We’re fans of change. Scientific advancement, technological innovation, and civil and social progressivism bejewel a century largely colored by war. But as any gentleman or lady of dignified vintage might express (and often they do) there are some positive attributes of past days that change has left by the wayside. Among these, the reduction, and in some cases, complete loss, of manner and etiquette resound prominently. While the vast adoption of liberalism helped to pull the world from the dangers and pain of the Second World War, its tenets – human equality, chief among them – influenced not only the way in which social classes interacted, lived, worked, and from time to time, thrived together, or the way in which government treats its citizens, but also the way people engaged one another on a person to person and peer-to-peer basis.
“Good evening.” “Good Day.” “Pardon.” “Excuse me.” “Please, thank you.” “Sir.” “Madam.” Have given way to “Sup.” “Sup man.” “Alright alright.” “Mmmmhmmmm.” “My Bad.” “Nah, you’re good.” And “All good.”
And while in some cases the rejection of unneeded formality may foster familiarity, it often informs environments that lack respect. Where the language slips, so do actions: standing to greet someone; standing when a friend or partner leaves the dining table; waiting to eat until everyone has been served; looking someone in the eye during a toast; entering a cab by its opposite side so your partner need not shift over in the seat; assisting someone weak or elderly with bags and groceries; holding open a door. No, we’re not sticklers for complete adherence to old world rules of propriety, but their complete abandonment does nothing to improve interpersonal interaction, and often produces not only more casual, but sadly, less compassionate environments. As is deftly delivered by British actor Colin Firth in 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, “Manners maketh man.”
Modernity presents its hopes and its challenges, and the advent of the 21st century’s electric scooter is no exception to the rule. The commuting, riding, cruising, carrying, storing, and plugging in-and-out of your scooter brings with it a list of conundrums for the modern lady or gentleman, and, for the benefit of not only Unagi riders, but the entire community of electric scooter users at large, we sat down and jotted down some guidelines for proper e-scooter etiquette.
1. The Cross
Contemporary sidewalks are a far cry from the pedestrian freeways of yesteryear. Scooters, bikes, skateboards, and electric versions of all three dot sidewalks from New York City to Kathmandu. And although in some places – like Venice, CA – micro mobile vehicles have lived side by side with pedestrians for decades, only over the past few years have riders needed to stay on active alert for other riders. One of the most common scootering predicaments comes when facing an approaching rider form the opposite direction. Which way do you go? Right! Always go right. Make sure you get the attention of and meet eyes with the approaching rider, and indicate – early – with your eyes or a tilt of the head that you will indeed veer right. If needed, get the attention of the other rider with a horn or bell. Making sure you’re both cognizant of each other will keep you from colliding!
2. Riding in Pairs
Riding next to your partner or best friend on an electric scooter can be one of the most enjoyable recreational activities you can take up this summer. As the heat comes out, having a bit of breeze in your hair is unbeatable, but remain aware of others sharing the sidewalk (in areas where you’re permitted to ride on the sidewalk). Ride side by side when space permits, but when lunch hour hits its peak and the streets get crowded, take up a single-file riding position, always keeping an eye on the speed of your friend in front of you. When conditions clear up, resume the tandem ride and enjoy keeping pace with one another!
3. Fold It UpWhen you buy an Unagi, you buy the easiest-to-fold, one-click collapsible scooter in the world! Don’t be the guy or girl who doesn’t take the split second to fold your scooter before entering a restaurant, store, or coffee shop. The fold not only makes it easier for you to navigate the crowds in a closed space, it also gives your fellow shoppers and diners more wiggle room when things get busy. Not to mention, store employees will thank you for it. Show enough etiquette, and you’ll find the staff of whichever establishment you’re visiting more than willing to help you get a charge while you take a load off!
4. “Excuse Me”
Your horn is really meant to be used sparingly. When riding in traffic, or if there is any sort of immediate impediment that might make your ride precarious, by all means, sound the alarm. When you’re simply stuck behind a slow moving pedestrian; however, “excuse me” more than suffices. No, you don’t have to wait until you’re inches behind the party in question and decelerate to a crawl before making your presence known (which might also make for an awkward surprise), use a moderate outdoor voice to signal your proximity and pass by leaving a good amount of buffer between you and the pedestrian. Remember, a conscientious rider is a safe rider!
5. Light It Up!
This might be more of a safety tip than an etiquette tip, but sometimes they go hand in hand. Even when cruising on our Sea Salt or Cosmic Blue Unagis, it can be hard to see a rider at night! Moreover, when moving at speed, it can be difficult to see pedestrians at nighttime on dimmer streets. You have a super bright headlight, use it! Drivers and pedestrians will see you coming from distance, and you’ll be able to catch people and objects before it’s too late to execute the proper maneuver. Stay lit people!