It’s been a crazy few days of gathering as much tourist information about KK as possible. And then there was Segway.
It’s one thing to get all the information and pictures compiled, it’s quite another to sit down and process the mountains of information into blog entries. It’s always my downfall, loads of information, just not enough time to blog about it all.
Tomorrow is more of the same, I can hardly believe that it’s Friday already (the blog post is back-dated by about 2 hours). I don’t know where the week has gone.
Anyway, this afternoon I went to 1Borneo for a look around and to see what’s new and happening there. It’s taking shape nicely and hopefully soon we’ll see a (partly) functional mall ready for the public. Everyone is waiting with baited breath, I’m sure.
We were received by our gracious hosts and they were travelling on this little gizmo – a Segway, personal transporter. I’ve seen these little things before, I think in brochures advertising tours in Chicago. They’re obviously used all over the show, are not new, but have certainly never before appeared in public in Borneo, Kota Kinabalu or Sabah (that I know of).
Anyway, the Segway is a battery powered, two wheeled person mover and is too cool to imagine. It has a single steering column with handles not unlike those of a bicycle. The science is a bit weird to grasp at first, because you want to imagine that a single shaft grounded by only two wheels should fall over, right?
Well, the Segway doesn’t, and I don’t quite know how it works beyond what I can imagine is really clever technology. Having always been able to get onto something that moves and master it within minutes (except my first time on a bike, fell off that plenty before I got the hang of it), I embraced with open arms – and slightly parted legs – the opportunity to ride this little gizmo.
The steering column moves a little in all directions, and it’s these tiny movements which steers it. Push the column a little forward and it moves there. Move it a little to the left, and it turns left and so on. So first thing I did as I got on the Segway was find my balance and I realised it’s quite senstive.
After getting the feel of it, I pushed it a little forward, but too hard and it responded with a quick jerk forward. Reflex kicked in and to compensate I pulled back, overcompensating equally. The sudden jerk backwards obviously resulted in doing the reverse and quickly I was on a jerky see-saw with a potentially disastrous outcome, so I stepped down to stop it.
Relax, was the good advice from my host and that’s what I did before I got back on. Gently this time, I nudged the Segway forward and off she went. The rest was very natural. The secret is to ever-so-slightly displace your weight and lean a little into the direction you want to go and the Segway responds accordingly.
I only enjoyed the toy for a few short minutes before handing it back to our host, not wanting to wear out my welcome. At the price of small car you won’t be seeing them popularly used in Malaysia any time soon, but they certainly are a noteworthy novelty.
1Borneo has two, but they’re for the use of the management office as the mall is huge, and you can only imagine having to get from point a to b in a mall of this size crammed with people.
The Segway, is the perfect tool for the job.