S for Segway Slalom at Leeds Castle

‘Make it short & snappy’

S for Starting my segway skill training the scenic way.

My positive first encounter on a segway, surging down slopes and racing around spectacular Leeds Castle prior to segwaying in the snow and at an RAF museum at later dates.

‘Just the facts please’

‘I’ve got a cup of tea, tell me all about it…’

Three things I thought of when segways were mentioned prior to this experience:

  1. Normally something you see a leaflet in a tourism office promoting tourists “sightseeing” in trendy cities – evidently too lazy to walk.
  2. The slightly eery sci fi like manner of which these silent machines glide in line as they cut through crowds who gawp in surprise at these slightly idiotic looking helmet wearing leaning mindless drones.
  3. The tragic story of the owner of a segway company who accidentally reversed off a cliff and killed himself in a horrid twist of fate.

I wanted to have a go and see whether the hype was justified. I selected Leeds Castle as somewhere picturesque to saunter around in a serene and stately manner aboard a segway. My Mum joined me and with excitement in the air we headed to a rose in the Garden of England.

The instructors met us and were very patient with our worries. They took us through the obligatory safety briefing and practise course. We were taken through the key information about jumping off the segways if in trouble, not bumping into one another (it’s not dodgems), avoiding the sides of other segways, and how to gain speed, slow down and most importantly stop – all using your balance. Lucky I didn’t have an ear infection that day! I found it interesting to learn the steering was controlled by pushing left or right on the handle and using our legs (again for balance).

Clambering onto it was the weirdest first experience as it rocked precariously, and the same with coming off which took some control. I was impressed when, as widely advertised, it was very easy and quick to pick up. Even Mum was tearing around the place with gleeful gales of giggles in no time! We all felt pretty professional. I found it peaceful; the noiseless-ness of the machine and they way they glided around was tranquil and quite meditative.

We learned to negotiate hills, bumps, puddles, rough terrain and smooth. To be honest although Leeds Castle is spectacular, we were focussing so much on the landscape it didnt’ feature much. We didn’t have time to see inside, so agreed to make it another visit.

Leeds Castle laid out before us.

Leeds Castle laid out before us.

One thing I didn’t expect was that I had to give a smidgeon more credit to those seeing a city by segway, as it did require a little more exertion than I expected with all the balancing and tipping backwards and forwards, it was my feet that felt it most afterwards, a bit like wearing a pair of MBT shoes. However, overall I enjoyed the smoothness of the segway so much I did step up twice more, and who knows if I’ll end up being one of those segway tourists in a town coming to you soon? It is definitely a novel way to travel!

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One response to “S for Segway Slalom at Leeds Castle

  1. Pingback: Full on February Alphabet Challenge – Complete! | MishMashTash·

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