"You can reach me by railway, you can reach be by trailway
You can reach me on an airplane, you can reach me with your mind
You can reach me by caravan, cross the desert like an Arab man
I don't care how you get here, just get here if you can."
~ Get Here ♪♫
Nowadays, there are so many ways to get from one place to another - train, streetcar, bus, boat, horse-drawn buggy, helicopter, airplane, hot air balloon, rollerblades, skateboard, bicycle, etc. - but for today's Tuesday Travel, we are going to Segway our way :)
Segway PT (personal transporter) is a two-wheeled self-balancing electric vehicle. It is battery-powered and operates by computer and motors to keep it upright when balancing enabled, as well as sensors which detect the shift in weight. Thus to move forward or backward, the rider must simply shift weight by leaning forward or backward respectively. To turn left or right, simply tilt the handle bar to steer. The Segway detects the change in the balance point, and adjusts the speed at which it is balancing the rider accordingly.
Sounds complicated? Hmmmm, not really :D
|Around the World at Epcot Tour - Walt Disney World - 2010|
My first Segway experience was in March 2010 through Walt Disney World's Around the World at Epcot Tour. The first part of the two-hour tour was a fun and educational training session which included watching a short video tutorial of how a Segway operates, and also learning about safety measures and proper handling of the transporter. We were then given hands-on maneuvering exercises which required us to move forward and backward, stop, go up and down an inclined ramp, veer and steer, and avoid obstructions we may possibly encounter during the actual tour such as low-lying tree branches. After we've passed those series of "driving tests" and once up to speed, our tour group headed for a trip around the Epcot World Showcase. The tour guides were very efficient in enforcing traffic and safety to prevent collisions and injuries. We did the tour around pavillions even before they opened so as to avoid crowds. Additionally, our Segways were set into "turtle mode," meaning we weren't able to speed beyond 6 miles per hour. It was a smooth and uneventful tour around the Epcot Park and we were able to see a lot of attractions in a short time.
|Segs in the City - Washington DC Tour - 2011|
My second Segway experience was in April 2011 through Segs in the City at Washington, DC. The training session in this tour was short and very straightforward. Our tour group did a few circles in one spot and after 5 minutes or so, we headed around the city. There were a lot of things going in the city at the time. There was the annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and a Japanese-American festival, so the streets were very busy and full of people. It was a more challenging tour as compared to my previous Epcot Park tour. There were people and cars everywhere. Some of the streets were closed for the parade. We had to squeeze our way amidst crowd. We drove along busy streets (on the bike lane) with vehicles passing on our side. We crossed intersections and followed traffic lights. We traversed on various surfaces - moist, dry, cement, pavement. We went uphill and downhill. We had to do narrow turns. All those sort of stuff, but I kept myself aware of my surroundings as I didn't want to get myself or a pedestrian hurt. Also, we weren't driving on "turtle mode," so our Segways could go as fast as the maximum speed of 12.5 miles per hour. At the end of the tour on our way back to the booth, we were somewhat slowly going down from a slope, when one of the girls in our group zoomed herself down the road, overtaking the rest of us. I guess she lost control and panicked, so she wasn't able to bring herself to slow down. It didn't help too that she was wearing high-heeled boots. Eventually, she managed to recover control and was able to come to a complete stop. Hehe!
|En route to United States Capitol|
Travelling around by Segway is fun. The transporter can bring you from one attraction to another in an expedient manner. Just remember to always stay on the safe side. Wear helmet. Don't go too fast, and never race! Be watchful of your surroundings. Observe traffic rules. No texting while driving. Don't try any tricks as Segway is not designed for such and doing so may result in severe injuries. Be very cautious and careful because you don't want to end up the same fate as the owner of Segway Inc., Jimi Heselden. He died from blunt injuries sustained when he apparently fell off a cliff while riding his Segway.
Until our next travel, ciao !
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