“And where do you test out glow-in-the-dark wheels? In the dark, of course!”

Scooter with orange wheels, shreddedYou’d think a pair of scooter wheels would last a little longer than two and a half trips before failure, eh? Not bloody likely, it turns out. After two successful trips on Wednesday and Thursday (the sidewalks were absolutely too gunked up from the snow to even consider riding on Monday and Tuesday), the third scooter trip of the semester, which took place on Friday, came to an unexpected end at the far end of the bridge over the Interstate, about halfway to Zane Showker Hall, my final destination for this particular trip. What happened is that as you can see in the picture at left, the rear wheel tore upon braking. Thankfully, I did not have a full-fledged accident while this was happening, and the scooter did safely come to a complete stop. Upon inspection of the rear wheel (since I felt something abnormal as I was braking but couldn’t tell what by feel), I noticed that little bits of rubber were coming out of a freshly ripped rip in the wheel. Fun… so me and the scooter walked the rest of the way to Showker. After talking to a friend on the JMU Police, it turns out that the reason for the damage during normal use (I go over that bridge every day without incident) was that the rubber in the wheel was probably too soft. But does that put an end to my Scooter just fitted with new glow-in-the-dark wheelsscooter’s career, like a fire did to the ocean liner Normandie? Heck no! All this means is that it’s time to fit a new set of wheels on that thing. Over Christmas Break, I had the foresight to purchase two additional sets of wheels from Claire’s (yes, the earring store, but hey – they sell wheels). I got the orange ones from Cycle Recycle in Waynesboro, and needless to say, we will not be going there for any more scooter accessories. These new wheels are different from any set I’ve had before. For one thing, they’re considerably harder than the orange wheels, the blue wheels (both sets), and the original red ones. Secondly, they’re glow-in-the-dark. So… the best time to test those babies out was at night, since you have to test glow-in-the-dark wheels in the dark. So I rode down to the ISAT Building and back, and the scooter passed with flying colors, though the hardness of the wheels was evident. It’s kind of like when my friend Andrea and I smelled smoke coming from a cigar shop at Pentagon City Mall in Arlington, Virginia. What better way to advertise a smoke shop than to smoke? And thus what better place to test glow-in-the-dark wheels than in the dark? By the way, once these glow-in-the-dark wheels wear out, likely due to the stresses of regular use, I will switch to a set of red wheels, and thus we call this “the circle of life”, since I originally had red wheels.

Date posted: January 14, 2001

Notes: Two days after this quote was written, the glow-in-the-dark wheels crumpled under normal use, and the scooter wheel plan was soon abandoned, and new Sharper Image wheels were ordered.