• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no echo chambers. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! You can also register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

The new Segway thread

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
Okay, by popular demand I'm restarting the Segway thread. Chet and I agreed that it is best to start over and not just reopen the old thread that everyone was hacking apart and getting bored with.

Budgie - it seems that a whole whack of people here are fascinated with the Segway, even though they may not agree on where/when it should be used. Let's here about your training/personal experiences.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,406
Points
32
Re: The New Segway Thread

Tranplanner said:

Budgie - it seems that a whole whack of people here are fascinated with the Segway, even though they may not agree on where/when it should be used. Let's here about your training/personal experiences.
And please, don't post a link to every frickin segway article in the known universe. :)
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Training

Why are people interested in Segway?

I don't have much to report at the moment. My brother and I train in Chicago on April 5th. Delivery day is usually less than 10 days after training, so I'll have it by the middle of the month. The Mid-American Electric Automobile Association is having an Earth Day display at the Kansas City zoo at the end of the month and I plan on attending.

The training video and owners manual have been in my possession for a couple of weeks. The training video basically says to watch out for potholes, large curbs and other obstructions. Inclines over 20% are a problem as are severly uneven surfaces. The video suggests that you use power assist mode when going up and down stairs. The rest of the video pertains to the basic operation, safety features (stick shake and speed limiter) and safe operating procedures (don't go off ramps, don't eat or drink, don't race, only ride solo, etc...).

El Guapo and Dan, would you like a personal demo?
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
When you say up and down stairs, do you mean while you are riding it, or is the power assist to help you walk it up and down stairs?
 
Last edited:

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Re: Training

Budgie said:
Why are people interested in Segway?
Planners are critical thinkers, and critical thought on any topic requires information. Without it, we're just practicing scatology.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Stairs

jtfortin said:
When you say up and down stairs, do you mean while you are riding it, or is the power assist to help you walk it up and down stairs?
I've heard some of the current Segway users go up and down stairs, however this is not advised in the training video. The power assist mode turns the "turning grip" into a forward and backward throttle, so you can dismount from the platform and move the wheels with the throttle. In my opinion, I would only go up and down stairs if the stairs were deep and short in height.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Back from training !!

Well, I attended Segway training in Chicago (Northbrook) on Saturday. It's really hard to explain what it is like. Here are some random observations.

It takes about 5 minutes to forget that you're on a two wheeled platform. You don't have to make a conscious effort to lean. When you decide to go somewhere, there you go at the speed that you want to. Stops on a dime and you can control your movements down to a quarter inch. It feels like it's reading your mind, but it's actually reacting to slight shifts in body weight. You can move forward, backward and coming to a stop without hands, although the handle bar will vibrate a little if you don't hold on. You steer with your left hand, which takes a little getting used to.

One of the engineers told me that originally the Segway was so quite that they added acceleration noise to provide the rider with audio feedback. However, the Segway is a quite vehicle.

I'm 33 years old and I was the youngest person there. One lady from a small town in Iowa (300 pop.) was 86. The trainer said that they trained a 94 year old a couple weeks ago.

There were several Segway sitings at the National APA conference last week. Did anyone see them? I'm expecting delivery within 10 days. Although, they couldn't guarantee delivery because "they're backed up in manufacturing", presumably due to demand.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Mishap

I did have one mishap where I got my right wheel too close to the wall (we were indoors). The wheel got pinned against the wall and I stepped off. I pulled the machine away from the wall about 6 inches and got back on. At no time did the Segway fall to the ground nor did I have to eject.
 
Messages
5,353
Points
31
I did spot a few Segways rolling around the sidewalks near California and 16th Streets in Denver last week.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Re: Back from training !!

Budgie said:
It takes about 5 minutes to forget that you're on a two wheeled platform. You don't have to make a conscious effort to lean. When you decide to go somewhere, there you go at the speed that you want to. Stops on a dime and you can control your movements down to a quarter inch. It feels like it's reading your mind, but it's actually reacting to slight shifts in body weight. You can move forward, backward and coming to a stop without hands, although the handle bar will vibrate a little if you don't hold on. You steer with your left hand, which takes a little getting used to.
Some random thoughts: ;)

- What happens if you scratch an itch or a leg goes to sleep?
- Can you ride the thing and take whiz at the same time? (facing backwards, of course)
- "...your handle bar will vibrate a little..." - a popular feature with the ladies.
- Is there a cigarette lighter on the thing?
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Response

Michael:

Good questions and observations.

You can stand on one leg, crouch down and make numerous movements while on the Segway. The Segway will react to your center of gravity. You can step off the Segway and it will balance you when you step back on. If you let it go completely it'll roll by itself for a few feet and shut down.

Yes, I could have whizzed with a beer in my hand.

I don't suspect that the vibration would be as attractive as spin cycle.

No, as of yet there are no cigarette lighters, but the removable front bag can hold a 12-pack.
 

jmf

Cyburbian
Messages
594
Points
17
Re: Response

Budgie said:
No, as of yet there are no cigarette lighters, but the removable front bag can hold a 12-pack.
So does this give mean states/provinces will have to implement new drinking and driving laws????
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Budgie

but the removable front bag can hold a 12-pack.
I take it that the segway will be able to compensate for the weight difference of the empties.

I don't think that mailbox baseball would be as much fun though...
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
donk said:
I don't think that mailbox baseball would be as much fun though...
Once again, donk, thanks for the visual image now etched into my brain! LOL
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
First Car Trip Replaced

Well, I received my Segway yesterday with a fully charged battery. It took 2 minutes to assemble (it comes in two pieces) and I started gliding around my neighborhood. I gave around 8 demonstrations to people on my block and freaked out the mailman.

We had a video (Undercover Brother) to return to the video store about 1.5 miles away, so rather than take the car, which was the old habit, I glided. The sidewalks from here to there are pretty good except for one 400-yard streech along which I rode on the street. All of the intersections had ADA curb cuts, so it was smooth sailing. I did stop at two intersections with red lights and got alot of thumbs up signs from passersby. The only other people I encountered were riding bikes or on skates. Where are the walkers?

I rode right into the video store and parked the Segway in a corner near the counter as I returned the video. This is the first time in about a year that a video got returned without accruing a late fee. Hey, it's paying off in subtle ways. Opening the door and gliding through was not a difficult as I first anticipated. I won't go into all of the positive comments and questions people asked, but needless to say most of our single occupant in town trips have found a new mode.

My sons school has asked me to give a demonstration to the upper grades (3rd to 6th) in the gym next week. Should be fun. My 9 year old was gliding around after about a minute on the machine. I was a little nervous that he might run into something, but he didn't.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Just one question?`

Undercover Brother? What, was everting else already taken? ;)

Seriously, sounds pretty cool. But did I read this correctly, that you actually used the SHT inside the video store?
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Inside

Yeah, I rode up to the door, opened the door, went over the threshold while holding the door open and glided to a corner near the counter. Parked and turned in the video, which I held in one hand during the entire trip. I probably should have used a backpack for the video, but it was no problem. I suppose I didn't have to shut it down and park it. I could have turned in the video while standing on it. I plan on clearing use on private property with the owners. Supermarkets with clear aisles would be no problem to manuever in, but in places where merchandise is placed in the aisle and whereever they can cram stuff, I would chain it up somewhere.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Is it common in your neighborhood to bring your bicycle in the store(s)? I know in some college towns some businesses allow it and others forbid it. If they are not normally allowed inside, I can't imagine that your SHT is going to be any more welcome there than a bicycle. The first few times you visit the novelty of the situation will keep people from commenting. After that they may ask you to leave it outdoors. Like you said, getting permission from each business is a good idea.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Novelty

El Guapo:

I agree. For awhile the novelty will not only allow the use of Segway in businesses, but I think there are some businesses that will be Segway friendly as a marketing tool. Joe says to Jim, "Hey, I saw a Segway in Price Chopper". Segway tires are designed not to leave scuff marks and you have much more control on a Segway than a bicycle (in my opinion).

BTW, let me know when you want to test it out. I suggest the High Noon Saloon.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
I'm looking forward to my conversion in to a true SHT believer. let me get through the AICP test.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Conversion?

El Guapo:

I'm just looking for someone to have a beer and shoot the SHT with. No conversion necessary. However, if I do get a conversion, Segway will through in a couple of snow tires.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Am I missing something?

Why would you need to use a motorized vehicle (electric powered or not) to travel 1.5 miles? On a bike that trip should only take about 10 minutes, walking it would only take about 20 minutes and you get excercise and don't consume other resources.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Walk or Bike?

And I suppose you've never taken your car 1.5 miles. My trip was faster than walking and I had more control than riding my bike (my opinion). Plus I didn't want to take a shower when I got home. I also walked to the park yesterday.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I unfortunately do take my car on such short trips (my commute) but that is my employers choice not mine. I run errands(bank, post office, corner store) around town on my bike and typically don't have to shower after doing them.

It just seems odd to me to spend nearly $5000 USD on an item such as a segway, but to each his own. I own about $9000 CDN in bikes, so i'm not too judgemental about things. I would argue that a well tuned bike is as safe and controllable as a well tuned car.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Cheers !!!

Some people spend over $5,000 USD for small water craft that they use at the local lake 10 times a year. Most ATV's cost $5,000 and up. Does anyone take their ATV to the post office? I have a bicycle as well and have used to around town. Now I have one more option and by far the funniest of them all. Any trip taken without an automobile is a plus. Why split hairs over the mode? Is a well tuned car or bike more controlled than a well tuned Segway? I can make manuevers on a Segway than neither a car or bike can touch.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
I would guess that a lot of people use their cars to go even shorter distances. I drive my car 2 blocks to the grocery store if I know I am buying a lot of groceries that I cannot carry. Most people think nothing of hopping in the car to drive 1/2 mile to drop off a video or go to the post office.

How much storage room is on a Seg? I assume there is a cataloge of accessories like saddle bags or storgage racks?
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Storage

The "e" series, which is used by the post office, has two side bags and a sorting tray on the handlebar. The "i" series, like the one I have, has a bag accessory which is the size of a standard backpack. The accessory bag is not available until May 1st and velcroes (spell ?) to the handlebar and shaft. Of course you can have the front bag and a wear a backpack at the same time.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,465
Points
44
I gew up in an area where people would still ride bikes in the winter.. how well would they work in the snow?
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Snow

I don't know. Michelin has designed a Segway snow tire and they had a snow capability video, but Segway has really downplayed snow capabilities. Extremely slick surfaces can be a problem since the friction between the wheels and the surface are what makes the balancing capabilities work. If a tire looses traction, the Segway will shut down. You can start it back up shortly thereafter.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
First 60 miles

I estimate that I've logged over 60 miles on my Segway, mostly in Leavenworth, Kansas with some miles in KC and Warrensburg, Misssouri. Most of my trips have been to retail stores and parks. The other day I decided to try to run the battery down, so I headed to the mall (approx. 5 miles away). I completed the trip in an hour with a pit stop at a park. I had about 10% of my battery left. My battery did get a boost when I went down a large hill (the battery regenerates when it fights gravity to maintain a constant speed). If I were to run out of battery, I could turn the machine off and push it to recharge the battery.

I prefer to ride on the road because sidewalks:

- have deep cracks;
- have debris;
- are narrow;
- are encroached upon by unmaintaned vegetation (bushes and trees); and
- are not accessible with smooth curbcuts

Pedestrians have not been as big a problem as drivers who don't use their turn signals have been. I have two fears: unseen potholes and losing traction. Neither of these problems have presented themselves, yet.

Probably half of my trips would have been necessary trips taken by car. The other half of my trips were just to have fun. I've given probably 40 demonstrations, where I let people get on the HT and let them get a taste of how it works. Seriously, after 2 minutes people get the hang of it. Easier than learning how to ride a bike.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Leavenworth Demo

I'll be giving the Leavenworth (KS) City Council and Department Heads a Segway demonstration tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. If anyone in the KC metro area would like a demonstration, let me know.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
My boss just ordered a Mini Cooper and the dealer gave him and his wife tickets to an advance screening of The Italian Job, which apparently has the Mini Cooper in the film.
That got me wondering. How much longer before we see a SHT in a movie? My guess is not long.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
runner pondered
How much longer before we see a SHT in a movie?
I see the chase scene now, up stairs, down stairs jumping curbs, the brute horse power of the segway . Then the batteries start to go, the rider jumps off and actually runs faster than he was able to travel on the segway.

I wonder how they'll look in an explosion?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Once again, donk, the visuals you place in my head are outstanding. :)

BTW - I'm sure Leslie Nielson will be the pursuing cop in a Naked Gun sequel...
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Cody Banks

FYI - there were several in the Agent Cody Banks movie. I haven't seen the movie, but I heard that it sucked. My son might like the movie.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
To the Punch

Transplanner:

I've sworen off posting links to interesting articles. For those planners interested in local government efficiency, Seattle has just completed a study of Segway use for meter reader routes. They found an increase in efficiency for both walking and driving routes. The efficiencies on driving routes was greater than on walking routes. If anyone is interested in the study, I can post a link.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,387
Points
25
The Commander in Chief takes a header on a Segway

Ok, so it was almost a header.

 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Hey, turn it on first !!!!

The only way he could fall the way he did was to not have it turned on.

WARNING THE FOLLOWING IS A POLITICAL COMMENTARY!!

Why am I not surprised that Bush fell off a Segway? I wonder what the 100's of people I've given demos to are thinking right now about their Commander-in-Chief. I'll bet Segways will be really big in France.
 
Top