It happened on the coldest day of the season.
It was 16 degrees F with wind chill. I was outside, using my electric scooter to take Joey, our cocker spaniel, for his early morning walk. Joey had just finished his business. I was tying the poopie bag when I heard beeping — a string of five beeps — over and over. I checked my iPhone, but it wasn’t the source of the sound. Nobody else was in sight because I live at the beach, and no one would freeze their butt off at the dunes unless they had to.
I realized the source of the sound must’ve been my scooter. When I turned it off, the beeping stopped. I turned it back on and the beeping resumed. Uh-oh. The alarm must be a code for trouble, and the trouble was … the scooter wouldn’t move.
The headlights worked, and the meter indicated that the battery had a nearly full charge. The scooter beeped but wouldn’t move. It was in trouble. I was in trouble. I was a block away from my condo with one of my two canes, a dog tugging me toward home, and a stuck scooter. Do you get the picture?
What to do?
Fortunately, I had my iPhone. Fortunately, my wife, Laura, was upstairs, though she was far from ready to appear in public at that early hour.
It was decision time: Should I call Laura, or should I call 911 and ask for help from the fine people at the firehouse two blocks away? In the end, asking Laura to get dressed and rescue me won out. I didn’t want the embarrassment of firefighters helping me back home. And Joey is really Laura’s dog much more than mine.
Laura arrived quickly, carrying my second cane so that I could walk back to the condo. I put the scooter into freewheel mode, and despite my loud objections (“Are you crazy?”), Laura pushed the scooter and pulled the dog to the lobby of our apartment.
According to an excellent customer service rep named Barbara at Pride Mobility, the five beeps indicated a problem with the freewheel mode sensor. You can reset the scooter by turning off the power, removing the key (I never thought to remove the key), recycling the freewheel lever, and turning the power back on. Lo and behold, the scooter was working again.
I’ve never had a scooter quit on me, so I never thought to prepare for the possibility. From now on, I’ll always be sure to have a sufficiently charged phone with me. (Sometimes I forget my phone, and sometimes it has like 3 percent battery.) I’ll be sure to dress for the weather, instead of assuming I’ll only be out a few minutes and dressing too lightly. And I guess Laura better not be too far away. I sure don’t want to call the fire department and ask them to rescue me.
You’re invited to visit my personal blog at www.themswire.com.
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