This weekend I have ticked another thing off my bucket list. I received a voucher for a Segway Experience for my 30th last November, and it was finally time to have a go.
I can’t remember the first time I saw a Segway but I do remember seeing the “Imagineers” at Disney’s Epcot riding around on them back in 2004 when we went there for the first time. They look a bit strange – like a scooter made with the wheels next to each other instead of one behind each other.
In 2001, Dean Kamen announced the arrival of the first self-balancing, zero emissions personal transportation vehicle: the Segway® Personal Transporter (PT). Founded on the vision to develop highly-efficient, zero-emission transportation solutions using dynamic stabilization technology, Segway’s research and development was focused on creating devices that took up a minimal amount of space, were extremely maneuverable and could operate on pedestrian sidewalks and pathways.
(From the Segway website)
They say you just think “forward” and it goes, and I’ve been wanting to put that to the test for years.
We went to Thoresby Hall in Nottinghamshire for our rally, which was run by Segway Events.
The experience lasted about an hour and started with each member of the group taking turns on on Segway to get an idea how it works. Very intuitive. It’s quite amazing how it’s so perfectly balanced that it sits upright – keeping it still is as simple as standing on the spot. To go forward you move your weight to your toes, and to go back, onto your heels. The more weight you push forward, the faster you go, and the quicker you return upright, the quicker you stop. Turning left and right is a case of tilting the steeing column the way you wish to go – and much like skiing if you add weight to the opposite foot you turn much sharper, which is great fun especially on the dusty leaf/branch covered ground we were on.
With the x2, you can chart your own course. Its innovative design moves you over a variety of terrain, be it the grass in your backyard or the gravel and dirt in your favorite off road spot. Deeply treaded tires, scratch resistant fenders and higher ground clearance give you a smooth, stable ride, and the durability you’ve come to expect from Segway. And with the unmatched performance of Segway’s LeanSteer technology, your body will anticipate and conquer the trail ahead.
(From the Segway website)
After getting the hang of the controls (and having our pic taken… see below!) we went on the “rally” which took us around the grounds of Thoresby Hall, through the wooded areas, past the bowling green, and across the formal garden. The Segway X2 loved the offroad conditions – and so did I! If anything I wanted to go just a little bit faster – but I got every bit of my weight forward so at least I know I went as fast as it would let me!
The main question when we got off the Segways at the end of our run around Thoresby Hall was… well how much are they?! We were told about £5k each. I’ll add it to the bottom of the list after Jet Ski and Motorbike then!
Another successful try of something new. Having my list is a really great way of working my way through all the things I’ve ever said I want to do – and as usual if you have any suggestions make sure you let me know! If you’ve not got a bucket list I would really recommend writing one… and if you haven’t had a go on a Segway make sure it appears on your list somewhere.