. They are uneven. They are vultures waiting for naïve scooterers. They are the Venus flytraps of city infrastructure. They need their own horror film franchise.
The first time I fell, I thought, “OK, glad I got that out of the way.” I’m one to learn from my mistakes.
But the sidewalk was a tenacious foe.
The second time I fell, the sidewalk drew first blood. Literally. It was running down my leg.
I know that most things come in threes, but by this point, I had definitely learned my lesson. I slowed down and focused on steering. Not that I wasn’t steering before, but this time I was really going to steer.
Many consider State Street to be a straight road, but it isn’t. Or at least that night it wasn’t. I swear it was filled with hairpin turns, blind corners and several unforeseen forks in the road.
But I steered as if my life depended on it. Because it did.
The third time I fell, I became personally acquainted with the concept of road rash.
By the time we made it to Piper Down, we were bruised and bloodied, and I was digging rocks out of my hands. My boyfriend had crashed, too. The third time he fell, he got hit by a car. It was parked.
In a show of incredible restraint, we didn’t throw the scooters in the dumpster. We did, however, give them the bird.
We tried to compete at trivia, but halfway through we were still bleeding, and it was getting on the carpet. And to add insult to injury, we were in last place.
So we decided to go home.
We took a Lyft.
Brodi Ashton is a New York Times best-selling author who lives in the Salt Lake City area. She’s also an Uber and Lyft driver who shares stories from the road in this occasional column.