How Do You Feel About Go-Peds / Gas Scooters?

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KnowMatterWhat
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How Do You Feel About Go-Peds / Gas Scooters?

Post by KnowMatterWhat » Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:13 pm

I posted this on the Tribe and thought I'd add it here as well:

I'm all for freedom and mobility, I really am; but I can't understand why gas scooters are still allowed to freely roam Black Rock City. The City is dusty (and noisy) enough without scooters quickly zipping about, often without regard for others. Even when the riders obey the 5 M.P.H. speed limit, scooters raise a LOT of added dust.

It seems DMV goes to great lengths ensuring Mutant vehicles are Playa worthy and drivers are briefed on the rules of the road and protocols. Yet scooters get the automatic thumbs up to buzz around. I'm wondering why?

I've tolerated the go-peds (and their drivers) over the years, but this year I made a silent resolution to lobby against them for future burns.

So I intend to send a simple and polite email to [email protected] asking them to reconsider their policy of allowing go-peds to be ridden by the general population in Black Rock City. Perhaps if anyone else out there is inspired, they will do the same and pass the word along to other Burners.

Here's the link to BMORG's current policy: http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/ ... iving.html

It starts by stating: Black Rock City is designed for pedestrians and bicycles. Movement of vehicles during Burning Man is limited.
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Post by HughMungus » Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:17 pm

I thought they were already NOT allowed (?)

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Post by Tiahaar » Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:15 pm

I too would be happy to have the event free of the gas scooters. Pedal bikes/trikes/quads/whatever are better anyway. Electric scooters are quieter but need a (possibly) noisy generator to recharge. The very few who cannot pedal or walk could get exempted via the handicap placard route. Walking is great out there and even a (very) heavy thing can be pedaled. Got lots of personal experience there. My trike is several hundred pounds. A light bike coasts along almost effortlessly.
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gas scooters

Post by chinook » Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:42 pm

Even though I was a virgin burner this year, and went with an open mind and no real expectations, I too found the gas scooters annoying. To me the whole Burning Man experience is not about getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible. In doing so you miss so much, even if you're just making a trip to the porta potties. We were on 8 o'clock, which was blessed (cursed?) with porta potties, and the scooters that zipped back and forth, at more than 5mph, were driven by young, able-bodied adults. I'm with Tiahaar; if there is a medical need for a person to have a gas-powered vehicle within the city, then DMV can grant them a placard. Not only do the scooters kick up dust, but the sound is incredibly annoying (give me a blaring art car anyday!).

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Post by Iago » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:06 am

KnowMatterWhat, Thanks for bringing up this topic. I hate to see more rules implemented. Like most things, it only takes a few to spoil it for others, but this year it seemed like the gas powered scooters were kind of out of hand with speed, noise and dust or maybe I am getting to be a crotchety old fuck after 8 years. Electric scooters did not seem so bad. I didn't mind the loud booming art cars going by camp since they were interesting to look at, but to have a something louder than your neighbors generator drown out your conversation every ten minutes really got annoying after a while and it was a total waste of time yelling at them to slow down. Like you, I'll drop a line to DMV to have them think about it. Again, thanks for getting this started...

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The Jedi Council says....

Post by JediDale » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:55 am

We petition to not have anything not human powered on the playa. I almost got hit by one of those things at night, no lights on the driver,
and clearly going more like 10 or 15 MPH. Part of the experience of BM is overcoming obstacles like transportation through community efforts of sharing resources like bicycles. The battery operated ones are the most potentially deadly due to their stealthy nature.


Genuinely,


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Post by WebGraphics » Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:11 am

I also was surprised to see gas scooters everywhere. While for the most part they were harmless, there were a few (esp Saturday and Sunday) ripping around like mad and creating a lot of dust.
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Jedi says...

Post by JediDale » Fri Sep 09, 2005 1:20 am

I want either less corruption, or a bigger hand in it! If not banned, I will tell the Sith Lords to have free reign at Burning Man next year, maybe even a race!!


Settle down! Just being comical and jesteringly, Jedi Dale
You don't have to..Believe Everything I Say...because your unconscious will hear this.
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But your conscious mind isn't going to do
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Re: Jedi says...

Post by HughMungus » Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:33 am

JediDale wrote:I want either less corruption, or a bigger hand in it! If not banned, I will tell the Sith Lords to have free reign at Burning Man next year, maybe even a race!!


Settle down! Just being comical and jesteringly, Jedi Dale
You gave me an idea. Have a "gas powered scooter race" and when people show up for it, confiscate their scooters. Problem solved!

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Post by Kinetic IV » Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:56 am

There's nothing wrong with scooters that a little education won't fix. I had one out there and I took the steps outlined in the JRS to muffle it, and on the side streets or at night I ran it slow...I would run it a bit faster when I was way out by the trash fence but tried to watch the amount of dust kicked up.

In any event if you ban scooters then why not go to the logical extreme and say ban art cars too? After all they have reputations for killing or maiming people on the playa...they are motorized too. Ban them, ban them all. And we all know that won't go over well at all...but hey with the banning mindset I might as well go over the top with it.

We had problems with portapotties, that was fixed with education and awareness. The same approach can work for the kamakaze scooter people.

One thing I will say...the scooter rules ban sit down scooters unless you have the handicap placards. I saw a bunch of sit down scooters and that's just wrong. Get off your asses people...stand up! And muffle the damn things...$5 plus shipping for the rubber stopper cuts 15 db off the noise.
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Post by HughMungus » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:30 am

Kinetic IV wrote:In any event if you ban scooters then why not go to the logical extreme and say ban art cars too? After all they have reputations for killing or maiming people on the playa...they are motorized too. Ban them, ban them all. And we all know that won't go over well at all...but hey with the banning mindset I might as well go over the top with it.
Because a scooter benefits no one other than the rider.

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Post by KnowMatterWhat » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:30 am

Kinetic IV wrote:There's nothing wrong with scooters that a little education won't fix. I had one out there and I took the steps outlined in the JRS to muffle it, and on the side streets or at night I ran it slow...I would run it a bit faster when I was way out by the trash fence but tried to watch the amount of dust kicked up.

In any event if you ban scooters then why not go to the logical extreme and say ban art cars too? After all they have reputations for killing or maiming people on the playa...they are motorized too. Ban them, ban them all. And we all know that won't go over well at all...but hey with the banning mindset I might as well go over the top with it.

We had problems with portapotties, that was fixed with education and awareness. The same approach can work for the kamakaze scooter people.

One thing I will say...the scooter rules ban sit down scooters unless you have the handicap placards. I saw a bunch of sit down scooters and that's just wrong. Get off your asses people...stand up! And muffle the damn things...$5 plus shipping for the rubber stopper cuts 15 db off the noise.
K4, You raise some valid points, yet it's the yahoos who refuse to heed to education and common consideration that are at issue. From what I saw, many of the scooter drivers seemingly could care less about their impact and 'footprint' on the Playa. I read in another thread where it was recommended to remove the muffler/spark arrester on scooters to improve their performance and make them more 'noticeable' to pedestrians and bicyclists.

As a Greeter, I banged the 'Support our Poops' (JOTS/Portapotty) drum; and so did most of the Greeters throughout the event. Yet there were still all sorts of things being thrown in them. We can preach to the choir and get agreement and the yahoos plug their ears and go about their merry way to do as they please.
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Post by Kinetic IV » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:40 am

"Yahoo education" touches on a common problem...Robbidobbs has the same issue with portapottie education, now we have the the scooter problem. Using that old GnR song lyric: What we have here is a failure to communicate. So now I'm sitting here thinking of ways we can get these messages across to people...and I'm thinking if the permit gets approved for 2006 there's going to be new stipulations that will have to be communicated too...so the need for a more effective form of communication is now critical. It's obvious the survival guide and first timer's guides are not getting the messages across as effectively as they used to. Perhaps as a group the eplaya can come up with a better idea, a way to reach the yahoos and short attention span types. I'm not able to jump start this but I'm willing to participate should someone feel it's a worthy enough project to pick it up and run with it.
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Post by KnowMatterWhat » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:48 am

[quote="Kinetic IV"]"Yahoo education" touches on a common problem...quote]

K4, Again, I agree yet we're drifting off topic. In my humble opinion, I don't see the need for gas scooters in BRC. Especially given the BMORG credo "Black Rock City is designed for pedestrians and bicycles. Movement of vehicles during Burning Man is limited."

So, if anyone out there is inspired to do so, write a polite letter stating your opinions (whichever side of the scooter you are on) and send it to [email protected]
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Post by ZaphodBurner » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:54 am

In the real world I hate gas scooters as much as pocket bikes, mostly because in my neck of the woods (Gresham, OR) the only people who drive them are those who've had their license suspended or some shit. One of these days somebody's gonna get their mullet tangled in the back wheel, then I'll like them again.

I had no significant problem at all this year in BRC with the electric or muffled gas scooters; except the occasional drunken high-speed jackasses who, if they'd have collided with me, could have lost their ride.

...and then I might've had to explain to JotS and the Rangers why there was a scooter sticking out of the shitter hole, I'd have had to pull it back out, etc, but that goes for bikes as well.

-c
...now, if they had flamethrowers on them....I'm a sucker for flamethrowers.

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Post by Kinetic IV » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:59 am

Drifting back on topic and possibly putting an extra load onto the DMV, I would support setting up scooters as a special class of "motorized vehicles" that would require some DMV oversight, and a permit. Requirements I would like to see are:
- Sound control devices for gas powered scooters
- Enforcement of the no seat, stand up rule. The idea behind this if I recall correctly, a person on a stand up scooter won't tend to travel as fast, decreasing the amount of kinetic energy displaced in an accident.
- Night time lighting. Do you have a workable solution for lighting the bike up at night?
- Artistic merit. Have you made any kind of effort to decorate the scooter?

One other sidetopic is I'd like to take my existing scooter and use it as a platform to create a mini-art car type vehicle for next year. I saw something like that this year where the scooter had a tube frame built around it with outrigger bicycle wheels on the back, and it looked like an oversized tricycle of sorts.

Anyway I don't want to see them banned...while I was getting conditioned to the playa and until my fuel line broke that scooter was invaluable to me. I don't want to see them outlawed when there are ways to make them a part of the community and comply with the most everyone's requirements.
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Perhaps I wasn't clear..........

Post by JediDale » Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:18 am

I obviously believe that art cars must be allowed. They get a permit from DMV and good to go! Now, anything else that is not specifically for handicapped with placard, be banned. Lets imagine for a moment a future BM where we say yeah i remember 5 years ago when most people rode bikes! Now, all they ride is scooters! I paid a BenFranklin for my cheap ass Wal Mart Special bike. I would have rather spent another 2-3 hun for a scooter! Ok, now dig this, my feelings go with the spirit of Burning Man, and I absolutely believe that a just bikes and handicapped vehicles (Again,
Obviously Art Cars Included!) is truly the way to optimize the event.


Genuinely,

Jedi Dale Of Reno
You don't have to..Believe Everything I Say...because your unconscious will hear this.
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But your conscious mind isn't going to do
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Post by angelface » Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:14 pm

I found the scooters to be annoying as fuck, and found most of the people riding them to be rude. It seemed I got flipped off more often then not for asking people to slow down.

That being said.. I think scooters should have to go through the same process as an art car, no non-art scooters allowed, along with adherance to the 5mph speed limit and so on.

Oh, and on getting yahoos to listen.. I don't think it's that the information isn't pretty plainly available to everyone. I think many of them know the info and just don't give a fuck. I don't have any real good suggestions for trying to change attitudes though.. but I really don't think a lack of info is the problem.

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Post by b00m3rang » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:07 pm

I don't think that banning them outright because a few people ride too fast is the right way to go. I've never brought a scooter (though I wanted to this year), but I hate the idea of punishing everyone for the actions of a few. Confiscate offending scooters, at least that targets the problem.

Besides, complaining about dust on the playa? Come on. You're going to get dusty as fuck, no matter what. Embrace the dust. Become one with the dust.

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Post by WebGraphics » Sat Sep 10, 2005 12:48 pm

Kinetic IV wrote:- Sound control devices for gas powered scooters
- Enforcement of the no seat, stand up rule. The idea behind this if I recall correctly, a person on a stand up scooter won't tend to travel as fast, decreasing the amount of kinetic energy displaced in an accident.
- Night time lighting. Do you have a workable solution for lighting the bike up at night?
- Artistic merit. Have you made any kind of effort to decorate the scooter?
I think all those points are a great idea.
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Re: How Do You Feel About Go-Peds / Gas Scooters?

Post by DVD » Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:23 pm

KnowMatterWhat wrote:I posted this on the Tribe and thought I'd add it here as well:

I'm all for freedom and mobility, I really am; but I can't understand why gas scooters are still allowed to freely roam Black Rock City. The City is dusty (and noisy) enough without scooters quickly zipping about, often without regard for others. Even when the riders obey the 5 M.P.H. speed limit, scooters raise a LOT of added dust.

It seems DMV goes to great lengths ensuring Mutant vehicles are Playa worthy and drivers are briefed on the rules of the road and protocols. Yet scooters get the automatic thumbs up to buzz around. I'm wondering why?

I've tolerated the go-peds (and their drivers) over the years, but this year I made a silent resolution to lobby against them for future burns.

So I intend to send a simple and polite email to [email protected] asking them to reconsider their policy of allowing go-peds to be ridden by the general population in Black Rock City. Perhaps if anyone else out there is inspired, they will do the same and pass the word along to other Burners.

Here's the link to BMORG's current policy: http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/ ... iving.html

It starts by stating: Black Rock City is designed for pedestrians and bicycles. Movement of vehicles during Burning Man is limited.
Yes. please. More freaking rules. Great idea. In fact let's have a monster rule making forum where every single rule everybody wants will be implimented.

Bleh.

It is time to start using the 'radical self reliance' mantra against this kind of rule making stuff. No gas power scooters, no playing chess after 2am without a note from the BMORG Chess Playing Council, no commercialism(well except if its Discovery and a little cash can be made *after* the event).

Sheesh it's just all so abitrary why even bother? People have sound systems in to the 1000W range and nothing is said... Dogs... What is the point? Do BLM or Washoe require the under 300W rule? The would be no gas scooters rule?

I'm sorry but I just got my bills, talked to Region IX FEMA Headquaters in Oakland and the local Police stations and found out that they all have no plan whatsoever for dealing with a large scale natural disaster in the Bay Area(Oh, that'll likely never happen right? ANother charming quote from the President about how no one ever could have expected the earth to actually shake on a fault line)- seriously the best they could offer me as their preparedness- "We all know to stop what we're doing and report to work." That's it. And I am very hot. I need a shower.

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Post by horseradish » Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:35 pm

I'm against the introduction of new rules, but it seems obvious to me that the motorised scooters are powered vehicles and thus should go through the same process of approval as art cars.

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Post by DVD » Sat Sep 10, 2005 4:10 pm

horseradish wrote:I'm against the introduction of new rules, but it seems obvious to me that the motorised scooters are powered vehicles and thus should go through the same process of approval as art cars.
That's just crazy. I am not trying to be mean but first and foremost it would kill the DMV staff... Kill them. Doing vehicles period is a nightmare. What they do there is even more achingly difficult. Add having to evaluate mechanics and exhaust- forget it.

I think the rule should be in the Survival Guide:
If you bring a gas powered, stand-up ride please expect sudden interruptions to your momentum which may be caused from angry pedestrians, angry pedestrians with sticks up to and including seemingly misplaced guy wires.


Truly, it's a festival and people should feel free to bring whatever the hell they want if they can pilot it safely. If it annoys you- tell them. Why not make street signs that say no scooters and set up your own scooter trap a la the sheriff in any bad caricature movie about the south.

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Post by unjonharley » Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:07 pm

Scooers your butt, Saff cars. Up to 60 runing past my camp. Corupt MVD. Garbage lic. One was a car with the top cut off, doors removed, with a dirty sofa stuck on it. TWo good old boys (dunk in late fortys-fifty) Trying to pick up young ladys. I worked long enough at a detox to know what a drunk walks like. I crossed there path many times. They had day, night & staff plastered on that hunk of shit. That is only one of dozens. In a city that is supposed walk. The streets were jamed with with mobile taverens. The DMV demanded and dictated that kinetic art be designed for taxie and bussing service. Not even mention the mad macx crap.' Take a wrecked car, paint it black and drive around making snide remarks to others. Most of these people movers were used to carry there own camps sorry asses aroound. Creating a dusty city on wheels. Any one that knows me. Knows I spent from six to eight hours a day and another 3 hr evening pedeling about he streets at walking speed While sharing a little easy music. You get to see more that way. My art will be pedel powered in 06.
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Post by Kinetic IV » Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:17 pm

From that description Unjon you may be describing a certain DPW vehicle I'm thinking of. And while I love DPW and know the event wouldn't exist without their work, I'm wondering if their art cars are like sacred cows that nobody dares to speak of.

I saw some outlandish art car hijinks out there that had me wishing for an icepick and eyeballing some tires...not that I would act on the thought but it was a pleasant thought while it lasted.

For an art festival, the bar for some art cars was set pretty low, IMHO. Now before anyone flames me I know there's a bunch of people that literally bust their ass and make cars that are true works of art. But the sofa on a car thing is a bit much.
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Post by unjonharley » Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:34 pm

Kinetic IV wrote:From that description Unjon you may be describing a certain DPW vehicle I'm thinking of. And while I love DPW and know the event wouldn't exist without their work, I'm wondering if their art cars are like sacred cows that nobody dares to speak of.

I saw some outlandish art car hijinks out there that had me wishing for an icepick and eyeballing some tires...not that I would act on the thought but it was a pleasant thought while it lasted.

For an art festival, the bar for some art cars was set pretty low, IMHO. Now before anyone flames me I know there's a bunch of people that literally bust their ass and make cars that are true works of art. But the sofa on a car thing is a bit much.


~
And just why do DPW "personal" junk have to be allowed. Or ALL those staff car. One car per staff/DPW makes for one hell of lot of dust. These ar joy rides i'm talking about here folks.
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scooter yes- scooter no

Post by blackrockcitydreams » Sun Sep 11, 2005 9:32 am

I am all for getting those yahoos off their noise makin playa rippin squeelers- but lets not ruin it for people that actually need them!
I for one have a knee that loves to blow out! I can only ride my bike for so long, and often wished I had a scooter. I would love to see something available for people that can't get around. I pushed my friends wheelchair for a bit and lemme tell you it was tough on the playa!

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Re: scooter yes- scooter no

Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:13 am

blackrockcitydreams wrote:I am all for getting those yahoos off their noise makin playa rippin squeelers- but lets not ruin it for people that actually need them!
I for one have a knee that loves to blow out! I can only ride my bike for so long, and often wished I had a scooter. I would love to see something available for people that can't get around. I pushed my friends wheelchair for a bit and lemme tell you it was tough on the playa!


~
I must depend on canes, cruchs, others arms and electric scooers to get aound. I did end up riding a three wheell bike after the scooter broke. So this winter I will be building up my pedal power.
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Post by DVD » Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:20 am

unjonharley wrote: In a city that is supposed walk.
I'm sorry- where is that written?

BTW- I am with you. After having a gas powered vehicle for two year- the hassle, the insulation and noise is too much for me- I am going pedal powered next year as well. But- I am not going to knock anyone for expressing and participating how they wish- even if they are dangerous or loud. This is mainly because the rules currently are completely unenforced and nepotistic- adding more would only increase the frustration of those that are called on to enforce them or those that feel they need to follow them only to show up and find out they didn't.

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Post by unjonharley » Sun Sep 11, 2005 10:44 am

DVD wrote:
unjonharley wrote: In a city that is supposed walk.
I'm sorry- where is that written?

BTW- I am with you. After having a gas powered vehicle for two year- the hassle, the insulation and noise is too much for me- I am going pedal powered next year as well. But- I am not going to knock anyone for expressing and participating how they wish- even if they are dangerous or loud. This is mainly because the rules currently are completely unenforced and nepotistic- adding more would only increase the frustration of those that are called on to enforce them or those that feel they need to follow them only to show up and find out they didn't.


~
Burnig Man is claimed to be a pedestrian city. My rant is about the corupt DMV permitting garbage on the streets.

I had more fun this year after my mobility scooter broke. It was painful for me to pedal but worth the pain. I will do better next year.
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

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