Learn how to ride a scooter

little girl riding a scooter
child standing beside scooter

Scootering used to be a child’s first step to cycling, but now it is a way of getting about and a sporting activity all the way into adulthood; healthy, environmentally friendly and inexpensive.

What you need

Depending on the manufacturer and model, you may need different tools to make adjustments. Most scooters need a 5mm hex/ allen key and a pair of spanners to adjust the headset.

Things to remember

  • Wear appropriate footwear such as trainers. Sandals and flip-flops aren’t suitable.

  • Be careful of baggy clothing that may get caught up in the scooter.

  • Always make sure you have your schoolbag on your back securely. If it’s over your handlebars, it could throw you off balance.

  • Put any clothes you aren’t wearing in your schoolbag.

Scooter safety check

Before using a scooter, make sure it’s safe to ride by using the ‘L’ check.

Start at the top of the ‘L’ and work your way down and then along.

  1. Make sure there are bar-end plugs in place and the grips are in good condition and attached securely.

  2. With a folding scooter, you have adjustable handlebars. They should be set around waist height and the clamp holding them must be tight.

  3. The handlebars connect to the deck at the headset. Make sure any clamps are fully tightened and if the headset rocks back and forth then this will also need tightening – enough to stop the movement but still allowing the handlebars to turn smoothly.

  4. If there is a folding mechanism, check it is fully locked in the riding position. Tighten any loose bolts.

  5. Grip tape on the deck will wear out and need replacing from time to time.

  6. Brakes are important for helping stop the scooter. Make sure any bolts are secure.

  7. Make sure the wheels spin freely and are attached securely. Axles can come loose and cause the wheel to wobble when riding.

Remember – you can’t check parts that aren’t there… have a look and ensure no obvious parts are missing or badly damaged.

Pavement etiquette

Be considerate to others, especially the elderly, wheelchair users, those with babies and young children, large groups and dog walkers. Pass them slowly and walk if you need to. A little courtesy goes a long way.

Crossing the road

Find a safe place, then STOP, LOOK and LISTEN before crossing. Don’t scoot on the road. Carry your scooter or push it alongside you.

Scootering in the rain and dark

Take extra care when scootering in the wet as the brake won’t work so well.

At dusk or in the dark, consider putting flashing lights on your scooter. Brightly coloured and reflective clothing will also help you be seen.

Adult scooters

Adult scooters are available to buy and can legally be ridden on the pavement, allowing parents to accompany their child.

Skills training

It is important children learn to handle their scooters competently so that they can ride safely. Your local authority may offer training. Get in touch with their road safety team to find out what’s on offer, or speak to your Sustrans contact if you have one.

Read our advice about cycling, walking and scootering to school

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