La trottinette électrique tout-terrain

Try not to put your foot down

Having just arrived in the territory to join the editorial staff of La Gazette de Thiers, I am going to test for you the different tourist and summer experiences in Livradois-Forez. This week, I start with the off-road electric scooter at the new club Nature Trot-in, directed by Olivier Debard.

Under a radiant sun, I took the opportunity to test the all-terrain electric scooter. And I did say all-terrain. It is important to specify this. These are not the scooters you are used to seeing in major urban centers. Here, it is a scooter with tires as thick as those of mountain bikes. And the same goes for the handlebars, which strongly resemble those of a mountain bike, with the exception that there is an acceleration trigger on that of the scooter. And it is precisely with this trigger that all the difference is made.

A person on a Trott'In Nature electric scooter
Ranging from 15 to 30 €, the price of the course varies according to the time of practice. Reservations online or on 07 69 75 07 56.

A family activity

Before riding my scooter, I play the good student and I listen carefully to Olivier's instructions. A few rules to follow if you don't want to end up with your nose to the ground. He explains to me that there are five speeds, and the maximum speed is 25 km/hour. In the end it's like driving, you have to put the first gear if you want to start, and then pass them successively. In theory child's play. But in practice, when you are downhill the scooter is freewheeling. A slight precision that I had not necessarily integrated from the beginning.

3 people on Trott'In Nature electric scooters

We start nicely by riding a scooter along the lake of Saint-Rémy, Olivier, Julien who is starting to work at Trott'In Nature this day, and myself. The time for Julien and me to tame our scooters, Olivier shares some anecdotes with us. After taking a few photos, it was time for the first climb…

It's still very sporty...

In front of me, the choice, two small stony climbs, but which do not leave me indifferent. I end up going for it. And no, it doesn't. I finish on foot. It takes that to gain confidence. Even if it means falling for real, I decide to go all out and enjoy. The three of us take the path above the lake, to walk around. A first stop at the top of the hill that is worth the detour. A superb view of the Chaîne des puys and on the other side you can see the gates of the Loire department. A good exercise for those who know very little about the region or who have a very poor sense of direction. Knowing that I position myself more or less on these two criteria, I can only admire the beautiful Auvergne nature.

The walk resumes its course after ten minutes, and we inevitably arrive at our first descent. “When you're going downhill, hold yourself straight and above all, if you want to brake, do it with both hands to prevent a single wheel from locking up and causing you to slip. Seeing the ground strewn with branches and pebbles, I take Olivier's words into account, and I take it easy. Always, just in case!

Body of water of Saint-Rémy-sur-Durolle
Trott-In Nature is present on the lake of Saint-Rémy but also in Aubusson-d'Auvergne.

In the downhill MTB method you have to stay well forward and above all not think. The advantage is that being upright, more or less mobile, thus avoids aches. Once the descent ends you arrive on a road where two paths are possible, the "33" and the "33 family". This allows Olivier to see if his clients are more or less comfortable after an ascent and a descent, in order to best advise them on the direction to take. Above all, it must be said that the activity is accessible from the age of 8 and that teenagers or young adults certainly do not take the same route as children.

The choice between a one-hour or two-hour course

We are thus heading towards the “33 famille”, a long road trip awaits us. The most pleasant moment for me. On a road with little traffic in the middle of the trees, you can therefore let yourself be carried away by the speed without paying attention to any obstacles.

Landscape of Livradois-Forez
Scooter body of water

The “33 family” walk lasts one to one and a half hours. The time to arrive at two or three high points of the route, the last of which offers a view of the Saint-Rémy water point from which we left. At the end, the descents are very pleasant to practice, because although they are steep, they are wide enough and you have time to take full advantage of them.

Finally, once the scooter and I become one, the arrival is quick and I already want to go back.

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Lucile Brière for La Gazette de Thiers and d'Ambert.