Kitted out in motocross gear, you stand atop your trusted steed. Your palms sweat, your teeth grit, your helmet is stuffy. The instructor counts you down, and you’re off.
Hitting the road
Off like lighting it feels. Hitting 20kph at full speed, the Segway is not messing around. A normal Segway that is. The ones used in rallies don’t even have that restriction, meaning if you know what you’re doing you can get some serious speed (as opposed to frivolous speed).
The track looks much like a bike track through a forest, with nice stretches for building up speed before coming up to a bend, letting you pull off some tidy manoeuvring as you kick up dirt at the other racers.
It’s at high speeds on the straights that most discover the genius of the Segway. It’s not the fancy gyroscope voodoo going on in the machine’s guts, although I’m sure it took some brainpower to figure it out.
No, the real genius is this; the further you lean, the faster you go. Finally, someone got it. For years I’ve been pushing buttons down harder to get them to work better, like the eject button on a DVD player, permanently disinterested in your desire to retrieve the disc.