Blog #31

Back from annual Ski trip to Vail. Lots and Lots of snow! Usually warmer, but Brrrr 5 degrees at 11000 plus feet. Late March is great skiing. These old bones love to fall in powder!!

By 1992, although we had been in business 20 years it didn’t seem like it. We were well known by those in the business but the general public didn’t have a clue as to who we were, where we were, or what we made. We had even been on “Let’s Make a Deal” and had donated one for a Drawing at a National Disabilities Show in NYC where a rather disheveled man, with no Visitor ID tag, but a boozy odor, gingerly hopped on it, and toothlessly grinned as he drove away through the crowd of disappointed folks who looked like they needed transportation. C’est la vie. We had spent a lot of money pioneering our outdoor scooter.
Many people wanted and/or needed our scooters for mobility, but they could get a smaller one for free from the government. Medicare was becoming our biggest competitor. They were paying for the smaller, indoor scooters, most of which are made in China and shipped here to distributors. They would not pay for an outdoor vehicle made by Americans. But if you look at the small scooter ads, you see the smaller vehicles outdoors. In business you gotta roll with the punches around the obstacle. So we diversified even more. In the 90’s we kept improving the vehicles with more powerful motors, and selling pedal trikes with and without motors. We also sold bare motors. A University bought our motors. They told us of their ideas and JPII answered all their questions, gave a few suggestions and Voila, their Robots became winners in the the highly electric/mechanical Robot competitions where Universities challenge each other. The students were dynamic engineers who will soon be using their knowledge to enhance all our lives. And our little motors helped spin their creativity. We also began to think about changing the electric scooters’ power drive and speed controller. We went through numerous changes, and miles of testing. Here’s where my VIP status comes to fruition. They put me on the scooter to see how “Very Idiot Proof” it is. They give me no instructions except do not make fast turns. I then drive away up hill, down hill, through grass, dirt road, the softest wet earth I can find, over small bridges and over those scarey bridges with little holes in the patterns, down by the creek through the mud. I like to get it stuck. The new motor was more powerful and gave me a jolt when it went over about a 3 ” diameter log, Not recommended but capable if I hung on tight. Lots of changes were necessary but we sent out two prototypes to our high mileage riders. They put them through their paces and by 2001, we were offering an automatic shift, and an electronic speed controlled scooter. It was very quiet. The older scooter had to be shifted . It was easy to do but required Shift Lever in Center of the machine. Now, the rider didn’t have to choose a gear or shift for highest speed. A louder horn was used as pedestrians couldn’t hear the scooters approaching. We continue to stock parts for our outdoor scooters with Shifter. In fact, most of those are still in use and we have parts for all of them.
Our scooters are made to last!
Past my word limit.