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Stan Onymous June 27, 2018 Revisiting the KS14B A vacation jaunt on an old friend The Kingsong 14b was a traveling EUC that was sold with the promise of being able to fly on planes with it due to its removable FAA approved battery sizes. It has all the whistles and bells of its higher end Kingsong models, ie bluetooth speaker and usb port. It is also very slow at 16mph top speed. That’s half the speed capabilities of the KS18 line and with good reason. It only has 16 cells in the removable batteries, so it is a niche vehicle at best, albeit a very fun niche. I call mine the singer sewing machine, since it looks like a portable sewing machine from the 70’s. It has the ride feel of what I imagine Rosie the robot from the Jetsons would feel like if she gave you a piggy-back ride. So it is nowhere near the latest technology EUCs coming out this Summer, but in my humble (Ha!) opinion, it is just as thrilling and fun to ride. Maybe I should qualify that statement. Part of a what a Vacation has always meant to me is slowing down to appreciate life away from the business world. There are few slower and more enjoyable than this vehicle. Many riders think that the only way to have fun on these machines is to push them like a pioneering test pilot. It is a great imaginary tactic to keep fear as an invigorating feeling of, as Churchill said after escaping in a retreat from a battle in WW1 - “There is nothing so thrilling as to be shot at without result”. Having lived in a gang section of L.A. in my youth, I am not sure I totally agree with Mr Churchill in the moment after drive by shootings, but the relief after the event of survival is a real feeling. So how does all of this carnage fit in with such a tame device as the KS14b? It doesnt. It has a completely different feeling than terror and relief. It has Nostalgia. Nostalgia is what makes grown men rent a classic car they remember were cool from their youth. Maybe its a Mustang from the 60’s with an inline six cylinder engine, maybe its a VW beetle or maybe its a Cadillac Eldorado. These are clearly outdated vehicles, bereft of ABS and fuel injection, and two of those cars have the suspension system of a horse drawn wagon from the 19th Century. None of these cars can accelerate to 60 mph in under 8 seconds. Yet in their times they were very fun vehicles indeed. This is the exercise in nostalgia. It helps one appreciate how far we have come while we were busy living our lives. It gives us a sense of progress we may not have recognized in our daily lives. By now the skeptics are asking themselves or my words - “How can riding something so unsafe in today’s measure be considered fun or even appropriate to consider?” We have ridden tons of unsafe vehicles over the years. Consumer Reports called both the Corvair and the Subaru 360 unsafe at any speed, and ugly to boot. I would disagree with the latter and the former for that matter. There was the pinto, the Subaru brat’s rear seats, the flippable broncos and many many more. I drive my Subaru 360 truck occasionally, and yes it will fishtail if I slam on the brakes at a stop light, and no it wont do 70mph unless you toss it off a cliff. But it is a joy to ride in. There are tons of stories about the dangers of older cars, and in comparison to what is being made today, some of those concerns are real. They are real in today’s metrics, but back then they were perfectly fine for families and teenagers to cruise the streets of a much simpler America. It is with that feeling of a simpler time that makes the KS14b a quaint nostalgic ride. Sure you ride no faster than a jogger could sprint, and occasionally young ladies in tennis skirts will pass you on their 3 speed bikes going down a hill, but even that exercise has its advantages. There is a real skill in riding within the limits of a machine. With some of the newer models, even riding within their limits can injure one in a fall. There is much less of a chance of being injured tho on a vehicle that you can jog away from while at top speed. While on vacation that is an important benefit. Who wants to race past beautiful beaches and awesome sunsets, or other beautiful scenery? Isnt it more fun to enjoy your surroundings when you are in a place of beauty during a vacation? The answer for me is Yes it is. The KS14b is a joy to ride with a Classical music station blaring out of the Quadrophonic speakers at 12- 14 mph along bike paths and abandoned sidewalks. Fun you say? You must be madd. No but really, being able to ride at that speed has taught me a lot about why I really do enjoy these vehicles. Standing while moving is fun, thats why people dont usually walk up an escalator unless they are very late. It feels like a reward. A reward for what you say? Who cares really, but a reward for being alive. A special perk for trusting in technology to get us through another day. With great technology comes great responsibility is what Peter Parkers father would’ve said had Peter become the bionic man. And so it is with the EUCs of today. But the older EUCs, much like older cars, have none of that. Reward yourself, smell the flowers see the sights and dance while riding to your favorite music. Hop on an old friend and remember what makes this hobby so much fun is not the thrill of survival, but the reward of moving while standing still. Feel that? Thats an epiphany patting you on the shoulder. Now, go out and have a wonderful day!