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My first Segway ride


Yesterday I had a blast with my first ride on a Segway, a delightful way to travel outdoors, at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston. The device is battery-powered with a top speed of 12.5 mph (which feels plenty if you are cornering hard). The event was organised by Gift Experience Scotland.

I started cautiously, on tarmac (above) but it only takes a few minutes to gain enough confidence to go off-road: the X2 has cross-country tyres which work fine over mixed surfaces and obstacles. 


and here's my friend Mary in action over one of the obstacles we did in the timed trial:



Instructor Rick Elder's briefing took only a couple of minutes, and safety equipment is mercifully only a bike helmet. Here's how they work:


The creator of this wonderful device was Dean Kamen, an American high school dropout who went on to become a talented inventor, and was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002 for the Segway. In 2009 the company was bought by a Yorkshire philanthropist called Jimi Heselden. Tragically he was killed after falling off a narrow path down a cliff into the River Wharfe while riding this device: the sad story is told here

Away from clifftop paths, however, it felt a very safe way to travel. Sadly, in the UK they can be used legally only on private property, with the owner's permission. There's a campaign to legalise them here.

I am so pleased to have happier memories of Segways than that misbegotten production of Fidelio at the Edinburgh Festival in 2013. And I'm sure that my first Segway ride won't be my last!


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