A New Set Of Wheels

Kanye West appears on stage at the 13th annual MTV Europe Music Awards 2006 at the Bella Center on November 2, 2006 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Getty Images/Dave Hogan

Move over Mercedes, bikes, skateboards and Rollerblades.

A new set of wheels on the road has become the hottest mode of transportation in cities across the United States. From New York to Los Angeles, the trendiest people are wheeling their way around town on scooters.

They're the hottest craze since in-line skating and are popular with all ages - from purple-haired punk rockers to silver-haired grannies, reports CBS News Correspondent Teri Okita.

They even have become a family affair, with parents and kids riding in a line. It's safer than skateboards and blades, and at about $99 a scooter, less expensive.

"They're cooler," says California scooter rider Ray Flores. "Bikes are done. Bikes are over. Rollerblades are over. This is the new thing."

The boom is so big, that some merchants are opting out of the Rollerblade business and rolling scooters onto their shelves.

"They want something new and trendy, and this is it," says Erin Laine of Scooterbiz.com. "We don t know how long it's going to last, but we're loving it while it's here."

Scooters, which started out as a fashion statement in Japan and then moved into school yards and suburban streets, are now taking city streets by storm.

"Companywide, we've sold thousands of them," says a Sharper Image spokesman.

What makes them so attractive is their size. At only 6 pounds, the basic, silver scooter can be folded up and carried to the beach or class, or even work.

They've found a big following at college campuses, and even executives are using them to zip around busy city streets.

Along California's beach boardwalks, where daredevils search for the latest craze, not everyone is convinced scooters are here to stay.

"This is not going to replace in-line skating and biking," says one enthusiast.

Perhaps not, but it will give them a run for the money.


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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