Lario Park, again, in Irwindale, CA, on my Xootr scooter to work on my scooter technique, hoping to run into Father Spencer and Carol in the lunch crowd at the trailhead, with no luck.
It’s hot today, in the upper 80’s. No wind
As I set out, I decided to focus on my scooter technique. For the first time ever. What, exactly, am I doing to make it go? And what muscles feel like they’re doing the work?
You’d think that the muscles in the leg with the foot that’s doing the pushing on the pavement would be the ones experiencing fatigue. But I realized that the leg that gets tired after a few scoots is the one I’m standing on. And it hit me that the leg gets tired because I’m in a crouch throughout sequential kicks. Like a prolonged partial deep knee bend. On one leg. Of course it’s going to get tired.
So I modified my scooter technique
Rather than doing a constant partial knee bend on the standing leg while doing multiple scoots on the scooting leg, I tried standing up straight on the standing leg after each scoot with the other leg. Bend. Scoot. Stand. Bend. Scoot. Stand. I found it a lot less fatiguing.
Next, I looked at the foot that was doing the scooting. I’d found myself doing a handful of scoots, then taking it easy for a few seconds, then doing another handful of scoots… sometimes getting up to four bunches of scoots in my usual 20-scoot half-unit.
I wanted to see if there was a way I could do each 20-scoot half-unit at a constant pace. I discovered that if I wasn’t getting tired in the other leg, it was relatively easy as long as I didn’t try to scoot at too rapid a tempo. Sort a of leisurely one-legged walking tempo, gliding along at six or seven mph.
And what about coasting downhill with both feet on the floorboard?
Standing flatfooted on both feet, it turns out, is fatiguing. It’s easier to stand on one foot on a straight leg, with the other leg a little bent, as in a High Renaissance contrapposto pose. And switch back and forth.
Same pose as that of Michelangelo’s David, in the Uffizzi Gallery in Firenze.
To put it into our contemporary time frame, I coasted downhill today in the same pose as that of the cowboy subject in artist Cecile W. Morgan’s 2019 painting, Contrapposto #2. A California Xootr scooter cowboy! That was me, today.
Don’t forget to check out my website at JonathanKelley.net.