This trip was a trip of firsts and the first of my firsts was a segway ride! When I heard on our Nova Scotia joyride schedule for travel writers that we would be doing a segway ride all I could think of was the Duck Dynasty episode where Uncle Cy took a tumble over a curb. I figured, “that will be me”.
Luckily I was wrong and our guide Max Rastelli co-owner of Segway Nova Scotia was able to coerce, convince and train the four of us writers, plus our trusty guide Janette to a successful if dubious ride. We traveled on the BLT which is part of the rails to trails conversion. Our trail was along the Beechville Lakeside Timerlea Trail which while it did not look promising at the industrial start point turned out to be quite lovely with the Six Mile Falls and wooded area nestled inside an urban area.
Best of all, the trail was perfect for the novices that we were. The trick of the segway Max said “Is to lean forward like a tree.”
Rather than bending at the waist, the whole body leans forward providing the momentum for the segway. The same with the stop, a lean back and tilt on the heels. The hardest thing for me to grasp was a complete stop. It took a few turns around a parking lot for practice, then Katie bar the door, we were off!
I chose to stay in beginner mode during our hour and a half long ride while Lars, our German writer was a bit braver and forged into normal mode and cruised at a bit of a quicker speed. It must be the autobahn experience that helped him clip along with a bit more confidence than the rest of us. It was lovely viewing nature from the BLT trail and it opened my eyes to the beauty of hiking/biking and four wheeling these trails both in Nova Scotia and here at home.
For those that have never been on or seen a segway, it was invented by Dan Kamen and is officially called the Segway Human Transporter. Defined as the first self-balancing, electric-powered transportation machine, the segway works using five gyroscopes and a built-in computer to remain upright. It sounds complicated and it is, but Max provided the training we needed and did it with ultimate patience.
The best thing about the segway tour was the freedom the ride provided and the sense of accomplishment I had once I mastered (termed loosely!) the segway beast into submission and moved into previously uncharted territory!
Segway Nova Scotia provides segway tours in a variety of places and offers trained guides that teach safety first. For more information about them, log onto http://www.segwayns.com/html/contact.html. Maybe you too can ride with Max and mark another line off the bucket list!