Broken Cyclist Scoots Back to Health

Most parents just want to keep up with their kids on a scooter ride. But doing that on a kid’s scooter just feels, well, a bit silly. Perhaps that’s why sales of Micro adult scooters have gone ballistic – all the fun without looking foolish. But footing it with scooter-crazy kids isn’t the only benefit of riding an adult scooter. We talk to one parent who is scooting his way back to health after a horror cycle accident.

Richard Carter loves cycling. On his last ride, about a year ago, he was taking a downhill at speed when a cat shot out from the curb, taking out his front wheel and sending him to the tarmac.

What happened to the cat we don’t know, but Richard’s pelvis was in pieces. “The pelvis is your centre of gravity – it’s your life force. And when it breaks, you’re munted,” he says. After a month in hospital recovering from surgery he was sent home to lie still for the next three months.

When he was able to stand, he faced the gruelling journey of rehabilitation – about 18 months of hard slog, including six months on crutches and, eventually, a walking stick.

“When you’re rehabilitating from a massive injury, you have to keep an open mind and be up for anything that’ll help. So you follow your physio’s programme and work in your own activities. Key is mixing it up to keep things interesting, and if something works – do it more. The more you do, the better.”

The aim of rehabilitation was to massively increase strength, function and flexibility in his core and hips. Three months on his back had left him as weak as a kitten.

“After three months on my back, my glutes and quads were wasted. So I had to get power back into these areas.”

scooting back to health

Richard in hospital after the crash, and with his scooter

That was then, in hospital after the crash.....This is now, back on his feet and scooting up a storm

Inch by inch Richard worked his way back from almost total immobility; in the pool, on a static bike, and with gentle planking (isn’t that the definition of an oxymoron?)

He got to the point where he could stand, creep along on crutches, and cruise on a bike. It was then he saw his daughter’s Micro scooter in a whole new light.

“I knew Micro scooters – and thought of them as the gold standard for scooters – for kids. My daughter loved hers for years, but it never occurred to me use it – until then.”

Richard started using his daughter’s old scooter, a lot, and was soon knocking out loops of 5km a day. Her Sprite did the trick until the day Richard went into Saints Cycles and saw their range of Micro Adult Scooters. “Holy shit, this looks awesome,” Richard thought when he saw the Flex+ with its 200mm wheels and flexible deck. He took it for a spin and bought one on the spot.

The Flex+ took things to another level and soon has was doing 10-12km loops around Stonefields and St John’s.

“The action of transferring pushing power into motion when you scoot engages the glutes and quads. It’s a weight-bearing exercise, but not jolting like running. And if you come off – which I haven’t – you’re unlikely to injure yourself as you would in a bicycle crash.” He’d know.

Now back at work, Richard keeps his daughter’s scooter at his desk to scoot around the office (it’s big) and Newmarket. “I still don’t like walking, so I scoot instead. It feels great flying around on the scooter - I get a lot of smiles, and a few sideways looks that say ‘aren’t you too old for this?’” he says with a laugh.

Scooting makes perfect sense to Richard. Everyone should have one – to make their commute faster and easier and infinitely more enjoyable.

So what does Richard’s physio think? “He thinks it’s awesome and says it makes good sense. When you work out at the gym you’re isolating muscle groups… but scooting’s all about dynamic strengthening – it’s a whole body thing which is exactly what I need.”