Electric scooter rental

The all-terrain electric scooter

Having just arrived in the area to join the editorial staff of La Gazette de Thiers, I’m going to test out the various tourist and summer experiences in Livradois-Forez for you. This week, I’m starting with an all-terrain electric scooter at the new Trott-in Nature club, run by Olivier Debard.

Electric scooter rental

Try not to put your foot down 

Under a radiant sun, I took the opportunity to test the all-terrain electric scooter. And I do mean all-terrain. It’s important to make that clear. These aren’t the scooters you’re used to seeing in major urban centers. This is a scooter with tires as thick as ATVs. And the same goes for the handlebars, which bear a striking resemblance to those of an ATV, except that the scooter’s handlebars feature an acceleration trigger. And it’s this trigger that makes all the difference.

Ranging from €15 to €30, the price of the tour varies according to the time spent on it.
Book online or call 07 69 75 07 56.

A family activity 

Before straddling my scooter, I play the good student and listen carefully to Olivier’s instructions. A few rules to follow if you don’t want to end up with your nose on the ground. He explains that there are five gears, and the maximum speed is 25 km/hour.

In the end, it’s like driving a car: you have to put it in first gear if you want to start, and then shift into the other gears in succession. In theory, child’s play. But in practice, when you’re going downhill, the scooter freewheels. A slight clarification that I hadn’t necessarily integrated from the outset.

Olivier, Julien (who starts work at Trott’In Nature today) and I get off to a gentle start by scootering along the banks of the Saint-Rémy lake. While Julien and I got to grips with our scooters, Olivier shared a few anecdotes with us. After a few photos, it’s time for the first climb…

Electric scooter rental

It's all very sporting...

In front of me, there’s a choice of two short, stony climbs, but they don’t leave me indifferent. I finally take the plunge. And no, it doesn’t work. I finish on foot. That’s what it takes to build confidence. If I have to fall for real, I decide to go all out and enjoy it. The three of us take the path above the lake for a stroll. Our first stop at the top of the hill is well worth the detour. A superb view of the Chaîne des puys and, on the other side, the gateway to the Loire department. A good exercise for those who know very little about the region or have a very poor sense of direction. Knowing that I’m more or less on the right track, I can’t help but admire the beautiful Auvergne countryside.

The ride resumes after ten minutes, and we inevitably reach our first descent. “When you’re going downhill, hold on tight, and above all, if you want to brake, do it with both hands to avoid one wheel locking up and you slipping.” Seeing the ground strewn with branches and pebbles, I take Olivier’s words on board, and take it easy. Always, just in case!

Choose between a one-hour or two-hour tour 

And so we headed for “33 famille”, a long drive ahead of us. The most enjoyable part for me. On a road with little traffic, surrounded by trees, you can let yourself be carried along by the speed without paying attention to any obstacles.

The “33 family” ride lasts an hour to an hour and a half. This is enough time to reach two or three high points along the way, the last of which offers a view of the Saint-Rémy waterhole from which you started. At the end, the downhill sections are very pleasant to ride, because although they’re steep, they’re wide enough to give you plenty of time to enjoy them to the full.

In the end, once the scooter and I had become one, it didn’t take long to get to the finish and I was already looking forward to going back.

Lagazettedethiers

 Lucile Brière for La Gazette de Thiers et d'Ambert.

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