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 !!