By: Kit Friday
Ever since seeing Roman Holiday as a teenager, I’ve longed for a scooter. I mean, who isn’t enchanted with the freedom and convenience that their image alone communicates. But at some point between the TV screen and reality I got caught up in a self-doubt spiral about my ability to actually drive and maintain one. I’ve never really given up on the dream though, so when my friend started raving about her new GenZe 2.0 scooter and how easy it was to ride and take care of, my interest was immediately piqued.
I’m going to be honest with you right here and now. I am not the most graceful person in the world. As a result, activities that require an advanced degree of coordination make me nervous. But after extensive research (and too many parking tickets), I decided to overcome my insecurities and take a leap of faith and make the GenZe 2.0 my own. I read the handbook. I watched some YouTube videos. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to get into – and I mean this in the best way possible. Let’s put it this way, from pushing the start button, to my first timid revs of the scooter in the beginner mode, I was cruising, braking, and turning up and down my little street within ten minutes. TEN MINUTES! Less time than it takes to make macaroni and cheese from box to plate.
One thing that makes the 2.0 so user friendly is the three built in ride settings: Easy, Econ and Sport. I cannot express how critical the Easy setting was in removing my doubts. This ultra-forgiving setting, specifically designed to help a new learner safely build up their confidence and skills, is the jam. There is literally no way you can fail with it. The speed is low, the throttle is forgiving, and the braking is set so that you aren’t going to end up face down. Once the basics are conquered, the Econ setting is the next step. Faster and a little more advanced, this setting lets you actually see how ripping the pick-up is. I’m told it has something to do with the PCM, but I am not saddling myself with understanding the nuts and bolts of that at this particular moment in time. What I do know is that within an hour I was zipping down to my corner store to pick up a case of beer like a boss. Before going home to crack a cold one, I decided to put on my big girl pants and try out the Sport setting. One word: ZOOM! So much fun! This setting quickly gets you to the 2.0’s top speed of 30mph. It is what I dreamt owning a scooter was going to be like: zipping past traffic, wind in my hair, an enormous smile on my face.
Seeing as I overcame my irrational fear of riding a scooter in less time than it takes to dry a load of towels, I decided that perhaps it was time to address some other worries. This one is a little more-deep seated, going back to the first car I ever bought. She was older and had some problems. So when I drove her a little to hectically and the check engine light went on, I pretended I was colorblind and could not see it glowing angry red at me–until it was too late. I’m not going to even get into how much it cost to repair her, but suffice to say, I still get an angry feeling to this day. Having been burned once, I have developed a phobia that I am going to break expensive things. Suddenly I was looking at my scooter like perhaps I should touch it with white gloves and call a mechanic every week. I picked up the user manual and started reading in a panic. Turns out the good people at GenZe are psychics as well as talented engineers. Taking care of your 2.0 is literally duh proof. The 2.0 connects with a companion app that runs a full diagnostic letting you know the SECOND something goes south, and it lets the folks at GenZe know too. I’m an adult, I take care of problems, but knowing someone else is looking out for my scooter puts my mind at ease in ways I cannot even appropriately express.
I’m not one to rhapsodize easily. Don’t get me wrong, I like to take risks and try new things. I fall in love with new ways to live with my life, but this affection is usually earned in a grander span of time. Somehow the 2.0 transcended that space/time continuum and integrated itself into my life perfectly. It’s funny because if you had told me three months ago that I would be confidently zipping around town on my own little electric scooter, I would have thought you were insane. But that’s my reality now, and I couldn’t be happier.