With all the different methods of transportation out there these days, you probably thought that San Diego couldn’t handle yet another motorized scooter company. But unlike the controversial Birds, Limes and Lyfts, Rydables is providing an option that can’t help but make you smile.
Seven years ago, Shane Dahlen started Rydables in Phoenix, Arizona — electric, battery-powered carts covered in the “skins” of your favorite stuffed animals — as a fun activity for kids 10 years old and under to enjoy at the mall. While children jumped at the chance to ride a tiger or a zebra, so did another, slightly unexpected customer: fully grown adults.
“We ended up having a lot of adults asking if they could pay us $20 to take it for an hour and ride it around the mall,” Dahlen said. “We laughed it off for a first few weeks, but the requests and the interests kept coming.”
After some experimenting and realizing there was a market for Rydables outside of shopping malls, Dahlen and his business partner started designing the cars for adults and for longer use both outdoors and indoors. The current models are multi-terrain capable, hold 400 pounds, and can reach up to 7 miles per hour both forwards and in reverse. Rydables are classified as an Americans with Disabilities Act-complaint mobility scooter and come with an anti-roll, hill lock feature to prevent unwanted rolling when stopped on an incline or hill.
While there are over 60 animal “skins” to choose from, Dahlen said they’re currently developing 12 new aquatic-themed Rydables — like sharks, whales and sea turtles — specifically for their new San Diego market. Rydables are currently available for rent at Bicycle Discovery in Pacific Beach for hourly, daylong and even weekend rentals. We Love Tourists also offers Rydables out of its Downtown location for its 1 1/2-hour tour of the Gaslamp District for $49 per person.
“It’s fun for all ages,” said James Russel, owner of We Love Tourists. “The Segway tours are 14-and-older to ride, and you have to be able to stand for a long period of time. Whereas the Rydables, small children can ride on their parents’ laps.
“As we cruise around, they’re a lot more noticeable. Even if you’re not riding one, they seem to bring a smile to everyone’s face.”
For more information, visit rydables.com.