My personal electric vehicle journey started with the Onewheel but it didn’t end there. Like many Onewheel owners, I grew tired of range anxiety and yearned for more speed which led me to other electric rideable devices like the electric unicycle and high performance electric scooters.
The following guest article is by another fellow PEV enthusiast who also shares a passion for micromobility. James, from SPINNINGMYWHEEL shares his experience progressing from life with the Onewheel to life with the electric unicycle.
Here’s James’ experience:
Big things have small beginnings
When I first saw a Personal Electric Vehicle (PEV) I was walking in a public park in New York City where I saw a man riding on a board with one wheel which I later learned was the Onewheel XR.
The second time I had a PEV encounter I was in Flushing Chinatown on Main Street waiting for the crosswalk to turn from red to white.
Before I walked across the street a man appeared with full safety gear including a full-face helmet, shin pads, elbow pads and fingerless gloves with padding.
The wheel was significantly larger than the Onewheel I saw in Forest Park. This was my first exposure to the Electric Unicycle (EUC).
Both experiences happened in my new backyard and what would become a electric ridable playground, Queens.
It was not long after seeing more and more of these electric ridables that I was off to YouTube to see what this was all about.
My first entry into PEVs was the Onewheel Pint which arrived in mid-October 2019.
I had never ridden a Onewheel before and my teachers were on YouTube. The same came to be true for the EUC nearly a year later.
If you fall off, get back on
It was a slow beginning, but eventually confidence built up and then my first nosedive.
Confidence is rebuilt and then I would be faced with another challenge. I fell a few times, but luckily there were no severe or lasting injuries.
I began to document my rides in short YouTube videos taking after my digital mentors who did not know they were acting as mentors to me.
This was the beginning of SPINNINGMYWHEEL.
Along the way I noticed a steady following of loyal subscribers who always commented and liked my videos.
I admired how others before me shared their journey on the Onewheel and now I was paying it forward to others who were new just like me.
Riding the Onewheel Pint during a night time group ride in Forest Park, Queens.
Riding the Onewheel was freedom. I pushed the boundaries of what the Pint could do in range and did my best to leverage the board as a last mile solution. The more I rode the further I wanted to go on it.
More Range, please
In March 2020, I made the decision to have my Onewheel Pint modified for range extension.
At the time there were few battery mods available, but I did have the good fortune to live in the same place as one of the most well-known innovators when it comes to the modding community, Sonnywheels.
With Sonny’s mod my 6 to 8 mile range on the Onewheel Pint was boosted to over 20 miles.
The Onewheel Pint with the Roll n’ Ride (RnR) Mod by Sonnywheels down Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
I need more range, again
Over the Summer I was away from New York City, but like everyone else I watched the news. There was comfort in being away from what was happening in the city, but there was also something missing, and it hit me hard when I got back to Queens.
Riding the Onewheel Pint along Queens Blvd on the way to Manhattan.
I realized there was so much freedom even in a time of public health restrictions and that freedom came from riding my Onewheel.
By riding a PEV around the city I did not have to worry about the congested Subway system or finding parking on busy city streets.
Then I made the second great leap after one year of riding the Onewheel Pint.
Enter the EUC
Over the Summer I kept in touch with my friend who went from the Onewheel Pint, Boosted Mini X and then landed with the Gotway MSP High Torque.
I would hear stories of the increased freedom and very little range anxiety that came with the EUC.
Towards the end of the Summer I went with a friend to Queens to ride in Forest Park with other fellow EUC riders.
He invited me and I brought my Pint and shot a video. We met in a square near the park and everyone visited for a few minutes then the journey began.
Meeting up with EUC riders for a ride in Forest Park, Queens.
One by one they stepped on their pedals and took off. I was on the Onewheel Pint trailing, not even in the same ballpark, but out of kindness they waited on me.
Eventually I found myself riding through the park alone with my buddy. Seeing the other EUC riders way ahead of me was eye opening.
This is the moment I decided I would take the next plunge and go EUC.
The Learning Curve
In the third week of October it arrived, the Gotway RS High Speed.
After adding a 3D printed nose guard and rear tail guard, power pads and getting the proper safety gear I started learning how to ride my new wheel.
The learning curve was much steeper than the Onewheel Pint, but for me it was much more rewarding.
Three weeks in learning how to ride the Gotway RS High Speed.
By week three I was riding to Brooklyn, Manhattan and then back to Queens. Crossing over the Williamsburg Bridge and then back across the Queensboro Bridge, down Queens Boulevard and back to my PEV playground.
Over the course of one year, I documented my progress on the Onewheel Pint and now I am doing the same for the Gotway RS High Speed.
The EUC community has shown a lot of love as has the Onewheel community towards the stories I have shared.
From “Ghostbusters (1984) EUCinema” outside the iconic Ghostbusters Headquarters.
The opportunities for storytelling in New York City are endless.
This my journey in Micromobility.
The story of how I found greater freedom in New York City by joining the Micromobility movement as a rider, enthusiast and YouTube content creator.
Sunset at the Unisphere in Corona Park, Flushing, NY.
James is the creator of the YouTube Channel, SPINNINGMYWHEEL, which features 80 videos on the Onewheel Pint with an expanding library of videos on the Gotway RS as a beginner EUC Rider.
He considers himself a PEV enthusiast and advocate for the use of PEVs. He is located in Queens and just a few miles ride away from Manhattan and Brooklyn.
For more videos and content check out James’s YouTube Channel, SPINNINGMYWHEEL, at: www.youtube.com/c/SPINNINGMYWHEEL.
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