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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Sue1

Segways

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Hi,

This may seem like a silly question but has anyone on here had any experience riding a segway?

My family are very interested in a segway tour when we travel to the US later this year but I am slightly dubious about whether I would manage or not. The company indicate that if you can stand on two feet and manage stairs you will be fine with a segway but as i have slightly 'iffy' balance I am not so sure and think maybe finding somewhere to go sit and have a coffee may be the better option. On the other hand it does look fun!!

Thanks

Sue

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Hi Sue,

I own an off road Segway and love it. It makes life so much easier for me when I'm working at music festivals all summer and can make the difference between eating and going hungry some days.

The first time you get on one you'll buck around a little as you try and fight with it. The trick is to trust it completely and just step on and stand up. Ideally, someone will support it the first time you get on it so it won't move about too much. Once you trust it you'll find it's so intuitive you'll love it.

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I've not ridden one yet, but they look very tempting! I do know a fellow who uses a Segway as his primary means of "local transportation," as opposed to walking with his prosthesis, and he is incredibly mobile, even in milling crowds!

I gather there is a "trick" of sorts in learning how to navigate well--my two-legged and very well-balanced (but somewhat nervous) sister tried one once and had a problem getting it to go where she wanted...but even she admitted that she thought her own reluctance to just "trust the machine to do what it's meant to do" may have influenced the results.

If you're thinking about it for your trip here, Sue, there are some wonderful-sounding Segway tours up in my neck of the woods! I'd tend to think that they might help alleviate problems when trying to tour a hilly neighborhood.

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I had a go at Leeds Castle in Kent (it's not legal over here in public (UK)) and got on really well. I'd love to own one but as I wouldn't be able to use it because of the law, except for on private land, there's little point.

The guy at Leeds Castle was very accomodating and let me have a quick 'free' go to see if I was going to be able to manage it (then I had to pay him about £30 for a tour of the grounds). It was easier than I imagined. Within a couple of minutes we were off across country up and down hills, no problem (I had an off road one with big tyres). As Grum says, you have to trust it. It's quite unnerving at first as you have to lean forwards to get going and all you can think about is smashing your face into the ground... but it doesn't happen, it's quite a remarkable piece of kit. Such a shame we can't use them freely over here.

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Actually OBL you might not be correct about that. I had a fairly in depth look at the construction and use regs for invalid carriages in the UK and the only things a Segway fails on is the lack of a battery powered horn and a top speed of more than 8mph.

The battery powered horn is easily solved by purchasing a battery powered bike horn from Evans Cycles and the speed limit can be addressed by changing a setting in the key. (thankfully you get two keys so you can set one for 8mph and leave the other unrestricted allowing you to do the full 12.5mph. With these simple modifications, as far as I can see, a Segway conforms to the regulations required of a Class 2 daytime use invalid carriage.

If it's so simple why don't Segway do it themselves? Simple, during the development of the gyroscopic technology the inventor licensed its use for medical purposes to another company who use it to make some pretty amazing wheelchairs that can stand on two wheels and go up and down stairs. I'm guessing that the license agreement covers ALL medical uses including mobility aids. If so then Segway can't even suggest such modifications and must make sure that their products do not conform hence the 12.5mph top speed and lack of a horn.

I used mine regularly last summer both on and around many different festival sites throughout the UK. Several times I was stopped by the police and all they ever asked was where they could get one or if they could have a go.

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Thanks everyone. Cheryl - yes I am thinking of when we are up your way, it is something we have all wanted to try for a while but I had doubts about managing it but it sounds as if I probably could. OBL - that was great that you could try it first as tours aren't cheap but well worth it if you can manage.

I will look into the tour options and let you all know if I do end up doing it - but it won't be until September.

Thanks

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Sue1

I hope you do decide to try. After all, this is the last line of yours

Don't be afraid to try something new .... remember the Ark was made by amateurs and professionals made the Titanic.

I chuckled when I saw it, but there's a point to it.... After all, it will get you where you need to go....

Might I ask, what part of the USA you are coming to?

I hope you have an awesome time...

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Hi Higgy,

We are going to Las Vegas (4 nights) and San Francisco (10 nights). We have been to California before - Los Angeles and San Diego - but never Nevada. Our three children (well 21, 18 and 18) all wanted to go away on a final family holiday before the twins go away to uni later this year (our son is already at uni) and after much deliberation, discussion and changing of minds this is where we settled on.

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Hi Grum,

You might be right in what you say, but I would rather not spend £1000s then find out... but the Police you saw presumably were on the same private land... I know of a few stories of people getting stopped by the Police... they aren't going to be satisfied with your story I don't think... I'd be interested in their interpretation if you ever find out personally...

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San Francsico is fabulous, Sue. Whatever you decide, it will be wonderful.

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