Hi Vasek, could you tell us briefly how long you have been kick scooting and how did it all begin?
Hi! When I was a professional athlete, around 2000 (ASK Slavie Praha), we hadn’t been allowed to cycle in our free time as muscles which are important for running get shorter when cycling. So my teammates discovered kick scooters at that time and I bought my first one in 2001 as a present for my twentieth birthday.
As a experience scooterist, what kind of advice would you give those who want to buy their first kick scooter? I know you ride a Kickbike, but any general advice?
Well firstly you have to think about where and how often you want to ride. Quite often sellers don’t have a clue and just present what they have been told by the manufacturers as they are not using the scooters themselves, or prefer only one type. A scooter should be light and you should feel comfortable on it. Sometimes changing handlebars or just simply making small adjustments can make a huge difference and the same scooter can behave totally differently. You have to keep trying and know what you want and what you don’t:))
Ok, so finally we’ve got our new scooter home and now what? How should we prepare ourselves for the first ride? Is there any mistake which we should avoid? Or something important to know so we can enjoy our ride?
Mistake? No, not really. Kick scooters don’t need too much maintenance compared to bicycles. All we really need to care about are the tires. Depends on the terrain. If you’re going to ride on a smooth road, then pumping them to the maximum allowed by the manufacturer is the best. For rougher terrain, it is better to do the minimum.
Who can use kick scooters and what are the benefits compared to cycling?
If I look at kick scooting vs. running, then scooting is more gentle on your joints and muscles. Although you’re using them the same way as in running, you have to scoot longer distances than you would run to have the same impact. A bicycle is even better in this regard, but on a scooter you will use almost all the muscles in your body if you’re riding the right way. There is also an added benefit for your back which is in a stressful state while cycling, driving or just simply sitting all day at work. The most important thing is to have handlebars in the right position and to change your legs frequently – after every 3 to 5 kicks.
Tell us about your kick scooters?
Oh dear, I shouldn’t as it is in terrible state:)…but I have been using the Kickbike Race Max20 for last 9 years and it’s the best road kick scooter in the world in my opinion. The frame is light but stiff and doesn’t spring even with my 105 kg. It has a great firm aluminium front fork. I took off the carbon one as it was bouncing under my weight which was great on terrain but not on the road. Also, front caliper brakes from Campagnolo – I bought myself a present from them, a ZONDA wheel – a great wheel for price vs power. But the best are the Cruise MAX handlebars which I have on my scooter – they let you stay upright and stand 12 to 16 hours on the footboard. Not all manufactures get this yet as they don’t use kick scooters themselves. I admire the founder of Kickbike, Hannu Vierikka, as he used to be a doctor and then gave up his career and started to build scooters as he needed something to train on:)
I know that you attended the Tour de France 2013 and Giro di Italia 2017 on your kick scooter…is there anything that you will always remember?
This I will remember for the rest of my life…those 3300km, well 3600 km in fact, in 24 days with mostly 3-4 hours of sleep a night, otherwise scooting and pain, but happiness…we were the first in the world who made it! A whole day ahead of cyclists! The hardest thing was to find sponsors as people didn’t trust us that we were going to make it. Not even professional cyclists could believe it when they heard about it.
Do you have any scooting dreams? Any race, Alpine Peaks or continent?
We finished the 100th Tour de France and Giro di Italia and and have not yet ridden 100th Vuelta which will take place in 2045 when I’ll be 64 years old…so I’ll wait till then and will try to kick it That should be the cherry on the top…otherwise I wish that there were more people around the world using kicks scooters like in the Czech Republic and that they would enjoy it like us. You know that we have had a kick scooter league in the Czech Republic for more than 50 years, right?