As the resident gadget geek, I’ve been very quiet lately about gear readers might want to check out. Fortunately, a recent visit to Top Toys at Solana changed all that. Top Toys is ground zero for all things Micro Scooters and roller blades.
I say it is ground zero because the shop belongs to Ralf Duering, Mr. Scooter himself (and a beijingkids board member). It’s a great toy store, but the crown jewel is the selection of scooters and the pleasure of testing out each model on the smooth floors of the shopping mall (something that would never be allowed in lawsuit-crazed USA).
By the time I had spent 20 minutes looking at the scooters and testing them out, I concluded that there were four models that I simply had to have for myself – forget buying one for my little girl (ostensibly the reason I was there in the first place)!
In the end, I took Ralf’s advice and selected a Monster Kickboard model, a robust device with three fat wheels that makes getting around feel more like surfing or skateboarding (two wheels in the front and one in the back).
The beast oozes so much cool that the first day I rode it, a guy on a motorbike stopped me on the street to find out where he could buy one. These things are awesome, much safer than their two-wheel brethren, and simply must be tried to understand how great they are. The best part is that my daughter and I can now ride our scooters around town together. Even my wife wants to get one.
We set my daughter up with an awesome pink and black Maxi Micro T-bar scooter that can even handle my weight. In accessories, she picked out a detachable bag and a few safety lights for riding in the dark. (Fun tip: When placed on the strobe setting, the flashing lights turn any an elevator into an impromptu dance party.)
I thought she might resist the three-wheel design (again, with two in the front), but she actually loved being able to ride with one hand. I’m more impressed with the added stability and safety of the design. Ralf happened to be in the shop, so he spent a few minutes showing Reina how to safely dismount in an emergency and adjusting the scooter just right for her.
After getting my hands on one, I couldn’t help but take it out for a serious test ride – could it really serve as a practical mode of transportation and not simply recreation? I passed up a taxi, shoved off from Solana, and headed down the bike lane towards Jenny Wang’s in Lido. About 20 minutes later, I arrived feeling exhilarated. The scooter works fine for long hauls, but it’s even better for running errands around the neighborhood and just cruising for fun.
Bottom line, Micro Scooters are way better than other brands I’ve tried in Beijing (I’m looking at you, Decathlon) and are worth the higher price point, considering how many more years a Micro is going to last. The quality of the construction and the fluidity of the wheels (the secret lies in the ball bearings) make a huge difference in how far your own power will take you.
Here’s even more incentive: Micro Scooter will be holding a sale on May 26 and 27 for International Kids’ Day and to promote scooter safety. Although the scooters themselves never go on sale, you’ll be able to purchase two accessories or pieces of safety gear (helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, bags, and bottle holders) at 50 percent off if you buy a Micro Scooter.
To shop online, visit Micro Scooters’ Taobao shop or head to Top Toys in Solana while supplies last. For directions to Top Toys, call 5905 6810.
Photo courtesy of Micro Scooters