In 1999, an inventor in the US had this crazy idea to change the future of transportation. As if walking, biking, blading, etc. wasn’t enough to go to and fro, Dean Kamen presented the Segway PT, pitched as the “world’s first self-balancing human transporter.” Named after the word “segue” (meaning to make a smooth transition), its aim was to make pedestrian travel that little bit,well, smoother and perhaps something quite appropriate for this increasingly high tech society of ours. 13 years on and Segs haven’t exactly taken the world of mobility by storm, but they’ve now found a more recreational calling- and you can see the two-wheeled scooters popping up all over the country for city tours, experience days, and even as an activity along Brighton Beach that I recently tried out.
In The Spin are based along the Lower Promenade on the seafront and offer a Segway agility course for those looking for a fun way to pass the time and discover how these curious devices work. For my one hour session, I was fitted with a helmet and wrist gloves and given a brief run through of the Segway’s mechanics. Standing upright, you move your body according to the direction you want it to go. Leaning forward is acceleration, leaning backwards is slowing down – and leaning to the left or right turns the vehicle. They only go up to 12 miles per hour too, so there would be no chance of burning rubber if I wanted to.
My first attempt at the course was slow and steady, as I tried to avoid knocking over cones while focusing on manoeurving the Segway smoothly around the wiggly course. But my second attempt was more eventful; I flew off my Seg and soon discovered how sensitive they are to obstructions. Minor grazes aside, I liked the idea of these nifty machines and while they’re probably better for casual strolls than zipping around laps, I suspect they’ll be making their way around the capital’s pavements alot sooner than you think.
This experience comes courtesy of Acer UK. Check out the Acer Intel U-Experience team on our journey and discover more about the challenges at: https://www.facebook.com/AcerUK/app_329103610497351