Last Saturday morning we were set on brunch & a little adventure. We found the perfect combo at Cameron Village – Brunch and Birds. Yep, BIRD SCOOTERS!
Bird Scooters have arrived in Raleigh!
If you’ve been downtown or anywhere near it lately, you’ve probably seen the matte black scooters propped up around every corner in popular (and not so popular areas) of town. Or you’ve seen people cruising past your car door on your uber ride to the bar. Bird is a pretty new company based out in Santa Monica. The deal is, they drop a bunch of scooters off in a city and most of their work is done! Riders can pick up the scooters wherever they’re left and drop them when they’re done. A crew of “Bird Hunters” find them and plug them in every night. They started out in Cali and have expanded to 30 cities now including Raleighwood! The company dropped 150 scooters off a couple months ago and we were so excited to try them! Spoiler, you should try Birds too!
So how does it work?
Download the App & Find Your Bird
Take a quick detour to the app store to download the Bird app. The app is what makes this whole thing work! Once you have the app open, you’ll see a map of all of the birds in your area with a little logo floating on a map. Follow the map to find your Bird. Once you get there, you use the app to scan the QR code on the handlebars. You’ll see how much charge is left on the scooter and the distance that it should be able to go. If that looks good, you can go ahead and unlock it!
If it’s your first time, the app will ask to scan your license and, of course, for your card info. It’s only 1$ to start and 15 cents for every minute so getting around on these birdies is even budget friendly. With your card info in, your bird unlocked, and a couple practice bell rings you’re good to go. Three kick pushes and you’re off!
Bird Scooter around Raleigh!
Easy, right? These things go up to 15 miles per hour which you’ll learn pretty quick after squeezing the throttle a few times. Even with that top speed, they are SUPER easy to ride! Coming from someone who really doesn’t do well on motorized things, bikes, skateboards or any of it, that means a lot.
There’s a whole bunch of rules you probably read in the app when you were unlocking your scooter. I, being the rule follower I am, was fully prepared to show up for my first ride helmet in hand. You probably don’t have to do that (unless you’re really into safety, then go for it!). We’ve seen a few helmets around town but that’s out of a few hundred people we’ve seen bird-ing. You’ll also see that the app tells you to avoid sidewalks and ride either in the bike lane or main road. Lies. You can ride on the sidewalks! We spent a lot more time on the sidewalks than on the actual road and that’s what I see more commonly around town too. We did spend some time on the main roads without any issues so the rule is pretty much – go where you need to! One more little reminder – these guys are only charged to go about 15 miles on flat land. Raleigh’s got some hills that you probably haven’t noticed until you hop on a little scooter that has to pull your ass up them! Watch your charge to make sure you don’t get stuck with a dead bird.
Have to stop for a drink or a bite to eat? No problemo. Leave your bird unlocked to you and it will stay right where you left it. You’re paying for those minutes though so keep an eye on your watch. Worst case you forget you’ve got a bird unlocked, right? There is a maximum charge of 100$ for 24 hours so you can’t get into too much trouble.
When you’re done riding or flying (… see what I did there?) park your bird out of the way near the sidewalk and end your ride on the app. That’s it!
It all sounds pretty convenient right? IT IS!
So where should you Scoot in Raleigh?
Here are a few of our flight plans (…did it again) for scooter adventures around Raleigh
Cameron Village to Downtown – Stop for dinner at one of the delicious options in Cameron Village then take a little ride to cocktail hour downtown.
House Hunting – Bird around Boylan Heights, Cameron Village or even Oakwood and soak in the dreamy real-estate that covers the city!
First Friday – Bop around from the galleries in Moore Square to the Times on Fayetteville for the market and a drink!
Workout to Brunch – If you’re anything like me, you love a weekend A.M workout especially when followed by brunch. After working those legs out at Heat, Corepower, Flywheel, or Madabolic scoot your way to the mimosas at any of the delicious DTR brunch spots!
Do it for the ‘gram
Since once you jump on one of these things, you’re going to want to do it again, you’re going to need some insta captions, right? I’ve got your back –
When you go riding with BAE – “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird”
Play on a classic that always goes with a new set of wheels – “Ridin’ Birdy”
Feeling a little wild? – “Some birds just aren’t meant to be caged”
For the 6 a.m ride to coffee – “Early bird gets the worm”
So, YOU HAVE TO TRY BIRD-ING. So fun. So easy. Super convenient. Get Scootin’
Sidenote: Bird dropped 150 of these things off in the downtown Raleigh area back in June. They’ve spread out to cover the majority of downtown, all the way up to Cameron Village and around NC State Campus. My recommendation is go try these things out as soon as you can. Other cities like Charleston, and Los Angeles have already removed Birds from their streets for a bunch of reasons and word on the street is that not all of our Raleigh representatives love the idea of scooters flying around town. On the bright side though – Bird and a couple other scooter companies have reached out to the city of Durham to drop more so we might not be completely out of luck.