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Mobility extender/‘Last Mile’: Bicycle, Moped. Motorcycle, Segway ???
Old 03-19-2017, 09:48 AM   #1
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Mobility extender/‘Last Mile’: Bicycle, Moped. Motorcycle, Segway ???

DW & I are buying a new retirement condo in CA (Pasadena) and are trying to figure how to optimize our mobility. We will be about 1.5 mi from an LA subway station. A pleasant walk on a slight downhill grade in the AM but it feels a long way uphill in the PM. We would like an easier way to get back home from the subway station. The cheapest is a bicycle but maybe a bit much effort and traffic is an issue. Maybe electric bicycles, not sure if chaining them is enough security. We are wondering about something like a moped (I believe there are a few that carry two, or two singles) or a very expensive solution would be a couple Segways.
We attended the LA Auto Show and they had an interesting section called ‘The Last Mile’ which tried to address this very issue, connecting to public transportation
Novel transport for the 'last mile' at Los Angeles Auto Show | Stuff.co.nz
There are a lot of practical and thoughtful people on this board, any ideas to explore. We would like something we can secure at the metro stop or, if light enough, even take with us on the subway to extend our mobility at our destination.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:02 AM   #2
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While all of the items you mentioned are possibilities, I think you are going to find that securing them, or carrying them around with you, are going to make them more of a liability than an asset. I walk 1.5 miles every day to the local pool where I swim, and then walk back home, so I get 3 miles round trip every day. I believe this walking (and the swimming) has kept me in better shape than the average person my age. Unless you are completely incapable of walking 1.5 miles back up the hill, I would encourage you to make it part of your exercise routine and look forward to it. It will also give you the flexibility to get on the subway whenever you feel like it without having to worry about your bikes getting stolen.


And I did have my bicycle stolen a couple of years ago, even with a chain securing it. If you make it part of your daily routine to store a bicycle in the same place for an extended period of time, it will get stolen.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:30 AM   #3
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I'd try, in order of preference:
1. Walking. After a few trips back and forth you may find the walk home less tiring since you will get used to it.
2. Bus? Is there one that will take you to the station and home?
3. Bike - get a couple of cheapie to try bit out on and see how it goes. Also (as a current bicycle commuter), I find the most direct route may not be best.
4. Uber or Lyft is perfect for this sort of scenario. You walk there, and on the days when the hill just seems like too much or you have a lot to carry, call a car for a ride home.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:34 AM   #4
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I know that the LA Metro has a bike share program where you can pick up and drop off one of their bikes at any of their bike stations but not sure if that extends out to Pasadena. Having lived in Southern Calif. I would also be leery of riding bikes on the streets unless they have a good designated bike lane. If it was me and walking wasn't an option I would probably look at using Pasadena's public bus transportation system.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers View Post
There are a lot of practical and thoughtful people on this board, any ideas to explore. We would like something we can secure at the metro stop or, if light enough, even take with us on the subway to extend our mobility at our destination.
I don't think a bike or anything with wheels even as big as a moped's are something I'd want to use for this purpose. If we're really only talking about a mile or two, walking is probably the best solution--zero cost, zero chance of theft, and great exercise.
Other than that, the option I'd look at is a little scooter. This electric one is $300, goes 15 MPH, has a range of up to 15 miles (probably not at that speed), and weighs 17 lbs. The handle folds down and it wouldn't be a problem to carry or store. A scooter with a small 4-stroke gasoline motor would have better performance and maybe cost less, but it might not be allowed aboard public transportation.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:57 AM   #6
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I don't have one of these, but would they allow you to ride a mobility scooter onto the subway? I'm thinking of something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Drive-Medical...FZANBJBDXZCRBT

If you could just stay on it instead of parking it and leaving it at the station, then you wouldn't have to worry about it being stolen.

I absolutely LOVE the scooter that samclem linked to, although I am old enough and awkward enough that I would probably fall and injure myself if I used something like that. But it would be great for most of our members. I love the fact that it is light enough to just carry with you.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:57 AM   #7
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I think I would agree with the others here. I have no car, so I walk everywhere. Particularity in LA weather you will be fully used to the walk back in no more than one month. When I first moved to my current condo one mile uphill from downtown I sometimes took a bus back up. But very shortly I began to look forward to the walk, unless the weather was really bad. But anymore, there is no such thing as weather bad enough to keep me from walking. If the bus can run, I can walk.

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Old 03-19-2017, 11:25 AM   #8
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Walking is your best option
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:36 AM   #9
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Sounds like a bicycle/ electric bike would be a hassle. I say try walking it for a while. If you continue to find it tiring to walk home, maybe a bus or taxi would be best for the return trip.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:36 AM   #10
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I think walking is the best option too. If the uphill climb is an issue, just take it easy. Take a break. With regular exercise, you may find that your endurance improves over time.

An alternative idea is a boosted board. This you can take with you. But you have to be able to use a skateboard, and willing to fall off.

https://boostedboards.com

https://youtu.be/hI7CuMwVvg8
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:58 AM   #11
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I don't think a bike or anything with wheels even as big as a moped's are something I'd want to use for this purpose. If we're really only talking about a mile or two, walking is probably the best solution--zero cost, zero chance of theft, and great exercise.
Other than that, the option I'd look at is a little scooter. This electric one is $300, goes 15 MPH, has a range of up to 15 miles (probably not at that speed), and weighs 17 lbs. The handle folds down and it wouldn't be a problem to carry or store. A scooter with a small 4-stroke gasoline motor would have better performance and maybe cost less, but it might not be allowed aboard public transportation.
+1. Except it looks to me like it weighs nearly 24lbs with the battery, but I only glossed through the Amazon site. That's heavy enough to require a backpack; and although that's a light load for a 22 year old infantryman, it'd be wearisome for most mature adults if carried for hours. I also think this is a great idea because I wouldn't feel obligated to tote a helmet around, unlike with a bicycle or moped.
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:07 PM   #12
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I wonder if this is a safe area of Pasadena. When I last worked in Pasadena, there houses with bars. But it was 25 years ago.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:34 PM   #13
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I'm with the walking crew. I would be leery of locking anything up other than a very cheap, expendable beater bike. Somebody mentioned Uber - that could fill in when you really just don't feel like the hike.
DC has an excellent bike share program that lots of people with distances like yours use to get to the Metro but LA doesn't strike me as a likely bike share city.
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Mobility extender/‘Last Mile’: Bicycle, Moped. Motorcycle, Segway ???
Old 03-20-2017, 12:18 PM   #14
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Mobility extender/‘Last Mile’: Bicycle, Moped. Motorcycle, Segway ???

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I'm with the walking crew. I would be leery of locking anything up other than a very cheap, expendable beater bike. Somebody mentioned Uber - that could fill in when you really just don't feel like the hike.
DC has an excellent bike share program that lots of people with distances like yours use to get to the Metro but LA doesn't strike me as a likely bike share city.


LA has bike share which is done via the metro system - it's fairly new still but they are expanding into Pasadena in the summer - in downtown la it's pretty good

http://la.curbed.com/2016/10/11/1325...share-pasadena
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Mobility extender/‘Last Mile’: Bicycle, Moped. Motorcycle, Segway ???
Old 03-20-2017, 12:27 PM   #15
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Mobility extender/‘Last Mile’: Bicycle, Moped. Motorcycle, Segway ???

I have one of these that I use on trains / subways on occasion
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strida I'd say it's about as bulky as a carry on wheeled luggage case with maybe even less in some respects
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:41 PM   #16
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I agree with walking, that's a short distance. An uphill bike ride in the evening may well be more exertion than an uphill walk - but both will become easier over time.

If you really want to get bicycles to make it quicker/easier, I'd get used/cheap/craigslist or walmart $100 range bikes, and that way you won't be too annoyed when they aren't still locked to the bike rack when you get off the train one day.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:03 PM   #17
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We have been using Uber more and more often. It actually works, and for a 1.5 mile trip, I don't imagine it would be too expensive. If you have a smart phone and the free Uber app, you would be good to go. You might want to check on the cost of a trip to the Metro. There are different fees regarding the day, and the time of day (or night) regarding Uber rides.

I read in your profile that you kayak. So, I guess you are used to carrying around things that are unwieldy. I don't like doing that. When I leave the house I don't want to be burdened with extra baggage, so a bike or cart or scooter wouldn't work for me.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:29 PM   #18
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Walk.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:39 PM   #19
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It's nice to have options. I would imagine that the OP will get to the Metro (and back) in all sorts of ways. Walking might be one of them. But, it gets quite hot and smoggy (poor air quality) in Pasadena, so walking uphill in the summer may not be the best idea.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:51 PM   #20
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If you choose to walk, is there someplace about half way where you could stop and rest? Perhaps a cafe where you could enjoy a cup of tea or something, and then finish the walk, or a park with benches?
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