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On a roll…

Sandra and I have lived in China for more than 10 years. Nearly every day I get asked the same set of questions. One question that often comes up is, “What’s so good about China?” My standard answer typically includes that China has a better transportation system than many other countries.

Truly! For the last decade Sandra and I have been quite content to take public buses, trains (both speed and overnight), taxis and little motor “rickshaws” to wherever we needed to go.

However, this last week Schäfer and Sianna started kindergarten in our new city. As it turns out, the kindergarten is on the other side of the city from us. The first day I took them by public bus (including one transfer) it took us 45 minutes one-way. Picking them up from kindergarten at noon also took 45 minutes. That afternoon Schäfer also started his one-room schoolhouse classes (MWF afternoons). Another 25 minutes one-way by bus.

After spending a total of 5 hours on a bus after the first couple days, we decided that it was time to invest in our first family vehicle.

IMG_3174, © easternjourney.com

Introducing our Cadillac!

IMG_3176, © easternjourney.com

The majority of vehicles in China now are neither bicycles nor cars, but electric scooters. On average these scooters can travel up to 50 miles on a charge at 15mph. On Friday when Sandra and I test drove one, we ended up getting the largest scooter available for one reason alone…my legs could fit.

IMG_3179, © easternjourney.com

A bonus is that our Cadillac of a scooter can travel up to 75 miles at 21mph…enough oomph to keep up with the city traffic and scoot up the hill to the kindergarten with ease. (It got it up to 45kph once, going down a steep hill.)

IMG_3184, © easternjourney.com

Included extras are the bag hook, cup holder and two horn switches (on on each side). The green button on the right is the “turbo” booster, allowing you for 30 seconds to exceed the speed limiter and get around that smoke-belching dump truck.


IMG_3186, © easternjourney.com

Also included is a trunk, bars (for hanging groceries) and a pull-out foot rest for the rear rider.

I’m about to make a few upgrades complementary of Taobao:

  • a better alarm system that will page me when the scooter is being tampered with…electric scooter theft is common
  • front wheel anti-hydraulic cutter chain…which should deter the thief for about an hour, I’m sure.
  • Cree LED headlamp…1000 lumens, so no one can miss me at night.
  • and a pressure air horn…in the land of “bigger has more right-of-way” it would be good to at least sound bigger


IMG_3168, © easternjourney.com

The kids love it! Sandra and I are looking forward to resuming our “motorcycle” dates soon.
Ps. We have helmets. This photo shows how it is truly a family vehicle. 🙂

7 comments to On a roll…

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