My Odd Sock Road Test: The Grocery Store Scooter

My Odd Sock Road Test: The Grocery Store Scooter



Road Test

The reviewer “Car and Driver” doesn’t give a crap.

“”Kelley Blue Book” won’t waste its time.

And the infamous “” can’t look past its upturned nose.



That’s why My Odd Sock has taken it upon himself to test drive & review the vehicle near & dear to an MSer’s heart…..the grocery store scooter!


As retail stores get larger, many of us with multiple sclerosis must rely on the courtesy power scooter to get us up & down the aisles.

But how can you be sure to get the optimum driving experience from the scooter at your local marketplace?  That’s where My Odd Sock comes in.






Today, I’m at my neighborhood Giant Eagle supermarket, where I’ll be putting this gleaming red power scooter through its 12-volt paces.






First up, we harness the horses to find our scooter’s top end speed…..




Not a quarter-mile, but it will do.
Not a quarter-mile, but it will do.




Finding a deserted aisle, I slam the throttle full bore.  The scooter responds quickly…and in a matter of seconds, I go from zero to nearly three miles per hour!  (Yes, nearly the speed of patients waiting for their hip-replacements!)


Acceleration   *—

(Out of four)



Hold onto your cresent rolls Grandma!
Hold onto your cresent rolls Grandma!


Next, we test the scooter’s handling.


Grocery stores are filled with many road hazards…end-cap displays, darting children and lost, confused men reading lists with dumb looks on their faces.




Weaving on purpose.
Weaving on purpose.


I challenged the scooter to some figure eights around the wine department.

Nary an accident, I didn’t hit any bottles—though those witnessing my driving would think I had.  (If you know what I mean!)


Handling ***-

(Out of four)



Finally, style is everything, right?  (Even if you ARE riding in a rickety scooter.)

Our tested model came with an oversized basket, perfect for those longer shopping lists.


Grocery store search & rescue.
Grocery store search & rescue.




The scooter had also been fitted with a six-foot pole to fly a flaming orange safety flag.

Large enough to be seen by spy satellites, this contraption screamed out…”Look at me everyone.  I’m 49 & I’m driving the old folk’s scooter!”



Someone call Haz-Mat!
Someone call Haz-Mat!


The seat was large and comfortable.

It felt as though it was made of a rich…fluid-repelling…vinyl.  (I just realized I touched a surface that has experienced more accidents than a big-city traffic cop.  Yuck!)


Comfort & Styling **–

(Out of four)



Ok, I may joke about the courtesy scooters available at many retailers, but we can all be thankful they are there for us to use.

That being said, I still don’t like to shop with them.

Big, clunky-slow & cumbersome, the scooter just seems to draw attention…..attention in a gawking sort of way.  Kind of like the accident scene you MUST look at.  (It’s human nature!)

The rickety-ride and the obnoxious flag add to the sideshow appearance.  Plus, God forbid you go in reverse and unleash the ear-piercing backing sound.  I’ve heard quieter dump trucks.  It’s a grocery store scooter for crying out loud!


my odd sock power scooter


What are your thoughts on the courtesy scooters?

Do you use them?  Or do you avoid them?

Do they make you self-conscious?

Hop on and feel free to leave a comment.



Till next time, I can be found in the cereal aisle.  Just look for the orange flag.












5 Replies to “My Odd Sock Road Test: The Grocery Store Scooter”

  1. I had my own scooter until it kept breaking down. It was small enough for me to handle easily. I never tried the courtesy ones — they all seem so much larger than mine, and I probably would run into things. I think you rode and rated quite well.

  2. Today I have my own scooter. The “backing sound” has been disconnected. Can’t stand that sound and told the DME provider I did not want that option. Bad news is, I am always having to ask, “Anybody behind me?” before I back up.

    Back when I did need a scooter, my neighborhood grocery store, Publix, would always go above and beyond for me, and also their other customers. When I arrived at the store, I would call customer service from my cell phone, and an employee would bring the scooter out to my car. After you finished shopping, they would load the groceries in your car, and return the cart into the store. They have a “No Tipping” policy, and their employees get in trouble if they accept a tip. They stand by their motto,”Publix, Where shopping is a pleasure”. 🙂

  3. Sure, I have to use that “fat cart” at the grocery store now. I prefer to use my own smaller scooter which can zoom from the car and into the public bathroom first but it isn’t always available especially if my wife is using it. It does however not have a large basket available and one needs to dangle reusable shopping bags from the handlebars stuffed full of items as you head to checkout. I did disconnect the obnoxious backup alarm however. We have two scooters available for things like shopping but it is kinda real work to fit two into our compact car and we only do that for fairs and things.

    I am 54 and have had MS symptoms since 1987. I really have no qualms about using whatever cart any more – just don’t care. I weigh about 160 and I can call them fat carts because I have used a couple of them whose seat switches no longer register me because I did not weigh enough because of many previous customers – But that is another story.

  4. Your review was quite good and I think it’s great they are available in so many stores. I am fortunate that I have my own scooter which while it will not hold as much as the giant basket on the store scooters, it is a bit faster and more manuverable. As hinted in one of the earlier comments, I don’t believe one of the store units can get into and out of the public restrooms. My main issue is really with stores other than groey stores. In Minnesota there are ordinances that say that all walkways in retil and public buildings shall be a minimum of 36″ wide. After I go through their stores the aisles are that wide. Keep up on good topics in a great blog.


  5. Bob,
    Never even thought of the problem of getting a scooter into a rest room.
    That MUST be a challenge.

    Thank you for your comment. GREAT to hear from you!