The Top 7 Lamest Alternatives to Cars

November 6, 2008

As the western world’s general consciousness turns toward the notion of “living green,” naturally personal transportation became a big part of that equation.  Compounded with tough economic times, people are looking for a change from the SUV lifestyle, a paradigm shift from the lumbering land barges of yesterday. However, in this search there are many pitfalls to watch out for, so to that end, heed this warning and check out the seven lamest alternatives to cars.

7. The Snakeboard   


Okay, so you considered just using a skateboard to get around town, but you longed for something a little edgier. A little more… modern? Somehow you gravitated toward the, uh, Snakeboard.

Seriously, who authorized this thing? It’s like a skateboard, except you’re basically fused to it, forced to shimmy around town like an over-caffeinated epileptic hula dancer. This might be fine for children, who have no sense of shame anyway, but if you’re a grown man tooling around town with one of these, you might as well kiss your sex life goodbye.

6. Recumbent/Rowing/Hand Pedaled Bicycles


Alright buddy, the jig is up. So you had a fixed gear bike, but you felt it was a little too bush-league for your advanced level of expertise in the bicycle riding department, so you decided to step up your game. The problem is you bought a bike that you pedal while laying down.

Truth is, you look like a runaway circus act as you crank your way down the street. If you don’t mind being a spectacle, hey why not? Though, if you value your dignity, this might not be a good move.

5. Gas Scooters    


I still don’t understand how these things caught on. I suppose you could trace its origins to the Razor Scooter’s popularity with ten-year-olds for about a split second a few years back.

Then someone got the bright idea that they could strap a lawnmower engine to one and sell them to young adults who were completely lacking any sense of  self-awareness and didn’t mind annoying people everywhere they went simply by their presence. On the plus side, it’s doubtful you’ll ever breed if you ride one of these around your neighborhood, so there’s that.

4. Mini Bikes  


Much like gas scooters, this is sort of like a joke that went way too far, and now people take them somewhat seriously. If you can get on one of these and somehow not realize how ridiculous you look on it, then you deserve to be ridiculed. And really, how much more does a normal used motorcycle set you back anyway?

Just remember, not everyone is qualified to ride a mini motorcycle. Though you have to admit, it does make this clip above a little bit funnier.

3. The Rascal  


Ok, let me start by saying, you know, if you genuinely need one of these, that’s cool and fine. But the problem here is that the Rascal is abused on so many levels all too frequently. First off, a let me clear up a common misconception: a Rascal is not a car. It just isn’t and you’re going to have to come to terms with that. 

Secondly, if you’re an able-bodied person using a Rascal because you’re just too lazy to walk, well, just get it over with now and drown yourself in Easy Cheese.

2. Rollerblades    


In retrospect, were Rollerblades ever actually cool? I’m going to speculate that the answer is no. And the climate for rollerbladers doesn’t seem to be getting any better as time hasn’t helped the ‘blading trend find a solid angle. Aside from participating in the effeminate act of ice skating without ice, the spandex, neon, and dual-purpose knee pads aren’t doing these guys any favors, either.

At this point, rollerblading holds the honor of being the lightning rod for skateboarder distain and the object of amusement and mockery for the rest of us.

1. The Segway


After all the hype around this “personal transportation device” surged to absurd levels up to the point of its unveiling, when the Segway basically debuted a flop, people were left wondering what went wrong. Well, let me shed some light on the situation.

Without a doubt, the Segway stands above and beyond all other alternative modes of transportation in terms of sheer lameness. It’s a perfect storm really: A prohibitively high price tag means that only hoity rich folk will buy them, regardless of skill level, people look awkward and ridiculous while riding them, they’re easily defeated by staircases, and people commonly fall off of them in less-than-graceful, but always amusing ways.

I guess the common thread here is that while fuel prices may fluctuate wildly, and cars will always be a big expense regardless, it still beats falling on your face any day.