This past summer I was minding my own business at a local establishment when a friend of a friend approached me somewhat hesitantly, looking as if he wanted to confess a dark, shameful secret that he had buried inside his soul for years. I figured whatever was troubling his mind had to be somewhat transportation-related because he would boast about his pickup truck like it was his own son, and he knew I worked at Jalopnik.

“What’s up?” I asked him, concerned.

“You ever heard of Revel?” He whispered in shame. “You mean those funny looking scooters I’m seeing all over Brooklyn?” I asked. “Yes!,” I said, and his eyes lit up.

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“I see people breaking traffic laws in them all the time. I’m actually curious to try them myself.” I told him sincerely, giving him reassurance that whatever he was going to say next would be fine.

“I hate the way I look riding in them, but I gotta tell you, I haven’t been using my truck as often because I’ve been reveling.”

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Wow. I enjoy bike riding, and I partake in public transportation daily like most New Yorkers, but I also know how loathsome it can be sometimes.

So signing up for an all-electric moped, ride-sharing program was never out of the question, but this was exactly the type of word of mouth reassurance I was looking for. Here I found myself chatting with a proud pickup truck owner about how he had been “reveling” in favor of using his truck.

With this newfound sense of urgency, I wanted to see for myself what these emissions-free, and possibly lice carrying mopeds were all about.

So I signed up for an account and made a video about it with a friend that’s not afraid to commute on two wheels when the L train is out of service, Jalopnik Social Media Editor, Aaron Brown.

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It costs $19 to sign up, and rides cost $1 to start with each mile costing 25 cents. They’re fun to drive and with a minimal learning curve, although riding training is highly recommended if you don’t have it. I found it’s a great, guilt-free way to get around, and maybe even an effective car replacement for some people. 

I have to say I’m a fan now. Revel is only in Brooklyn, Queens and Washington D.C. for now—though they are expanding—but I think they’ve hit on a “mobility” solution that’s clever, not annoying (since they get street parked and aren’t just left everywhere) and, above all, fun.

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Check the video above to see how it went.

Video Producer, Jalopnik

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DISCUSSION

As a motorcyclist, I love these. I can get my two wheel fix if I want to say, go out drinking and don’t want to be responsible for getting my bike back home safely.

As a motorcyclist, I also hate these. It’s absolutely insane to me that they just let any schmuck on these without having to pass any sort of real evaluation on protocol for basic things like riding in a bike lane, or proper passing, signaling or ensuring other vehicles can see you. On top of that, my biggest gripe is that (At least here in NYC) while cops are out ticketing otherwise responsible motorcyclists for BS like having their visors up or filtering up at lights - Revel riders seem totally immune to any enforcement whatsoever. I regularly see them riding with some combination of riding against traffic, blowing lights, no helmet or in the bike lane without getting so much as a second look from cops.

Also, just as a matter of etiquette: Don’t try and give us the biker wave. FU, you haven’t earned it.

</angry old guy rant>

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