Dear Battle Creek,

I have been known to drive a bike into a ditch or two. And to crack a bone while skateboarding. And to run into a fence while playing softball.

So if I can ride a Bird scooter without falling off, there’s hope for you, too.

It requires a smartphone with the Bird scooter app. Once you’re signed up, you can find a scooter. Scan the QR code on the handlebars and it’ll tell you what to do from there.

When I first kicked off, it didn’t seem like the electronic scooter was working. I pushed forward with one foot and pressed the throttle. It moved like it was stuck in mud. 

I pressed the throttle down all the way. Just as I was thinking something was wrong, it jumped into gear. 

There was a burst of unexpected speed. The scooter had come to life and had a mind of its own. Fortunately, the sidewalk ahead of me was clear.
Scooter and I did eventually come to an understanding. I found things went best when I maintained a steady 7 miles per hour. They can go faster -- a kid whizzed by me on another scooter while I chugged along.

There were a lot of wheels out in downtown Battle Creek. While one family zoomed along on scooters down by Cafe Rica, a group of bicyclists made apologetic jokes about running me off the road as I stopped to let them pass on a narrow bridge by Kellogg’s headquarters.

People were out having fun downtown -- and I was one of them.