Over 200 e-scooters have made their way onto the streets of Oxford this semester. First-years Lyle Roddey and Zach Curiale decided to test them out and detail their experiences.
10:58 a.m., McGuffey Hall, Lyle and Zach
We decide to put the scooters to the test.
We challenge each other to a race: one on a Bird, the other on foot.
One boy from Canton, Ohio, and one girl from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Zach rides the Bird Scooter.
11:00 a.m., the race begins, Zach
I zoom past Lyle on the Bird, flipping her the bird along the way.
I make great time as I glide up the summit toward the finish line at the Phi Delt Gates. At approximately ten miles per hour, the wind whips through my hair as I zip through Spring Street and South Campus Ave.
I know I'll reach the Phi Delt Gates with time to spare.
In the meantime, Lyle attempts to defy the high-tech scooter technology while bearing the weight of her Jansport backpack.
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I watch her march from McGuffey Hall to King Library.
After passing McGuffey, she stomps up a set of stairs, becoming level with the Slant Walk.
11:03 a.m., victory lap at High Street, Zach
I arrive at the Phi Delt Gates and Lyle is nowhere in sight.
Confidently, I take a victory lap as a final "aha!" in my triumphant win.
As I finish my celebration, I notice Lyle dripping with sweat, making her final steps down Slant Walk.
The race is over.
11:10 a.m., Slant Walk, Lyle
Having just finished their campus tour, I noticed a prospective student walking towards High Street for lunch with her parents.
The family observed a student kid riding a Bird scooter.
"They would definitely help if you woke up late for an 8:00 a.m. class," her mother said.
"We have them where I live, and I would definitely use them if I went here," she said.
11:16 a.m., corner of South Campus Avenue and High Street, Lyle
I see two girls clutching their large purses, making the high-humidity trek from east campus to High Street.
Sporting Lululemon gear, the girls' cheekbones and foreheads glisten with perspiration as they embark upon the final, sweaty mile to their off-campus homes.
Still, they walk with a smile on their faces.
"I mean, it is how I get the majority of my exercise," one of the girls says.
They say they prefer to walk to class rather than ride. They both miss the days of walking to class without the fear of being crashed into by the scooters.
"Suddenly, there is just a group of people...birding by you."
Birding, add that to your vocabulary.
11:33 a.m., Harrison Hall, Zach
On the scooter, I head back into campus. I notice a professor holding her briefcase, walking past Harrison Hall. Her eyes target me. Her pointer finger raises, and she proceeds to scold me.
"You cannot ride that on campus," said the professor. "All scooters must be walked on campus grounds!"
I thought to myself, what does it matter? There are plenty of people riding these around campus why am I the one getting yelled at? Also, why would I pay to walk with a scooter I am wanting to ride?
So, in spite of the professor's backlash, I continued to ride the scooter.
The Bird has gone rogue.
As I rode the scooter, I noticed many glaring eyes in acknowledgment of my transportation prowess. I proudly admit that the scooters are a definite advantage against a bike and walking. I highly recommend picking one up and trying it out.
It is obvious, to me, when it comes to saving time, the Bird is superior. Although sweating was still a problem, I could easily cut through campus, encountering new faces, and simultaneously get exercise. I also noticed that I could walk through campus with no Miami faculty or staff staring me down, ready to admonish me for walking.