Monday, August 27, 2007
Teaching Mom How to Ride a Segway
Last week I spent several days back home in Michigan. Because I am a masochist, I decided to shove the Segway into the backseat of my 2-door Honda Accord. Without removing the LeanSteer column first. This was a bad idea. The base weighs 105 pounds and is incredibly awkward to try to lift and shove into a car, and I was doing this all by myself. Luckily, I managed to squeeze it in there without doing (much) damage to either the interior of the car or the Segway itself (a few scratches, but nothing major).
Why did I take the Segway with me, considering my Michigan residence is out in the 'burbs where a Segway would be relatively useless? Why, to teach my family how to ride, of course! Everyone learned how to ride except my dad, who was understandably terrified of losing his balance. They say that a lot of men have trouble "giving up control" to the Segway and letting IT do the balancing for them -- and after my dad had a particularly jittery first step onto the platform, he had no desire to stick around and get used to it.
That's okay; everyone else in the family loved it, zooming around the block to their heart's content. I have put together a little video showing my mom and sister Elizabeth learning how to glide gleefully on a Segway. Unfortunately, they both attempted to commit Grand Theft Segway. Bastards. Fortunately, I quickly recovered the machine, due to its nifty theft deterrent system.
Interestingly, the Segway is good for more than just tooling around the neighborhood. My parents had just gotten new carpeting put in, and hundreds of pounds of old carpeting were sitting in the garage, just waiting for me and my sisters to move them to the curb. Well, I figured, Why laboriously carry all those rolls of carpet 50 feet to the curb when I could use the Segway? So we arranged a makeshift assembly line, where I would stand on the Segway next to the garage, my dad and sister Katherine would hand me a ream of carpet, and I would lift it up with one arm while guiding the Segway with my free hand, traversing the front lawn in mere seconds! The whole process went VERY smoothly, and took about 20 minutes total. Everyone agrees that we saved at least an hour by using the Segway. Alas, I didn't get any video of the actual assembly line, but I did get a photo of the finished work. Awesome!