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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Joggers stride past Lime scooters in Riverfront Park amid city slowdown rules

UPDATED: Mon., May 13, 2019

A Lime scooter rider crosses Spokane Falls Boulevard at Howard with pedestrians, Monday, May 13, 2019, in Spokane,Wash. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
A Lime scooter rider crosses Spokane Falls Boulevard at Howard with pedestrians, Monday, May 13, 2019, in Spokane,Wash. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

How do you like your Lime?

Mine came with a chaser.

As I wheeled my shiny green scooter rental from Lincoln Street onto Main Avenue, I seized the right lane and hit top speed – 18 mph.

A Ford Explorer came up from behind and swerved into the fast lane. That was OK, because I caught him at the light, then left him in the dust at the entrance to River Park Square.

Folks were impressed, I think.

Lime scooters returned to Spokane on Monday, a save-the-date moment I’d been awaiting since last fall.

Three hours into the work day, I left the office and grabbed a scooter.

I still had $19.50 in my little green wallet, otherwise known as the Lime app on my iPhone, from last year.

Back in the saddle, I knew the rules had changed. Riders are no longer required to wear helmets, although they’re encouraged (yeah, right). And no more riding on sidewalks.

Cruising Riverside was never this much fun, even if most of the vehicles I passed were STA buses. Potholes only added to the thrill.

As I turned left toward Riverfront Park, another middle-aged guy on a scooter looked up and said, “Isn’t this great?”

Then the unthinkable happened.

I hit the brakes, and not by choice. To protect pedestrians, the city ordered Lime to limit its scooters to 7 mph within the park.

As I rode past the fountain, a jogger ran past me. A fast jogger, but still – really?

Nevertheless, I stuck with it behind the Convention Center and topped out at 7 1/2 mph.

When I cleared the park, I almost pulled a wheelie as my scooter broke free of the shackles of Riverfront Park.

Halfway to Gonzaga University, I turned around and wheeled back to the park..

And there it was. Soon the Clocktower appeared at the bottom of a steep slope. My scooter slowed even on the downhill, this time at 11 1/2 mph. But thrills are where you find them.

Heading back toward town, I learned that the park’s speed zone, which kept me at 7 mph, reached all the way to Red Robin.

That was enough. I left my scooter on Riverside, but didn’t forget to put down the kickstand.

Sticker-shock came a few seconds later. It still costs $1 per ride, but the price per minute has risen by a dime, to 25 cents.

The final bill was $4.25 for a 12-minute ride. That was a little steep, but I’ll be back on the streets in no time.

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