EVERETT — Saturday morning’s drenching rain turned out to be another teaching moment for people learning how to ride Lime’s electric scooters in Everett.
Go a little slower and press the brakes a little softer, said Renzee Sto Tomas, Lime’s scooter operations lead. Participants then made their way around a makeshift training course of orange cones in downtown Everett.
At Lime’s First Ride Academy, people learned how to ride scooters safely and responsibly. The green two-wheeled contraptions have become a fixture on sidewalks throughout the city, thanks to a three-month pilot project launched in May. They can be activated with a payment through the Lime smartphone app.
Riding them can be an intimidating prospect for some people, Tomas said, but it shouldn’t be. He sees the scooters as a new, convenient way to get around town.
At the event, Tomas told participants that they should inspect their scooters before riding them (making sure the brakes and wheels work, for example). They also should wear a helmet and use hand signals to make turns. And when the ride is over, park the scooters on the sidewalk in the “furniture zone,” the area where street lights and planters live, so they don’t obstruct pedestrians.
Also, he said, ride on the street, not on the sidewalk. Take advantage of bicycle infrastructure, he said.
Participant Sandra Dallas recalled the first time she rode one of the scooters, on the Fourth of July. “That thrill,” she said, of turning the throttle switch got her hooked. Before she knew it, she was zooming down the street.
Then she had to quickly figure out where the brake was. (It’s on the left handle.)
Dallas said riding a scooter was easier than riding a bicycle. Staying upright posed no challenge, she said, and most importantly, “It was a lot of fun.”
She admitted that she rode on the sidewalk her first go-round — a common mistake for first-timers. “We weren’t a menace,” she said. But not knowing the rules of the road is what inspired her to come to the First Academy event.
On Saturday, Dallas weaved through the training track, and the streets of downtown Everett during a group ride, like a seasoned pro.
The next First Ride Academy is slated for Aug. 24. People can RSVP at community.li.me/events/details/lime-seattle-presents-first-ride-academy-in-everett.
More information on how to use and ride Lime scooters can be found at www.li.me/electric-scooter.