KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Just when you learned to adapt to a world where drivers need to share the road with people on electric scooters, there’s another alternative mode of transportation that’s really been turning heads on Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza.
“Oh yeah, I’ve seen him,” Zeke Cisneros said. “He goes around like crazy, having a good time.”
Cisneros is describing “Chip”, who didn’t want his last name used, a 24-year-old who’s been drawing a lot of attention this spring while zipping around the Plaza on a motorized unicycle that can reach speeds of 30 mph.
“I traded in my car for it actually, so it’s saving me thousands of dollars,” Chip said.
The unicycle is powered by a battery than can travel 50 miles after a 3-hour charge. Top of the line models (made by KingSong) sell for $2,000 while beginner versions can sell for closer to $500.
Chip’s unicycle and T-shirt are adorned with messages promoting Jesus Christ.
“It’s fun, and I like showing off the new technology to the people,” Chip said. “But right up there, number two, if I can kind of promote Christ a little bit in the process, it’s like why not, you know?”
If you’re wondering if Chip’s unicycle is street legal, the surprising answer is yes. Because it’s not gas-powered, KCPD officials said it’s governed by the same traffic laws as electric scooters -- which is to say, the same guidelines that cover traditional (two-wheeled) bicycles.
“No license required, no helmet or anything,” Chip said. “But you’re definitely going to want one, even on the scooters.”