I’ve taught about 30 people to ride EUCs. With the kids, I’ve been faced with the decision of when to let them venture out into the wide world on their own. A gut feeling for when they’re ready would work fine if it wasn’t for the arguments… “why can’t I go, I’m as good as she is!”
So I want to make a simple set of skill tests which all need to be passed before leaving the practice area. The first four are obviously trivial, and are there just to provide an encouraging progress meter. “Yay, I earned a pass on this one!” I know there’s a ton of tricks you can learn, but except for the first four, I kept them to what I feel are genuinely useful in practice. I'd like the check list to be compact, not a list of everything you can do, and I want to divide it into the mandatory and the nice-to-learn.
To set the context, we live in Finland and the kids know how and where to drive a bicycle, use a helmet, and are generally sensible. And I won't buy an EUC that goes more than 25 km/h. So basic traffic safety is not considered here.
Below is my current work-in-progress. All feedback is really welcome - any additions, deletions, re-formatting, proof-reading, clarifying. (Personally, if I had to leave just one, the "figure 8s" test would be it. It's a fairly good meter of overall agility.) The aim is to create a neat “EUC basics and driver’s licence” document, perhaps with some pics.
Lecture on EUC limits: lift only by the handle and only when turned off, beware of potholes/rocks due to small wheel, low friction on mud/leaves/etc, dangerous power limits (uphill at fast speed, low battery), obey wheel warning signs: pedal tilt-back, beeps
Stay on the wheel for 5 seconds
Complete a circle turning left
Complete a circle turning right
Go down a curb, 10 cm / 4 inches or more
Drive up a steep slope, turn in the middle, drive down, turn, drive up
Three consecutive unassisted mounts and dismounts
Three consecutive figure eights (8s) inside the space of a one car parking space, 2.5 x 5 m / 8 x 16 feet
The above is the minimum level for independent driving among other people! Until all of the above are easy, stay in a safe practice area, such as an empty parking lot. The following tasks are inspirational (but also useful).
Turn-on-a-dime 90° (maneuvering in tight spaces becomes easier)
Turn-on-a-dime 180° (maneuvering in tight spaces becomes easier)
Go up a curb, 10 cm / 4 inches or more (more freedom when choosing routes)
Ride two EUCs (useful for transport, e.g. taking a wheel to a friend)
Sit-and-slide/crawl, i.e. sit on wheel with knees on the pedals and slowly creep forward when needed (useful when queueing – you get a seat and don't need to carry the wheel – also, this is often OK in places where riding would be prohibited)
Hop along with one leg on the ground, one on a pedal (useful for moving small distances in crowded places, and a precursor to one-legged riding)
One-legged riding (useful for resting your feet and re-positioning them)
Riding backwards (maneuverability increases)