Wednesday, 19 February 2014

My Segway Rally Experience

Despite the fact that I've never been one for your every day motorsports, such as cars and motorbikes, I have always wanted to try out Segway driving, and so with my birthday fast approaching and my friends asking what I was doing to celebrate, I came up with the idea of a Segway rally experience.
I think the reason why I have always wanted to have a go at Segway driving is because of seeing people in films and TV shows just casually riding along on one... I can just picture a scene in my head - two people walking through a park and there's a couple of Segway drivers rocking along in the background looking all cool...
And you'll only see this on American shows and films too, and why's that? Well unfortunately it's illegal to ride a Segway on UK public roads and paths! So unless you've got a few thousands pounds and a large piece of private land to really have a go at whizzing about, there's only one way to get on one of these unique eco friendly vehicles - and that's through Segway gift experience days!
The Segway Experience
Seven of us turned up for the Segway rally and it was exciting the first time you got onto the vehicle. For a start, it was a lot studier than I thought it would be, so I didn't feel frightened about falling off easily. We were also kitted out in helmets, shin pads and elbow pads should we fall.
We were given full instructions on how to use the controls, and although it was a weird feeling to begin with, it wasn't too long until it started to feel more natural standing up right and moving.
The controls are very simple; it's just the fact you need to get over how strange it all feels! The Segway uses special technology, which means it can balance with the help of dual computers that run propriety software, two tilt sensors and five gyroscopic sensors, and so the machine can be driven and steered by sensing the shifting body weight of the driver - lean forward to go forwards, backwards to reverse and side-to-side to steer. The speed is also controlled by the change in the balance point.
After having a bit of practice and trying to make the machine glide along rather than judder, it was soon time to get competitive and spend the next half an hour racing my friends along the off road course that was situated in a sort of forest setting.
Ready, set, GO!
Hovering along and getting to grips with the various obstacles, humps and bumps on the pathway, as well as trying to perfect the corners without slowing down too much, made for a truly awesome rally experience!
Although it's fair to say that a Segway rally might not be as fast or demanding as, say karting for example, it's most certainly great fun and that thing can pick up some serious speeds, especially when you come to your last few laps and have got used to the controls.
Sadly, I didn't come first, but I did come in a respectful third, and as I keep telling my friends, next time I'll win!
There are loads of other ways of having a Segway experience, but the one that I would love to try out next is a Segway tour around a UK visitor attraction, and after that a city tour in somewhere like Florence or Paris! Maybe I'll let people know next time they are looking for gift ideas for my birthday.

By Shelly Carter

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