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 !!!

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