Luca Colnaghi has been a scooter fan for about two years. Luca is 40 years old and lives 40 km from Milan. He uses his scooter every day to get to public transport and his workplace in the centre of Milan.
What did you need when you decided to buy a scooter?
I work in Milan but I live about 40 km away from the city. I’m a commuter and I need to take the car, train and underground to get to my workplace. I couldn’t take a bike on the train or put it in the car – even a folding bike was difficult on public transport.
So I was looking for something that was the right halfway point between walking and cycling. A few years ago, I started looking for a foldable scooter, but it was only after seeing the enthusiasm of a friend using one that I decided to buy it.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO WORK IN MILAN
I go by car to the station. Unfortunately, there is only a paid carpark close to the station, so I park about one kilometre from the station and I make the last part of the journey by scooter. I take the train to Milan then I go a further 1.5 km on my scooter to reach my workplace. I do this in every kind of weather.
Did you have any doubts before you bought your scooter?
Of course. My main worry was spending €150 on a big toy which I would use three times, then leave in the garage. Another doubt was having accidents and injuring myself. I’m 40 years old now and I am less reckless than when I was 20. But actually, I’ve been using it every day for more than a year and nothing bad has ever happened.
How do you feel physically, given that you scooter between 5 and 6 km every day? Have you noticed any significant changes?
I was a bit tired on the first day because I was not used to that kind of movement, but after two or three days of training I learnt the technique and everything got easier. I’m quite sporty and I was already fit, but it would definitely help a more sedentary person change their life, helping them to get fit and improving their reflexes.
How did you learn the pushing technique?
I just learnt it by intuitively testing it out then trying it again. Then I saw the advice you gave regarding the technique I was using on your site. The more complex things, such as jumps and all the other little adjustments come later, with experience.
DO YOU SCOOTER WHEN THE TRAFFIC IS BAD?
When traffic is bad I tend to go on the pavement. Milan was once under Austrian rule and has very wide pavements as a consequence – so you can move comfortably. If you are forced to go on the road, you use the same precautions as cyclists. I have drastically reduced my travel time since I started using my scooter.
You bought a folding scooter. Have you ever tried a larger scooter?
That’s right, I have a folding scooter, which folds up in an instant. I haven’t tried other models, but I’ve seen that you sell pretty serious large-wheeled models on your site. I’ve only tried my friends’ scooters, but those are also foldable scooters that you can take on public transport, with 20- to 25-cm diameter (7- to 8-inch) wheels.
I know there are scooters with 25- to 30-inch wheels, similar to those of a bike, but they would be unsuitable for what I use them for. The scooter that I bought is specifically for going to work. It’s a little different from what you have on your site, but I’m really pleased with what I’ve got. I’ve already travelled 1,500 km and I haven’t needed to perform any maintenance yet.
Which scooter do you use? The Decathlon Oxelo Town 9.
I use a Decathlon model, specifically the Oxelo Town 9, which is aluminium and weighs about 5 kg. It’s foldable and has a handlebar brake for the rear wheel.
The only defect I have found is that wheels are solid, not inflatable. Inflatable wheels would be safer and more stable when it rains.
But solid wheels are fine for using on the pavements in Milan. For everything else it’s fantastic! I
I can open and close it in an instant, stow it everywhere—I put it in the overhead luggage rack on the train or between one seat and another. I can put it back in the car in seconds. It’s really convenient.
Thanks, Luca, for sharing your experiences with us.