One of the most popular activities with our activity day and teambuilding delegates is a Segway experience – a great way to relax after a morning seminar.
Segways have been on the scene since the late 1990s, invented by New Yorker Dean Kamen after he saw a young man in a wheelchair struggling to get over a sidewalk. They are two-wheeled stand-on vehicles powered by batteries and manoeuvred using hands and body weight distribution. As a ‘short-distance transportation alternative’, they have healthy green credentials.
But rather than become a replacement for the daily car commute, Segways developed into an entertainment activity, a way of experiencing the countryside without putting in too much physical effort.
The Segways at Escot are provided by Devon Country Pursuits, our onsite activity partners. Before you set off you will be kitted out in protective gear and led us to the training track.
Getting on to a Segway is simply a case of taking hold of the handles and stepping up to the centre of the footplate. Beginners will often experience the ‘Segway wobble’ with the machine swaying back and forth. It isn’t hard to recover from and tends to relax delegates who often get fits of the giggles.
The training track is a circular course with a few bumps and muddy patches. The speed is initially capped at 5mph but after training, increases to 12mph.
There are 1200 acres of the estate to explore, with miles of private trail including on and off-road tracks – in Black Aller woods there’s a natural ramp, which riders can jump for fun. In addition, Devon Country Pursuits offers a ‘Segway Olympics’, perfect for a teambuilding exercise, combining competitiveness with a great deal of fun.
- The first Segway was made in 1999
- Traveling downhill or decelerating generates electricity, recharging the batteries
- There are no engines, brakes or steering wheels
- Segways can only be used on private land in the UK
- Usain Bolt was knocked over by a photographer on a Segway at an athletics track
- Segways operate well on a variety of surfaces, including muddy conditions
- They have a top speed of 12.5 mph, around twice the speed of the average walker
- They can outpace a squirrel at full pelt – even the red squirrels at Escot
- Martial arts star Jackie Chan uses a Segway