Saturday, October 31, 2015

Good News Everyone: Flykly, Copenhagen Wheel, and Fido

Emails from Fido and Superpedestrian came in this week, and Flykly has a new product and a new kickstarter to kick it off.

Simple and cool: the Fido

I will start with my favorite. Jeb Gast and crew (all of whom I hope to meet someday) are entrepreneurial scooter heroes to me. I have followed Jeb's story for years because I have followed electric scooters in the states, and he has been present throughout my searches. I first discovered him running a shop called Soundspeed Scooters in Seattle. He worked with gas and electric scooters there and even created a conversion kit for turning your old Earth-hating Vespa into a beautiful green machine. If you google "electric Vespa" you can still find lots of info about those Seattle days and scoots.

But Jeb (apparently) discovered the same thing I discovered when I converted an old Vespa to electric - they don't make the ideal electric scooter. I went looking for better candidates to convert; Jeb decided to create a better scooter. So, he designed such a beast and then set off on the daunting task of going from an idea and one machine to a full-fledged manufacturer of a high-quality, user-friendly scooters - the Fido.

And, if you know vintage scooters, you will probably recognize vintage design elements adapted for a modern machine: the simplicity of the old Cushmans, the simple maintenance of the Vespas with their easily removable wheels, and the strength and simplicity of the Lambretta's tubular frames. Did you notice that I used the world "simplicity" too many times? Well, that was part of Gast's plan. He wanted to build a machine that the end user could easily maintain and even repair if need be.  Good shops to service scooters are hard to find and afford, so he wanted to build a scooter for the common human being with simple tools.

I look at lots of electric two-wheeler plans and companies, and I admire this machine and company more than most anything I have seen. I hope they thrive, and I get excited each time I receive an email update from Fido. Which I did this week. There was news of lots of testing, a new employee, and updates to their really cool digs in Kalamazoo. They report that they are heading into pre-production. Yes, I am excited for the Fido team!

Check out the Fido blog here and enjoy the short video of the Fido in action.

Flykly Smart Ped: What a great idea!

Flykly has a new product out, and this one is a scooter, and it makes a lot of sense. I will readily admit that I am not a huge fan of kick-n-go scooters. If I were 37 years younger I would be a big fan, but being the oldfatguy that I am, they just don't hold that much appeal, but the new Flykly scooter might just get me past my oldfatguy prejudices.

Folded Flykly

It's a small, foldable machine that could help you with mid-distance or last-mile travel and replace a bike or electric bike for lots of tasks. It seems a perfect application of the powered wheel, possibly even a better application than the electric bicycle. (It feels a little sacrilegious to type that.) (And I have to say it - Flykly is putting out a second product while the oh-so-long-awaited Copenhagen Wheel is just starting to roll.) Check out the scooter and the kickstarter to learn more.

I hope you like red!

Superpedestrian (Copenhagen Wheel) sent out an email this week. The email communicates that things are heating up for them - they even feature a video of a person in the real world who has actually finally received one: video here. It looks like they may actually get a product out there. (I am still thankful that I did not ask my family to sacrifice the "deposit" money to pre-order a CW two years ago when the opportunity was first put out there. I would have had to do a lot of apologizing and regretting.)

The most exciting part of the email for me is that it also features a Copenhagen Wheel review from Electric Bike Review. It's a very comprehensive review and answers a lot of questions about the CW. Even the comments are worth a read. (If you like e-bikes and you don't yet know EBR, you are in for a treat. Enjoy!) It really should be an amazing product and good enough to get past the bitterness of vastly delayed delivery.

May your week bring lots of good news and may you find the wheels that reward you and and the planet.