Everything You Need To Know About Riding A 'Bird' Scooter

I Just Went Scooter 'Birding,' And Let Me Tell You, I Was Flying High

Haven't you always wanted to ride a "Bird"?

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A bird is a warm-blooded vertebrate with feathers, wings, and a beak.

It is also an electric scooter that is riding its way into the hearts of many major cities.

Last week in San Diego, my parents and I struggled to find parking along the beach. We had to walk about two blocks before we reached our favorite dinner spot. Our restaurant view overlooked the beach and a sidewalk leading to the shore. It was easy to see why it was my dad's favorite place.

Before we knew it, five scooters zipped by, leaving us with a few questions.

What were those?

How come we've never seen those before?

How can we ride one?

Thankfully, a few of our questions were answered just then. A tourist walked up to a scooter propped against a handicapped sign, pulled out her phone, scanned something, and cruised away.

We asked for our dinner check and walked up and down the sidewalk looking for another one of those scooters.

When we found one, my dad scanned the barcode on the handlebars and downloaded the "Bird" app. He scanned his license, inputted his credit card numbers, read the instructions with me, and let me try it out.

The Bird was fast! Trying to avoid the crowds, I zipped up and down the sidewalk, careful not to turn too sharp.

It was pretty darn cool.

After letting my parents try it out, we decided to rent two more so that we could ride along the sidewalk together. After sunset, we left our Birds right by our car. Why? Because we could.

Hooked yet? You should be.

Here's everything you need to know about this new Bird craze.

1. The Bird costs $1 for the first minute and $0.15 for every minute after that. Not too bad!

2. You can leave your Bird wherever you want when you're done riding it! (please not in the middle of the street)

3. "You must be 18 years old to ride a Bird," states their instructions. But if you have a license and a credit card, you're good to go.

4. The Birds are silent. It's a smooth ride!

5. The Birds have a battery. I believe every night they're charged again and set out for new riders in the morning.

6. "You must wear a helmet to ride," says the Bird app, but I have yet to see a single rider with a helmet.

7. To start your ride, push off two or three times before pushing the "go" throttle.

8. The Bird app allows you to lock and unlock your ride at any time. Stopping to get an ice cream? Lock your ride!

9. The Bird has a light on the front of the handlebars for safe and convenient night riding.

10. The Bird can fly/scoot as fast as 15 miles per hour.

It really is a rad concept, but also a dangerous one. My mom is (kind of) a safe driver and had to brake hard when two teenage boys zipped right in front of us after a stop sign at a blind corner.

How long will these Birds last? Will they become a Dodo, and go as quick as they came? Or will they integrate as a pigeon, and become somewhat of a permanent pest?

Despite what the future may bring, I'd encourage everyone to try out a Bird the next time they're in a major city!

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15 Fourth Of July Fun Facts And Trivia

The United States of America: Land of the free, home of the brave.
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Fourth of July is a holiday I look forward to every year! Full of outside, summer fun, barbecued foods, and firework displays. Behind all of that, however, is history! In celebration of our nation's Independence Day, here are 15 fun facts and pieces of trivia:

1. John Hancock was the only member of the Continental Congress to formally sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

2. The Fourth of July was not declared a federal holiday until 1938.

3. The first White House Fourth of July party was held in 1804.

4. Around 150 million hot dogs are consumed on Fourth of July (wonder if this statistic includes the hot dogs consumed during the annual Nathan's Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest?)

5. Back in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, 2.5 million new people lived in the U.S. Now 240 years later, 311 million people live.

6. The now American-celebrated song, Yankee Doodle, was originally written by officers of the British army to make fun of backwoods Americans.

7. Three United States presidents died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.

8. July 4th is also celebrated in the Philippines, because in 1946, the country was recognized as an independent nation.

9. In one year, $600 million is spent on fireworks alone in the U.S.

10. Most of the signers of the Declaration did not formally sign until August 2, 1776.

11. Though it is no treasure map as predicted by Nicholas Cage in "Treasure Hunt 2", the message "Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776" is written upside down on the back of the Declaration of Independence.

12. More than 14,000 firework displays are put on across the country on Fourth of July!

13. Bristol, Rhode Island is home to the world's oldest Independence Day celebration. It dates back to 1785!

14. In 1781, the great state of Massachusetts became the first one to declare Independence Day a holiday

15. Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Display is the largest in the United States

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia.org

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Forget The Beach, Do These Things Instead

These 25 thing won't break your bank this summer.

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When you think of summertime you think of the beach. Going to the beach usually involves a lot of driving and necessary spending. These 25 activities are perfect for summer and will not break your bank.

1. Take A Walk.

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As simple as it sounds, take a walk. Walk around your town or neighborhood; you'll be amazed at all of the little things you normally miss whenever you're driving by.

2. Have A Picnic.

Nothing says summer like a picnic. It can be at your local park or even in your backyard; just don't forget the watermelon!

3. Roast s'mores!

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Everyone loves a good s'more, and the nostalgic smell of the campfire.

4. Make your own ice cream.

Ice cream is the perfect sweet treat to cool down on the hot summer day, but it can also break your budget. Homemade ice cream is fun, delicious, and will not hurt your wallet.

Here is a sweet recipe!

5. Blow bubbles.

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I mean come on, who doesn't love blowing bubbles.

6. Watch the clouds

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Whenever you're having a stressful or sad day grab a blanket and head outside and watch the clouds blow by. Make a game out of how many different shapes you can identify.

7. Pick some berries.

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Find a local strawberry or blueberry field that allows customers to pick their own berries, it is a lot more fun than it sounds trust me.

8. Go to a minor league baseball game.

Hot dogs, ice cream, and fun memories are all to be had at a local baseball game.

9. Go to a parade.

Your town or a neighboring town most likely has a holiday parade on Memorial Day, 4th of July, or labor day. Go to these parades, you'll get to see all of the local youth organizations, support your community, and maybe even get some candy thrown your way.

10. Watch the fireworks.

Really watch the fireworks, don't try to take pictures that will come out blurry. Live in the moment.

11. Watch the sunrise

It may involve an earlier bedtime the night before, but it will be worth it.

12. Watch the sunset.

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13. Make a slip & slide

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Tarp+water+soap=endless fun

14. Paint with bubbles.

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This takes blowing bubbles to a whole new level. Add your favorite colors of food coloring to your bubbles grab a piece of paper and blow onto the paper; you'll come away with a masterpiece.

15. Make a bird feeder.

Give back to mother nature by building a bird feeder.

16. Catch lightning bugs.

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AND THEN LET THEM GO!

17. Build a fort.

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Let's be real, everybody loves a good fort.

18. Tye-Dye something.

Shirt, socks, blankets, it doesn't matter what it is as long as you have fun.

19. Read.

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Go to a local bookstore, run your fingers along the spines of all the books and pick the one that calls to you.

20. Color with chalk.

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Unleash your inner artist on your driveway and/or sidewalk.

21. Pick up litter.

Go outside and help clean mother earth, it will not only benefit you but everybody around you as well.

22. Have an absolutely epic water gun battle.

Swim Pool Boy Water Swimming Summer Water Gun

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Grab your friend, enemy, kid, neighbor, parents, whoever you can find and challenge them to a water gun battle.

23. Go camping.

Get back into nature in your backyard, or at a free campsite.

24. Volunteer.

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Many of us have extra time in the summer so volunteer your time in your community!

(Dog walking at the local animal shelter is always a great choice)

25. Find joy.

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Find what makes you happy, and never stop doing it.

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