Let’s talk rolling. Today’s urban landscape in cities like New York, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Denver, and Los Angeles is becoming less and less friendly towards the single passenger car and truck. Gotham doesn’t like your selfish carbon footprint or the congestion you cause as you buzz around town for work and for pleasure, so they’re going to raise gas taxes, build more toll roads and bridges, and make parking spaces astronomically expensive, or get rid of them altogether. Uber? Forget it. As New York City recently proved, that’s not an option that big city bigwigs like at all — the city council put a cap on the number of Uber drivers allowed in the Big Apple at any one time. Even electric scooters are being driven out of Metropolis by the police, who hate the fact that they clog the sidewalks and scare away the panhandlers so the cops don’t have anyone to hassle anymore.
Out in the country it’s a different matter. You and your pickup are loved and petted by everyone from the grain elevator operator to the fertilizer lady at the Hooterville General Store. You can eat up the miles on those long scenic country roads without anyone hassling you about global warming or the fact that latex for tires comes from sweatshop conditions in Malaysia and Brazil. And parking? No problemo. Anywhere you want, pardner — even on the grass, next to a fire hydrant. Problem is . . . who wants to live so far away from civilization that the internet is operated by semaphore? The urbanista only thrives when there are miles of sidewalks and acres of stores and coffee shops. The sound of honking horns and the smell of stale diesel fumes in the morning is what he or she dotes on.
So maybe you like to walk. Nothing wrong with a leisurely stroll to work or to Starbucks — if you’re never on a tight schedule or pulled a tendon during pilates. Or you just love the public transportation in your city — the unreliable schedules; the sometimes cramped and smelly quarters; the dirty seats; the interesting nutjobs that like to ride along all day wearing aluminum foil hats; and the fact that 99 percent of the time public transportation never gets you any closer to your destination than six blocks.
So it’s time to welcome Volkswagen’s latest contribution to the world of Cool Things That Are Also Very Useful. The Volkswagen Roller.
It’s the trendy roller skate for the urbanista who is tired of their city’s vehicular blackmail and ostracism. It offers a smooth, comfortable, safe, and steady ride; hands-free and autonomous. It has a pair of regular wheels and a pair of “safety” wheels in the back — for beginners or for when the sidewalk is really uneven and cracked. It’s like a hoverboard, but much stabler and copacetic.
Average speed is around six miles per hour — but you can push it up to fifteen if you’re a speed demon. Battery powered, it will run for two hours or up to twenty-five miles between charges. With gyroscopic braking, you’d have to be trying really hard to have an accident or fall down. And it’s completely mobile; it comes with a carrying case so you can take it to work or to a party. And there’s no danger of getting a DUI on it if you party hearty.