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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Segway Rally

On Saturday we took a group of bloggers for a Segway rally in Hertfordshire, followed by tea and biscuits! However, the first challenge was actually getting there.

While the venue may just be a straight shot down the A10 from Cambridge, turn right at the Theobald's roundabout and then a left into Theobald's park, the sat nav wasn't having any of it. So we certainly learned the lesson to check your journey on Google Maps before trusting your fate to the fickle whims of satellite navigation.

But we all managed to get there on time, even if it did mean running down the hill to where the rest of the Segway riders were assembled just in time for the safety briefing.

The Segway rally. was actually located behind the beautiful and magnificently huge Da Vere Hotel in Hertfordshire. So after parking up, we ran through reception, turned left towards the bar and out through the double doors and down the hill to an open field, next to dense woodlands.

After a friendly welcome from the Segway staff, we donned our body armour, complete with snow boarder spine guard, elbow pads, knee pads and crash helmets. Then we all signed the declaration forms that if we were to fall off and die horribly it wouldn't be the fault of the organisers. The usual legal stuff really.

Once we were dressed up and had signed our lives away, we took it in turns to ride a Segway around a little obstacle course of cones, guided by one of the instructors.

The tricky part about riding the Segway is that you try and steer with the handles, like a bike. But the speed and direction is actually determined by the distribution of your body weight. So it took quite some time to get used to.

But after we'd all gone round the obstacle course a couple of times, we'd pretty much got the hang of it.

Next we were all lined up and given our own Segway to get on, before being led in a line down the Segway rally course in the woods. Here we had a quick briefing about following the cones and not driving 'off piste'. Because if you hit a rock, tree or branch, you will come off. We were also advised to watch out for the deer that roam the grounds of Theobald's Park and sometimes decide to wander on to the track.

After a quick tour of the track and a warm up lap, we had two races, each lasting about half an hour. And although there was only one place to pass on the course, you were never stuck behind a slower person in front for very long.

While it was a little more challenging at first, riding the Segway began to feel so very natural to the point where you didn't really need to think about what you were doing. In fact, the biggest obstacle to get over was gripping the handlebars and trying to use them to do the steering - which is totally the wrong thing to do!

Once the races were over, we rolled back to the field, parked our Segways, took off all the bodyarmour and were awarded our personalised Segway Driving Certificates, which was a nice touch to the end of a fantastic driving experience.

We then headed back inside, to the hotel bar, where free tea, coffee and biscuits were waiting for us!


We all stood around one of the many high tables, sipping tea and nibbling the finest biscuits, while discussing our hour and a half long Segway experience.

We'd all had a great time and while we all agreed that Segway rally is much more sedate that go karting, we found it a lot more enjoyable as something fun to do. Also that it cost a good deal less than go karting helped too!

Would we go back and do it all again? Most definitely!

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