You may have seen people whizzing through downtown sidewalks on all sorts of “e-rideables,” those electric-powered scooters, hoverboards and unicycles also known as “personal transportation devices.” They go so fast but Seattle Sketcher Gabriel Campanario recently caught up with one of these e-riders.
Sketched Jan. 10, 2018
You may have seen people whizzing through downtown sidewalks on all sorts of “e-rideables,” those electric-powered scooters, hoverboards and unicycles also known as “personal transportation devices.”
It’s been hard tracking one of these e-riders down — they go so fast! But I recently caught up with one at a traffic light and he was happy to meet me later with his $1,000 SoloWheel Classic in front of his office building.
More Seattle SketcherSeattle Times news artist Gabriel Campanario has been capturing Seattle's places and people in hand-drawn sketches for more than a decade. To see past columns, visit the Seattle Sketcher home page. A selection of prints is available for sale through The Seattle Times store, or you may fill out an illustration request to order a specific image.
Ryan Dao started using an electric unicycle last year to cut down on his commute time. He said it was not feasible to spend 45 minutes each way to go from his apartment on the top of Queen Anne Hill to his office downtown by a combination of bus and walking. The unicycle saves him an hour every day and makes him look forward to his commute, he said. Another plus: It doesn’t take much room in his tiny apartment and requires little maintenance.
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Dao, a 27-year-old software engineer from Hanoi, said Seattle is well suited for using e-rideables because the sidewalks have lowered ramps at crosswalks. Electric unicycles are also ideal to climb up hills, though he admitted it’s tricky to go down.
To learn how to ride, he recommends having someone teach you, and there’s already a Facebook group for Seattle e-riders where people can seek advice.
The existence of the group is a sign that e-rideables are only going to get more popular around here, said Dao. “It makes a lot sense because Seattle is getting more crowded and public transportation doesn’t get you everywhere.”
P.S.: I’ll be keeping an eye for e-riders using other types of machines for a future sketch. Are you one of them? Contact me at email@example.com.