Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

A skeptical look at the eGo Cycle 2 electric moped


Scooters make ideal second vehicles. The vast majority of these little beasts are gasoline powered, but an increasing number of electric models are beginning to glide silently though cities worldwide. Mary Jensen recently posted her impressions of the eGo Cycle 2 on Treehugger. It's a nifty $1199 electric scooter that's capable of reaching 24 mph (38 kph). The eGo weighs a mere 130 lbs and offers a practical 25 mile (40 km) range on a 6 hour charge that costs a mere 8 cents. Mary seems quite happy with her little runabout, but I'm more hesitant.

My thoughts? Think twice before buying this or any other limited speed electric vehicle that's unable to keep up with traffic. The eGo Cycle's poky top speed means that you'll often be forced to ride on the shoulder of the road, where you're forced to deal with rocks, gravel, garbage and the occasional stray hubcap. You're denied the right to "own" a full lane like a car, motorcycle or scooter. This increases the odds that a stray Hummer will force you into a curb or accidentally cut you off as it makes a right-hand turn in front of you. You're also faced with a dilemma when trying to turn left -- you're suddenly forced to putter away from the relative safety of the curb and into the path of much faster vehicles.

Another count against these vehicles is that they don't require registration or a motorcycle license in many jurisdictions. This might lull potential riders into a false sense of security by intimating that vehicles such as the eGo Cycle 2 aren't "real" motor vehicles that requires skill and training to ride competently. Sadly, that's miles from the truth. A 24 mph top speed is fast enough that riders need to have a solid practical understanding of counter-steering and emergency maneuvering. Experience on a bicycle doesn't equip you to drive a motor vehicle.

All in all, I think it's far safer to consider a more capable conventional scooter that's able to keep up with traffic. Your local safety council might even offer practical hands-on scooter training that could save your life.

eGo Cycle 2: Great style and fewer emissions than your Vespa


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