Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Speed Record......

Timed the Segway run from Holdeman to T-Wood at


this A.M. Fastest run ever. I hit all the lights and had 2 little "3 second delays" waiting for traffic to pass in other situations. Me Likey !!!! :)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Segway is a CAR REPLACEMENT VEHICLE not a substitute for Walking

I just wanted to say that in a lot of news stories which provide "comment" sections, there seems to be a lot of people who call Segway owners "lazy" or refer to the Segway as a replacement for WALKING.

That's not REALLY what the Segway is for.

What the Segway should REALLY replace is the use of a VEHICLE.

In my case, that's exactly what it does. I park my car and ride my Segway for the last 4 miles of my commute. People who live close enough to their jobs, such as in a downtown environment, can and should look into doing the same thing. I could WALK that commute, but it would take me too long. I could BIKE that commute, but in Phoenix I would get too sweaty, involving showers at work, showers at home, multiple sets of clothes, etc etc. And at my age that's just too much trouble.

A Segway can replace a car for certain short commutes in certain situations. It is far more energy efficient and far less polluting.

Friday, August 18, 2006

New time record on Segway?

I made a GREAT speed run from Holdeman to Thornwood this morning. I hit EVERY light green or yellow, and the only pause of any type I had was to wait for a school bus driver at an intersection to see me, which was about a 5 second pause.

Best I can tell is I made it somewhere between 17:30 and 17:45. Really fast. I also hit 755 miles on the Segway this morning. That's 755 miles of not driving the car !!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Approaching 700 miles

Was of today 8-4-06, I am at 696 miles on the SegSter. That's 696 miles I did not pollute by driving my car. I am averaging about 145 miles a month on the Seg.

I managed to survive the whole summer with the Phoenix heat. I'm looking forward to the Fall and Winter rides too, prepared to bundle up for the 40-55 degree weather. Seldom in the 30s here, even in the coldest part of the mornings.

Based on my experiences in March 2006, I know that my ears and face get very cold on the 20 minute glides in the coldest mornings. I might have to find somekind of pullover face and ear covering or something to keep the heat.

Keep on Seggin' !!!!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Segway Tire Air Level Matters A Lot

I noticed yesterday the the Segway tires were low of air. I had been using a lot more battery on each commute, and noticed a little softer ride, and noticed a better grip in the dirt. Once I thought about it, I realized the air was low.

Put them back to 22 lbs this morning, and BOY did I notice the diff today !! Stiffer ride and less traction in the dirt. I had to go offroad today to go around a construction pickup which was parked on the sidewalk of all places and I had to go up and down a little dirt hill. Tires did slip a bit.

I think I got the best end of the battery usage thing though, as more air means less rubber friction on the road.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Segway a BIG HIT at Family Reunion...

Took the Seggie to the Family Reunion 2006. Everybody liked it. MANY people tried it. My Mom probably liked it best and picked up on it fastest (genetics, perhaps?) She had literally rode it for about a minute and she took off down the road unsupervised. Most people, I made them ride it while I escorted them in case they had a problem. The only incidents were that Uncle Ronnie tried to use the turn control to stop and almost left the sidewalk but I stopped him, and neice Amber was having trouble on a downhill getting stopped, and tried to step off but stepped back on, then I got in front of her to stop her.

All in all, Segway was a cool thing to have at the reunion. Much fun.....

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Hit 504 miles this morning on my Segway. That means 504 miles of between 610 MPG and 620 MPG travel. That's 504 miles for LESS than the price of a SINGLE gallon of gas. My Gosh that's incredible !!! Thanks Dean Kamen !!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Just wanted to let you conspiracy types know that once AGAIN Bin Laden has implicated himself as the perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks. See the ABC news website today for a transcript.

But he was just a "patsy" for G-Dub huh?

Here are his words:

"From Usama bin Muhammad bin Ladin to the American people: Peace be upon he who has followed the guidance.

This is a brief message whose topic is my testimony on behalf of the Muslim prisoners you are holding, and in it I will talk about the truth concerning them, which is something that the Bush administration hates and is hostile to.

I begin by talking about the honorable brother Zacarias Moussaoui.

The truth is that he has no connection whatsoever with the events of Sept. 11, and I am certain of what I say, because I was responsible for entrusting the 19 brothers — Allah have mercy upon them — with those raids, and I did not assign brother Zacarias to be with them on that mission. And his confession that he was assigned to participate in those raids is a false confession that no intelligent person doubts is a result of the pressure put upon him for the past four and a half years."

So all you Conspiracy Freaks get a life....

Monday, May 15, 2006

ANOTHER (broken record) Commute Lowest Time Ever Report

Once again, I have set a land speed commute record on the Segway. This morning I left at 6:32:50 and arrived at my parking space at work at 6:51:10.

That's 18 minutes, 20 seconds I do believe.

That means I have set a speed record which will be VERY difficult to beat. This one even involved at LEAST 20 seconds of "goof off" time. Once when I was trying to decide whether to cross the road, I waited several seconds before deciding it was too busy. Another time, I dropped my Spicy Hot V8 bottle into a trash can at a bus stop as I was cruising past it, but I missed the can, so I had to stop, go back, pick it up and can it, and leave again. I know those two delays cost me AT LEAST 20 seconds of wasted time.

To beat this record, I will have to have ZERO red light time and ZERO goof off time. Not easy to do.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Segway Land Commute Record

Set my record for fastest commute time today. Unfortunately, it's just an estimated time, since I did not check EXACTLY what second I left Holdeman. I made it somewhere between 18:40 and 18:55 though, which beats my record of somewhere around 19:00 even. The benefit today was not hitting ANY of the red lights; I had to pause not even for a SECOND of delay time. I don't think that has ever happened before. Gonna try and best it this afternoon.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Why Segways Should Be Allowed *virtually* Anywhere Pedestrians Are Allowed

I read on a news report that a park department leader somewhere in America declared the Segway "banned" from the city's park trails because it is a "motorized vehicle."

That's just an incorrect policy, and let me tell you why.

A Segway is nothing like a motorized razor scooter or a mini-motorcycle.

First off, Segway is a vehicle designed for PEDESTRIAN USAGE. Anywhere a pedestrian can walk, anywhere on a fairly even surface where the tires can get traction, that should be considered OK for a Segway. Segways can travel on grass, gravel, thick or thin dirt - anywhere the tires can gain grip.

A Segway in width takes up about as much room as a broad shouldered man. A Segway takes up LESS ROOM on a sidewalk than most wheelchairs, and less room than anyone walking with crutches.

Segways can get out of a pedestrian's way in a split second. Segways can stop almost on a dime, and CAN turn on a dime - zero footprint turns are possible with a Segway. A Segway can stop and balance the rider perfectly still, remaining in one spot.

Segways can go backward, and can get off the sidewalk to let a bike or a group of people pass them, and can go down or up a curb. Segways can travel as slow as the slowest walking person if required.

Segway tires were engineered to evenly distibute the weight so that Segways do not carve severe tracks into grass or dirt trails. If a Segway rider happens to "bump" into another person, it's really nothing more than if a person walking bumped into another person walking.

Segways are very quiet - the two motors, even when at full speed, produce little more than a loudish hum. Segway motors are quieter than most home computers.

As far as using them on a park trail, whether a Segway is appropriate for the trail depends on the trail itself and the terrain. If it is a dirt or gravel or grass trail, with no severe inclines and no stairs, then a Segway rider would have no trouble negotiating that trail. Stairs are handled by dismounting from the Segway and pulling the Segway up the stairs while using the Segway motor to assist the pull.

So the arguments against Segway are what? Too noisy? Nope. Too large? Nope. Unwieldy? Nope. Dangerous? Nope. Comparable to other "motorized vehicles" like gas scooters or mini-motorcycles? Nope.

Officials and authorities who are in charge of making policy for pedestrians need to put Segway clearance on their agenda. There really are no valid reasons for banning a Segway from a pedestrian area.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cruising "Sweet Spot" Located

Good drivers over 35 yrs of age will recongnize this scenario. Say you have a car which does not have cruise control. When you first get the car, it's difficult to "hold the perfect cruising speed" at highway speeds because your foot has not learned the perfect pedal position yet, and your leg has not memorized the perfect position to hold your leg and foot so that locating that sweet spot is possible. But after a few weeks, your muscle memory takes hold and you know EXACTLY where to hold your foot, how much pressure to apply, etc., in order to HOLD that perfect cruising speed.

I hit that moment on my Segway last night.

I found that there are at least three components to holding the Segway at top cruising speed, which I estimate to be somewhere between 11.8 and 12.2 MPH.
1. Position of my feet on the platform. They need to be centered and not angled.
2. Position of the handlebar in regard to how close I have it to my stomach. Too close is bad, too far is bad, about 1-2 inches seems to be perfect.
3. The most important one: The sound of the pitch and whine of the little electric motors. I can tell by the sound that the motors have reached the peak position where if I go any faster, the accelerometer is going to forcibly slow the Segway down. If I can use my ears and keep the whine about the same place all the time, I stand a better chance of maintaining that perfect "top speed" without being forced to slow down.

This is going to make for faster commutes over time, as I perfect the method of recognizing and maintaining that sweet spot speed.

Also from yesterday: I forgot to mention that my dentist also took a huge interest in the Segway. He came outside with me to see me ride it and asked many questions about it. He seemed genuinely interested. I love the social aspect of the Segway more and more as time goes by.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Lots of Segway Inquiries/Comments on Cinco De Mayo

First comment of note was a 20-something young dude in a car who yelled, "Right on bra, that thing is SICK!" as he drove by.

At REI, a guy in a black diesel truck asked me, "What the Hell is that?" I said, "Segway." He said, "What?" I said, "Segway." He said "How fast can it go" and I said "12.5 miles per hour" and he said, "can I see how fast it can go?" And I said, "sure" and gave him a little 20 foot and back demo. He said, "Cool, thanks." and took off. I apologized to the young lady waiting behind him in the green car and she said "That's OK."

On my last leg home, I saw a guy standing in his drive and he waved me over and asked me a bunch of questions. He thought it was "tight, Bro."

Had at least two other people yell and honk at me today. I guess it's the Margaritas !!! LOL
Segway Scares a Doggie

Came up on a lady walking her two large hound dogs/labs this morning. We were on a skinny sidewalk, so I stopped on the side and let her pass. When the dogs approached, I gave a little high-pitched "Hi puppies, what are y'all doin'?" and they wagged their tails. As they got about 4 feet from me, one of them noticed I was not just a "tall guy" standing there, and he quickly "sidepedalled" it away from me, looking very scared. The owner said, "It's not gonna get you" and we both gave a little chuckle. First time I scared a dog.

Renewable Energy on my Electric Bill

I signed up for the SRP Renewable Energy program, in which I pay $3 extra on my bill which SRP then invests into renewable energy such as solar, wind farms, etc. That $3 will just about charge my Segway for a month, so now I'm paying for "clean electricity" for the charging of the Segway. Makes me feel good inside.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What are these people doing in the news?
* Gov. Schwarzenegger
* Louis Rukeyser
* Kwame Brown
* Keith Selix
* Manuel Uribe
Stephen Colbert
Kobe Bryant
Britney Spears
Suri Cruise
Opal Mehta

They all have recent stories to tell or problems we like to laugh at.
What are these people doing in the news?
* Gov. Schwarzenegger
* Louis Rukeyser
* Kwame Brown
* Keith Selix
* Manuel Uribe
Stephen Colbert
Kobe Bryant
Britney Spears

They all have recent stories to tell or problems we like to laugh at.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Commute Speed Record

I was really cooking on the commute this morning. Hit EVERY light green or yellow, and had NO delay points. Made it in just under 20 minutes, somewhere between 19 and 20.

I also realized that being a good driver of cars and being a "pedestrian" who cares about other people's commute is a bonus as a Segway rider. Let me 'splain:

One of my "pet peeves" is a pedestrian who is in a crosswalk just TAKING HIS/HER SWEET TIME crossing the road when there are cars waiting to turn right or left across the crosswalk. I have always told my kids I think that is the RUDEST behavior a pedestrian can have, because they are holding up cars just because of their slowness. Don't they realize that although THEY THE PEDESTRIAN might not have anywhere they need to be, that the car drivers MIGHT be in a hurry? I always say that if you are in a crosswalk, get your ASS through it if there are cars waiting. Jog or run, but get your slow ass moving !!

Today I had two instances where being a "caring pedestrian" came into play.

I usually ride on the "left side sidewalk" going against the traffic because that gives me a better view of upcoming traffic situations and makes it easier for me to see what's coming up behind me on my left, which is the traffic which is going the same direction as me. Today I had a situation where I was coming up to a side street intersection and there was a pickup in the left turn lane going my direction who wanted to turn left down the sidestreet I was about to cross. I looked ahead and saw a "break" in the traffic coming toward him, and I knew he would try to make his left turn because the group of cars coming up after the break was a large group. Because of the timing, if I had gone across the road and he had to wait for me, he would have been forced to wait for that large group of cars. So to help HIM out, I stopped at the corner and indicated with my hand that he should go. He went, and I had no obstruction after that. It worked out great for everyone. The most important point is that I, as a pedestrian, did a little tiny favor to the driver so HIS commute was less stressful. That makes me feel good.

The other thing was a couple of cars going the opposite was of me who were trying to turn right, just ahead of me. I gave a finger wave to both of them indicating they should go, rather than block the right turn lane waiting for me. I find that it is very easy to "direct traffic" by hand waves to influence cars who are either waiting for me or GOING to have to wait for me unless something is done. In almost EVERY case, I try to get the cars out of the way, unless I am busting it trying to make a green light or something. It's my little way of being a good citizen and "caring Segway pedestrian."

Monday, May 01, 2006

Free Segway Rides For Kids

My kids' school had an "after school Carnival" on Friday, and somehow I started giving free Segway rides and a big long line formed. After about 25 kids had ridden, the assistant principal told me to cease and desist due to liability concerns. I understand their concern, but as all Segway owners know, there is nothing at all dangerous about "owner supervised Black key rides" when the owner is standing right in front of the Segway while the ride is going on. It was just a lack of knowledge thing on the school's part, but I understood and stopped the rides. The kids who got to ride really liked it. I enjoyed giving the rides. It was cool.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

609 MPG on my Segway !!!

At my current cost of 10 cents ker kwh of electricity, and getting 21 miles per charge, taking one kwh for a full charge, here is the chart which indicates how many "miles per gallon" the Segway gets at given gasoline costs:

Price MPG
$1.399 294
$1.499 315
$1.599 336
$1.699 357
$1.799 378
$1.899 399
$1.999 420
$2.099 441
$2.199 462
$2.299 483
$2.399 504
$2.499 525
$2.599 546
$2.699 567
$2.799 588
$2.899 609

So the Segway marketing info falls WAY SHORT at today's gas prices. They say "400-450 MPG" and when gas is $1.89 to $2.15 then they are correct. At $2.89, the savings add up QUICKLY.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Earth Day Weekend and The Segway

Well, I did my share on Earth Day weekend. 34 miles on the Segway when I might have driven the Hybrid instead. That which would have cost me $2.29 in gasoline costs only set me back about 17 cents of electricity costs. Not a lot by any stretch, but if every American drove 34 miles less on a weekend and spent $2.12 less on gas, let's see, that's about 3.4 BILLION fewer miles driven and $212 million saved in gas money, figuring about 100 million USA drivers. I did my part FOR SURE. As far as the 375VA UPS charging the Segway - NOT !! It charged it for about 5 minutes before running out of juice. Not good.

The Scottsdale Culinary Festival was "OK" but not great. I never got a good map, so I did not really know where EVERYTHING was located. I ate a couple of chicken tacos at one place, a shrimp cocktail at another, some chips and salsa at another, some strawberry shortcake at another, and hit the Gelato Spot two different times. Did not see ONE PERSON besides myself wearing Crocs. Sad.

On Sunday, the kids and I biked/Segged to the Phoenix Zoo. That was fun. Kids enjoyed the new Treehouse and play areas. They have added a water play zone too, and we'll hit that next time if we go in hot weather. I always forget how much walking that Zoo entails - whew !!
Segway destroys UPS

The 375VA UPS charged the Segway for about 5 minutes. Those LI-ON batteries just SUCKED UP that available juice. On my 22 mile round trip Saturday, the Segway ran out of juice AT MY COMMUNITY GATE. Exactly as I was gliding through the gate. I had to push it the last block. Pretty decent range.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Two Incidents

First, a guy in a white moving truck yells "how much are those" as he drives by. All I have time to say is "27" meaning $2700.

Then right behind him, two college age hotties drive by and the passenger yells "Hey Sexy !!!" out her window.

Obviously, not thinking I'm REALLY sexy, just messing with the Nerdy Segway Dude.

Sometimes I feel like I need a can of "Nerd-B-Gone" to spray on myself after riding the Segway.

But, it's all for the sake of saving gas and thus the Earf, so it's all good.

Tomorrow, a long ride to Snottsdale for the "Snottsdale Culinary Festival Picnic" thing. Gonna taste some mighty good food, I hope.
Uninterruptible Power Supply an option for mid-tip charging during long-ish Segway Rides? Feasible?

I'm trying something tomorrow on my nearly 22 mile Segway ride. I'm going to bring along a 375VA UPS which will have a fully charged battery. When I stop at my destination, halfway point of my glide, and park the Segway, I'm going to turn on the UPS and plug a computer power cord from the Segway to the UPS. It should charge the Segway battery at LEAST a few minutes before all the battery juice in the UPS is completely drained. I wonder how much power it will actually transfer before the UPS battery is exhausted? I'm going to find out, and I'll report the findings back here as soon as I have them.
Nearly A Crash

Thursday on the way back to the kids' school I had a near-wipeout on the Segway.

I was coming up to a small side street green light which was about to change to red for me and I knew it. I rushed up to the intersection at full speed. As I hit the wheelchair ramp the light was yellow, so I was going to JUST make it.

At the bottom of the wheelchair ramp, where the concrete meets the asphalt, there is usually a 1-inch to 4-inch "bump" of asphalt. There was a small one here, but I was going 12.5 miles per hour. When my left tire hit the bump, the Segway "bounced" quite a bit, in part because my briefcase was in the right side cargo pocket, making the right side heavier. So when it HOPPED, it HOPPED HARD. I was bounced off to the right side, and kept my feet under me, and held on to the handlebar guard with my right hand the whole time. The Segway continued bouncing left to right a little bit for about 8-10 more feet, slowing when my hand on the handlebar guard actually pulled back a little bit. I was holding on for dear life with that right hand, because that was my sole connection and control point to the Segway now, and I did not want it to roll across the street and crash into the curb. I got full control and stopped it about half way across the small street, and re-mounted and headed on. There were no cars waiting for me, thank gosh.

From that I was reminded to be safer: SLOW DOWN a the wheelchair ramps, and don't try to beat every light EVERY time !!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

First Hottie

Well, the Segway is NOT A BABE MAGNET by any stretch, but yesterday I did get my first "noticable Hottie response."

I was at Priest and Rio Salado waiting for the light to go south, and a very VERY cute girl/lady was turning left at the light. As she was making the turn, I noticed she had a really cute little dog sitting in her passenger seat, and I looked at her then. We made eye contact and she smiled really big (nice perfect straight white teeth) and she then gave a little hand wave too. I smiled bigger and waved back.

Maybe it was just her way of responding to me looking at her doggie, or maybe it was the first time she had seen a Segway in the real, or maybe she thought I was cute, or maybe a combination of those things. Regardless of the reason, anytime a Hottie waves and smiles at me, "it's all good."

Just hit day 32 today since I last filled my gas tank in my hybrid. Thanks Segway !!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Tighter Side Cargo Support

My side cargo bag on the Segway usually has heavy stuff in it. My briefcase, or a gallon of milk, or today's lunch. So it wiggles a bit from side to side when I go over bumps, more if the bumps are larger. To help it stay secure, I put a metal cable clamp on the section at the bottom which connects to the bracket. This made it more stable, and now I can be more confident about carrying heavier weights in the bag.

I'm also shopping for a front handlebar bag, for times when I need MORE cargo capability.

'Nuff fer now..........

Monday, April 17, 2006

Segway up to almost 300 miles now.....

I'm keeping a "rough" mileage track on the Segway, and now we are at about 285 miles of gliding. Kids biked and I Segwayed on Friday the 14th to school and work. Getting really proficient at controlling it, and figuring out that it can be fun at speeds other than "max" also.

This past Saturday, the kids biked and I Segwayed to the Mall for lunch and a movie. We just locked the bikes/Segway together at the bike rack outside the movie entrance and went inside. I took the Segway cargo bag with me.

On the way home, we stopped for a bathroom break at Wendy's and this older gentleman with a cane came out and asked me a lot of questions about the Segway. He thought it was pretty cool. He did a double-take at the price, however. Anyway, lotsa fun still going on.

Also, I figured out that Stevie can ride the Segway to school when he becomes a freshman at Tempe High, also, which solves his transportation problem. Hopefully it will be "cool enough" for that at that time in his life !!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Even more uses for the Segway:

Today I used it to go pick up an item I bought on E-Bay from a local seller. She drove to meet me at the Starbucks at Priest and Washington, and since I was "Segway bound" today having used it for my morning commute, that's how I met her. Took me 6 minutes from work to there.

I had no easy way to carry a 15" Pizza Stone on the Segway, so I brought a "server carrier" which is a strap device used to carry a computer server onto an airplane as checked or unchecked baggage. The Pizza Stone fit perfectly into the carrier, and I used the shoulder strap to carry it back to work on the Segway. Brilliant idea, saved two more miles of driving. Boo-Yeah !!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

This morning, after the HIGH SPEED CRASH from yesterday, I realized I *HAD INDEED* learned from my crash.

My left side tire AGAIN slipped off a sidewalk into some gravel when I was going almost full speed. This time, instead of crashing, however, I held onto the handlebar with my right hand, stepped off with my left foot, and pulled the handlebar back enough to slow to a stop while my right foot was still on the platform and my left foot had hopped twice on the ground. I got back on, steered it back completely onto the sidewalk, and continued onward.

I also went through the drive-thru at Filibertos for a burrito. The lady never even looked at me funny. There were two cars which came in behind me. Very cool.

Last night, on the way home, a little 12 or 13 year old Mexican girl passed me going the other way on the sidewalk and I SWEAR she looked at me like I was the Virgin Mary or an Alien or the Devil Himself. The look of amazement and confusion on her face was priceless !! I wonder what she told her family when she got home ??? :)

Friday, April 07, 2006

My first "high speed" wipeout

Well Well Well.....Segways CAN have serious, severe, BLOODLETTING crashes !!!

Today I was cruising from work to the kids' school and the ex-wife was waiting for me (she got there early). The kids had already called me on the cell phone, which I answered with my right hand while gliding (because all the steering is done with the left hand) and I told Stevie I was about 3 or 4 minutes away.

Ten seconds after that call ended, phone rings AGAIN. So I answer it, and it's my daughter asking "what street are you on?" and just about that time, I meet a bicyclist coming toward me. This is a 7 or 8 foot wide sidewalk, not a small one, so it should have been no problem. Except that I was ONE-HAND DRIVING and TALKING ON A CELL PHONE.

OK: All the following stuff happens in about three seconds.

My left tire slips off the edge of the sidewalk, into loose, fairly thick dirt and gravel. As I try to correct with ONE HAND and hold my phone with the other, the Segway just LEAVES ME and barrels up a little bit onto the sidewalk and I GO FLYING TO THE LEFT SIDE. As I land on a gravel alley, the Segway THANKFULLY TURNS LEFT as it's slowing down and is going to wipe out on it's own about ten feet in front of me. Because it turned left, it heads right for a wooden gate ( a car sized gate) in this guys' back fence. LUCKILY AGAIN it smacks into the fairly soft wooden gate, at this time probably moving at about 2 to 3 miles per hour, and then bounces off LUCKILY AGAIN into a tall bush that is just to the right of the gate, between the sidewalk and the street. The Segway is caught by the bush, never even falls down, and does an emergency shutdown like it is supposed to do in those situations.

Other than a couple of dirt marks here and there, the Segway survived fine. I, on the other hand, suffered minor wounds. I scraped my left shin in the fall to the gravel alley, and I got at least two rocks that gouged little holes into my leg right above the scrape. I also had a small skin slice on my left hand from catching myself on the ground. A little Peroxide and Anti-biotic Cream and Bandaids later, It's ALL GOOD. But I did lose blood.

And more importantly, I learned AGAIN that the Segway, when operating at high speeds and in an unstable situation, CAN AND WILL THROW MY BUTT OFF and crash. From this, I hope to A) Make sure I keep my wheels level and B) do not talk on the cell phone while gliding without slowing WAY WAY down.

Live and Learn !!!
Segway Sideways Side-Effect:

Getting a tan.....:)

Lady at work mentioned to me today "you look TAN!" And I have to admit after looking a bit, YES I DO look tan. I guess 40 minutes of Segway riding in the Spring sun is having a positively positive pigmentary effect. Coolness !!! :)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Segway commute fun and practical....

Riding the Segway to work from the kids' school every day and back in the afternoon is really a great idea. Saving 8 miles on my car every day I glide to work. My current gas tank has 380 miles, and it WOULD have about 542 miles if I had not been riding the Segway all these days. Saving gas, saving wear and tear on the car, reducing depreciation, enjoying the nice weather, turning heads - what's not to love??

15.5 days commuting on Segway = 15.5*7.6= 118 miles

Trip with kids on 4-1: 9 miles

Trip downtown on 3-25: 20 miles

Trips to Denny's/Rubios/Parks/Misc with kids: 15 miles

Total miles of driving saved since 3-10-2006: 162 miles saved

Monday, April 03, 2006

Long Segway/Bike journey Saturday April 1st (not an April Fool Joke)

The kiddos and I left the house on a LONG trip Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. First stop was about 2.5 miles away, at a Great Clips, where I got my hair butchered by a young costmetologist who MUST have just gotten out of school last week. She was slow and bad. She left me a very short spot right on top of my head, making me look like I'm balding, which I'm not. Anyway, second stop was Kiwanis Park in Tempe, about 2.5 miles from there. We made it OK, fed the ducks some bread, I gave one smelly young 13 year old a test drive on the Segway, and the kids played while I read my book.

We wanted to get to the movies by the 12:15 show, so we left the Park at 11:20 and headed back to the Mall. Got to the Mall, locked the bikes, then took the Segway inside with me to my movie. I saw Slither, a very funny movie, and the kiddos saw Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Then we went to a little carnival in the corner of the Mall parking lot and the kids quickly spent $26 on ride tickets and games. After that, it was "around the Mall" to the Baseline exit and on to Aunt Chiladas for a late lunch. Got home at 4:30 p.m., making the whole trip an 8-hour event. Much fun !!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Why Buy a Segway? (one might ask)

Well, for me, it's part environmental concern, part "social coolness" factor, and partly to save fuel costs.

For the environmental part, the Segway uses electricity for power, and that is generally cleaner to produce than gasoline, and the emissions are much lower.

For the "social coolness" factor, well, I am a nondescript 42 year old guy with mostly gray hair and an ever-so-slight belly paunch, and I'm raising two kids under 10 yrs old. My social opportunities are EXTREMELY limited at best, and completely nonexistent at worst. If people talk to me on the street and ask me about my Segway, that's more social interaction than I normally get, and I appreciate that.

As for the saving fuel, well, the cost of fuel will NEVER repay the initial outset cost of purchasing the Segway. But based on the 400-450 Miles Per Gallon equivalent which the Segway achieves versus a car, (even my 48.5 MPG Hybrid car) I'm saving between 25 and 31 cents in fuel cost every day that I commute on the Segway. So that extends the gas tanks in my car and means fewer $2.50 per gallon fillups. At the end of the year, I hope to save between 1200 and 1500 miles of driving on my car, so that slows the depreciation value of my car for resale purposes. So it helps in numerous ways.

In addition, I take my kids to Texas twice a year to visit family. When we do go, taking the Segway will be fun for all the family to glide on and it will enhance all the lives of those people, even for a short time and in a very minor way. It's at worst a conversation piece.

I hope those are not broad rationalizations but instead are genuinely good, sound reasons why a Segway is in my care at this time.
Segway Comedy

Last night we had an interesting bike/Segway ride, my two kids and me. We took a 3-mile one-way trip to Denny's for dinner. My son's bike had been having air problems in the tire (slow leaks) but we checked and he had plenty of air when we left home.

After dinner, when we started home, his rear tire was almost all the way flat. His front was low. It was 7:15 pm and already dark, and there was only one place between Denny's and home to buy any "air in a can" tire filler stuff, and that was the Food City which was about 2 miles from Dennys. So off we went into the night.

About 1/2 a mile from Food City, my son had two full blown FLAT tires. I decided to carry the bike with me on my Segway and let my son walk. So I propped the bike up on the side carry bag and held the frame with my right hand (which you don't need for Segway usage) and off we went. At Food City, we got the Fix-A-Flat, but alas, Stevie's rear tire had a hole in the stem, so it would not seal. It aired up a little, as did the front tire, but not much. We started home again with Stevie riding again.

After about 1/4 a mile, TWO FLATS again. So I had another idea: Let Maddie ride on the Segway with me, and carry the bike again on the sidebar, and let Stevie ride Maddie's bike. So for the last 3/4 a mile, that's how we rolled. Maddie standing in front of me on the Segway, Stevie riding Maddie's bike, and me holding Stevie's bike with my right hand. Very comical scene, and I wish I had a picture. Surprisingly, I felt completely safe and secure on the Segway that way, as I had told Maddie to just stand straight and not worry about leaning to slow or go, that I would do all that for us. It worked wonderfully. Segway was RIGHT AT the 260 pound rated limit, with my 190 and Maddie's 45 and the bike, which I would guess to be 25-30 pounds.

Oh, the adventures we have had and are going to have on the Segway. Stay tuned !!!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Interesting Segway ride Saturday the 25th of March....

Took my Segway to the Phoenix Park-n-Swap and into Downtown Phoenix for the Home and Garden show. About a 20 mile roundtrip - more on that later.

At the Park-n-Swap, I rode into the gate and stopped at the first food court to get a breakfast burrito. After parking the Segway and ordering, I heard an announcement over the loudspeaker system: "As a courtesy to our guests, no rollerblades, skateboards, scooters, or other motorized vehicles with the exception of motorized wheelchairs are allowed inside the Park-n-Swap." That was obviously intended for me. Someone had seen me and ratted me out. So I used the power assist mode and walked the Segway around until I was on my way out, and I rode it out the last 100 feet. Nice to be noticed, eh?

Later, downtown, I had just turned off the sidewalk into the shopping area where the AMC 24 movie theater was located, where I was going to see "Inside Man" (very good movie, long but lots of high drama and comedy.) I heard someone shouting "hey, you, stop come here, stop!" and looked behind me and a security guard was trying to flag me back to the street area. I turned around and headed over when another, older and wiser guard told the other guard, "No, he's OK, he's fine" and they let me proceed.

At the movies, I bought my ticket and was walking the Segway up to the ticket taking girl and a manager came over to open the door for me. After I got my ticket torn and was walking away toward Theater #2, I heard the manager say to the ticket girl, "Police Vehicle." They thought I was a cop !!! I should have asked for some free coffee and doughnuts !! LOL. Anyway, inside the theater near the exit door to the outside was a wall outlet, so I charged my Segway for the two hours I was in the movie. Worked out great !!

As far as the cruising range on a charge, I think something is wrong with one of my batteries - it's either not holding a charge or is depleting too fast. I ran out of juice about 5 blocks from home and had to pull the Segway the rest of the way. Not an easy task !! The Segway dealer is going to swap both my batteries for two from his shop to see if things get better. I'm sure they will. I'll likely be getting a new battery out of this issue, maybe two. I want my 19-24 mile range !!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Well, the Segway gets a new handlebar and handlebar guard installed today. The parts are getting delivered at 12 noon and I'm heading over as soon as Jake calls me and tells me the parts are in.

On my commute time:

Set a personal record yesterday afternoon: 20 minutes flat. It was within 5 seconds of EXACTLY 20 minutes from the time I pulled out of the Thornwood plant until I was at the front door at my kids' school.

If is correct, the distance is 3.6 miles from work to school. By the sidewalk route, and because I have to change sides of the road three to four times, I bet my Segway distance is about 3.7 miles. 3.7 x 3 = 11.1, so it appears I averaged 11.1 miles per hour for the 20 minute commute. That's pretty darn good, considering I stopped a couple of times for red lights and I have to slow down at every intersection and driveway.

So I guess I need to reduce my "penultimate time" since I already beat the other one. How about 18 minutes as the ultimate goal time? That would be averaging 12.4 MPH, and since the max speed of the i-180 model is 12.5 MPH, that would be indeed hard to beat. 18 minutes it is !!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My thanks to the sponsors of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Because of this act, almost every curb in Phoenix has a wheelchair on/off ramp.

In the 30-40 miles I have glided on my Segway so far, including much of that through construction areas, I have only had to negotiate 1 curb. Just 1. That's amazing to me.

Another long Segway glide this morning, from the U-Haul dealer to my work, about 5 miles. Took about 33 minutes. No problems.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Something else I wanted to mention is my minor frustration with the Segway's "speed limiter" function. It makes it difficult to "push" the Segway along at TOP SPEED, which is what I want and need to do on my commutes. If I lean too forward in attempt to gain and maintain top speed, the handlebar is pushed back to me by the speed limiter function. I found that if I bend my legs more and dont lean too forward, I can hold a pretty good speed without engaging the limiter, but I need to work on it to find that SWEET SPOT which allows me top max speed without engaging the limiter. Things that make you go HHHMMMMMMM............
Well, I had planned to install my new hitch onto my car last night for hauling the Segway, but I could not get it done. Not enough tools and/or mechanical experience. Going to have to hire someone to install it for me.

My first commute from my kids' real school was this A.M. Took 28 minutes, was battling my briefcase for part of the time. I'm gonna trim that down to 25 minutes this P.M. and after the construction is finished on Washinton street, I should be able to trim a couple of more minutes off the time. I'm shooting for 21 minutes as my final, penultimate goal time.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

More on the Segway and how it is affecting my life:

My son said last night, "Dad, are we going on another Segway and bike ride today? That was one of the FUNNEST THINGS we have ever done !!"

That coming from a materialistic little boy who last Christmas was not very excited at all about the $800 or so in giftage that his mom and I bought him.
Funny, but remember when they said "the best things in life are free" and you laughed about it? It's semi-true in some cases. The Segway itself was definitely NOT FREE, but some of the FUN it is giving us afterward is 'somewhat' free. So that's maybe a wash.

Regardless, the Segway so far has been almost a completely positive experience, and I would recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone who might think they have a good use for it. For short trips near your home, why use a 3000 pound car to carry your 150 pound body? By the way: The Segway gets about 450 miles to the gallon, converting gas cost to the electricity cost for charging it. Sorta nice, eh?
So I made it to work with the broken handlebar. Right forearm muscle was almost cramping due to holding the bezel in place, but I made it.

After getting settled into work, I took some large 14" cable ties and a hose clamp over to the Segway and secured the bezel to the handlebar, making it pretty tight. It seems to be very solid, at least as solid as a broken Segway handlebar CAN be made to be.

I contacted the dealer with my sob story and he said the replacement handlebar is $380. OUCH !! He also said he would sell me a "handlebar guard" at his cost, $145 plus tax. So the total damage for my little crash will be $567.00 after tax. Expensive little mistake/accident/incident, huh? Yeah, duh.
So there I was, still a couple of miles from work, with a broken Segway handlebar, Segway covered in mud, the tires with about an inch of mud caked between them and the fenders, and 40 degrees outside. Segway in an unknown state, possibly unrideable.

Quite a pickle indeed.

Here's where my training as a Marine and a Dad came into play. I calmed myself and realized that the electronics inside the broken handlebar APPEARED to be intact. I realized that the front bezel was intact and was one SOLID piece that fit across the handlebar. With a little imagination, I put the handlebar back together at it's jagged edge and when I held the bezel on front, it LOOKED like it would be stable enough to hold things together if I could keep it that way while in motion.

Got my Segway keys out and tried to start the Segway. Nothing happened. DEAD? I tried again, being more careful to make the key contact all the connectors in the keypad. IT STARTED !! I had my first semi-positive sigh of relief since the crash. By holding the middle of the handlebar with my right hand around the bezel, pulling it toward the handlebar, I could keep the handlebar in place and ride the Segway !!

I started again.
Segway Blog continued

OK, here is the UNCOOL part:

On my first commute, I was in an area with no sidewalk and no real bike lane, so I was up on some rough gravel beside the road, just cruising along. We had just had some rains the weekend before (this was Monday 3-13-2006) and the ground under the gravel was a little muddy. No problem, because the gravel was giving the Segway enough traction to operate normally. Or so I thought.

I approached this area where the gravel thinned out and I did not really notice it until the Segway started to slip and by then it was TOO late. I tried to lean back and slow the speed, but the tires slipped and OFF I FLEW. I actually had slowed down to about 5 to 8 mph at the time, so I merely took a step left and off the Segway platform, while the Segway itself crashed to the ground HANDLEBAR first into the mud.

When I looked over at the Segway after I had recovered myself, I saw the plastic handlebar bezel FLY off and land about 10 feet in front of the Segway. First indication of bad news. When I looked back at the Segway itself, it was doing the "flashing beeping emergency shutdown" routine and I noticed a detail with HORROR: The handlebar had BROKEN almost directly in the middle. I almost crapped my pants. I had just bought this thing three days before, and I already broke a major part. I was incredulous, disbelieving, surprised, and SHOCKED.
OK Ladies and Gents: I bought myself a

Segway HT i-180 Human Transporter

It's really, REALLY cool. ( Expensive and probably not worth it if you are MERELY judging it on the finances involved. But how can you put a price on COOLNESS? )

I'm going to use it for "partial commuting" from my kids' school to my work. Their school is 3.8 miles from my work, so the plan is to leave my car parked there at their school every day and take the Segway from there to work and then back in the afternoons.

This will only work for about 5 months out of the year when the weather here in Phoenix is not smoking hot and too hot to ride a Segway in the afternoons.

Another way I'm going to use it is to go on "bike rides" with my kids. They are 7 and 9 yrs old, and they love to ride their bikes. Up to now, I only really could let them ride in the cul-de-sac outside our garage door and maybe a little over on the sidewalks by our minuscule park. But now, we are SET FREE because I can go on the Segway while they are riding and we can go wherever we want to go.

The Segway has given me more quality time with my kids and more "outside fun" rather than always watching Cartoon Network or playing Nintendo games. How cool is that?