I don't know about you, but to me it seems as though we're going to evolve past needing legs at this rate.... the future for the human race?? well i picture an amorphous blob
A shock army of Segway-borne campaigners will tomorrow make the five-minute trip from the Houses of Parliament to the Department of Transport in an attempt to convince the government that the scooters represent the future of transport. Earl Attlee, Earl Liverpool, and MPs Stephen Pound and Lembit Opik will be among those …
That's all well and good, but here's a qualifier; Any driver who overtakes within 1m ("car door width" as my driving instructor used to say) of a cyclist riding on the road, as the Highway Code describes that they should, has his knees removed with a claw hammer by the same cyclist.
God I hate idiot car drivers, and I don't even cycle.
Onto the point, though; Segway should be allowed to use the cycle lane, but have the same restrictions as cycles; Front and Rear lights, conforming to the appropriate regulations for cycling at night time. Brakes are useless, as the thing will topple over or skid. I wouldn't want to high-side a Segway.
Dear me, I knew we'd get a flurry of these.
I don't believe David S did suggest that's OK, AC. And I don't think there's any justification for cycling on the pavement, myself. I'm sorry if it's hard out there on the actual road but... look, just get off the goddam pavement.
Hmph. As you were.
Well, there's a stretch of pavement in Lincoln where which side is cyclepath and which is footpath depends on which direction you're travelling. Idiot planners used the wrong signs one end.
As for Segways being easy enough for politicians, remind me what happenned when Bush tried to use one?
I, for one, welcome this.
Force all MPs to use a segway as their primary mode of transportation. THEN they will see just how crap cycle lanes really are. Around here, some cycle lanes are less than 2 meters long.
Maybe then we'll see some improvements to cycle lanes that stretch beyond previous token gestures.
/leans forward to speed this up.
I feel somewhat justified in riding on the pavement as I'm epileptic so riding on the road poses more hazard to everyone than riding on the pavement. I'm happy with cyclepaths where they exist for more than 2 metres without a lamppost/buggy/fat person in the way, but riding tire against kerb makes me nervous -> stress -> episode -> crash.
I looked at this a while back: number of peds killed on the pavement per year by cars was between 50 to 80, average number killed by bikes was very close to zero.
LIke jumping red lights. Go and stand at Hype Park Corner or similar and count the number of cars who do it practically every light change. I'd like to see the stats for peds killed by cars jumping lights vs bikes.
Idiots are idiots regardless of mode of transport, and people have it in for bikes because the riders are going faster and getting fit.
People who lump all cyclist into one big, redlight-jumping, granny-scaring group are facists looking for an easy target IMHO.
"More people should cycle as it benefits all, motorists included (less cars on the road)."
Are cycles going to magically remove some wings, bumpers or wheels from other traffic? - or is that "fewer" cars on the road?
Yours pedantically but grammatically,
the semi-resident grouch.
Paris because I'm not THAT grouchy...
I didn't understand the point of a Segway until I realised it was from the USA - the land of people who never walk anywhere. However I support their introduction as long as they are fitted with a speaker and a loop recording loudly saying "I am a lazy twat"
I do find it annoying that Members of Parliament should publicly pressurise a Government department when it's been made perfectly clear that Construction & Use regulations outlaw them.
So in addition to scooters and council gardening vehicles passing me, having to avoid crowds of pedestrians who prefer walking on the cycle track to the footpath next to it, pensioners in invalid buggies, parked cars (I kid you not - if the cycle track is next to the road it becomes a car park), skateboards, bits of tree placed across the cycle path to deliberately cause an obstruction and lots and lots of broken glass all over the place, my attempts to stay fit and save fuel will be further hampered by smug, fat Apple users weaving around on their Segways?
Cycles on the pavement, Segways replacing them on the road, a sensible rider on a bike is not dangerous on the pavement, and more pavements should be split for cycle lanes... it would be much safer for all concerned that way.
As for segways, their lower centre of gravity, slower speeds generally, and less potential to ride one like a moron would make them safer for sharing the road than bicycles, given the proper ligting and safety gear of course.
As for the comments about being lazy, for medium length journeys why not use a Segway rather than walk, I enjoy walking and but there are times when such a device would be preferable.
People talk a lot of rubbish about cyclists and segways and need to quit!
Oh and any cyclists present who have flashing red rear lights on your bikes, swith them to non-flashing mode, you are breaking the law!!
"Tories have already asked that Segways be allowed to glide along Blighty's cycle paths" Once more proof that they just don't have a clue. It can be hard enough to just to cycle on some cycle paths, having to avoid dead mopeds, cars, shopping trolleys, piles of bricks, broken glass and crap planning amongst many other things. Fat-arsed Segways would have no chance.
Also, if Segways were to be allowed on roads then the electric-powered skateboards and bikes (ones where you don't have to pedal as well) have to be allowed.
Oh, and sod all this 'all cyclists/drivers/pedestrians are shite' nonsense. You get crap cyclists/drivers/pedestrians, mediocre ones and good ones. Picking scabs to make things carry on bleeding is just masochism.
"Segways should be allowed to use cycle lanes".
That's fine by me - cycle lanes are generally a waste of space for most cyclists: Put me in the traffic at 30mph - it's way better then having to deal with kerbs, potholes and intermittancy of the cycle lane.
BTW the last pedestrian that stepped out without looking at me finished up with a broken arm. That hopefully learnt him.
We know they are going to do it AND they know it's illegal, I demand that we send around all traffic officers and fine them all once after every inch travelled.
Nice little earner there and will help meet their targets and leave the normal motorist alone for a bit.
I'll stick in my Focus ST no matter what the traffic conditions are, it's comfy, it's safe and it has my music on at my chosen volume level
Hell of a lot of fun:
They're legal in most of Europe (but then we don't make stuff illegal without good reason), that website doesn't begin to list all the Segway rental/sales/tours there are.
Are skateboards illegal in the UK? What about those little electric ones? Seems to me you worry too much.
Bush fell of the Segway because he had not turned the power on. No power, means no motors or Gyros = no stability.
For those of you who have never ridden one, try it.
Yes a Segway will not get you fit like a bike.
But is it unstable, no, I took photos, two handed standing on a segway - I'd not try that standing on my bike.
Safe for the streets, yes if you can keep idots off of them - like cars, bikes, feet.
Just don't understand the why? We have legs, we can walk.
And yes - cyclists should get off the pavement. Yes roads are dangerous until you learn how to cycle properly and control your road space. See what I'm getting at . . .
And the last thing I need is damn weird Segway machines in my cycle lanes in addition to all the other hazards others have listed.
Sitting in a country where the roads have cars, trucks, buses, bikes, quadbikes, segways*, scootacars, scooters, motorbikes, trikes and just about everything else you can think of competing for space, yet the highways inconveniently persist in not being a neverending, limb-strewn bloodbath, I wonder if the DoT actually accomplish anything useful at all with their restrictions?
*Ok, these are very rare. Not enough rich wankers around over here, I guess.
It's a pretty damming indictment of our Government's "green credentials" when the DoT still doesn't even have a position on the legalities of using electric personal transporters like the Segway, or any idea when they might do.
I ride a bike and have also used a segway - they are fun, stable and might get people who otherwise wouldn't give up motorised transport in favour of something battery powered for journeys of up to 10 miles, to do so.
As much as we all like to imagine that everyone can ride bikes, some people can't - particularly the elderly. Ideas like segway enable people to maintain their independence in spite of the paucity of provision for other forms of transport e.g. encouraging cycling but failing to make any provision for secure bike stores etc.
It's symptomatic of a government that could easily do practical things to reduce our dependency on burning oil but despite an army of bureaucrats at the DoT seems to lack any clear plan for doing so.
Having a policy for types of transportation that don't fit the current mould (like Segway) is a starting point that's long overdue. It's a shame that it takes MPs doing stupid pranks for publicity to get the wheels at Whitehall moving.
"While the Lib Dems and the Tories have already asked that Segways be allowed to glide along Blighty's cycle paths..."
Does that mean they will extend the existing patchwork of cycle paths into an actual network, or will segway riders have to dismount and carry the things between paths?
@Richard Willetts - "any cyclists present who have flashing red rear lights on your bikes, swith them to non-flashing mode, you are breaking the law!!"
Wrong! Highway Code Rule 60 states - "At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp."
"Earl Attlee, Earl Liverpool, and MPs Stephen Pound and Lembit Opik will be among those illegally taking to the streets to "demand the launch of an investigation into whether the Segway could play a key role in unblocking Britain's gridlocked main roads""
Let me save them the trouble. No they won't. Segways are used by people who are to lazy to walk or cycle. If they had cars, they'd be using them.
"Cycles on the pavement, Segways replacing them on the road, a sensible rider on a bike is not dangerous on the pavement, "
That very much depends on the pavement. And as a cyclist, I can tell you that from my perspective, there are now a solid majority of cyclists who are NOT sensible. I'd blame it on the advent of the supermarket "mountain" bike, if it didn't sound so sniffy and elitist, so lets just say there are more cyclists and less road safety training than there used to be.
"and more pavements should be split for cycle lanes... it would be much safer for all concerned that way."
Agreed, but with some reservations. There are certainly places where this would be a good idea, for instance at roundabouts (particularly multi lane roundabouts) and busy junctions, it makes sense to offer cyclists a route around, but on the other hand, there's no reason why you can't pull up on to the pavement and get off, if there is a pavement.
Another issue, as I think someone mentioned, is that simply drawing a big paint line down the middle of the pavement and painting four foot high bikes all over half of it doesn't seem to cut much with a lot of pedestrians. The coastal cycleway (NCN route 1, for those that are interested) near where I live runs along the wide pavement next to the promenade. It is extremely clearly marked. Trying to ride along there on a sunny bank holiday is obviously stupid, but even on quiet days, there are, variously, old folk, pushchairs, errant children, and a wide variety of idiots who either step into the cycle designated space without taking heed of approaching traffic, or bumble along in it.
Typical speed of an average MTB along this pavement is ~20MPH, for most of it's length the space is ~6M wide, with 2M dedicated to cyclists. At it's widest, it almost 10M wide, with the same 2M dedicated to cycles.
That would seem like plenty of space for everyone, but it isn't, and indeed I have seen cyclists both verbally and physically abused for having the temerity to ring their bells when people are blocking the way.
Don't get me wrong, I think segregated pavement is the way to go if we're going to have cyclists out of traffic (and some need to be, children, the elderly, recreational cyclists, etc), but there needs to be a bit more to the segregation. Physically segregating the cycle and pedestrian traffic is one way, but it's expensive. Slightly cheaper would be to paint "PLEASE DO NOT WALK ON THE CYCLEWAY" and/or "LOOK OUT FOR FAST MOVING BICYCLES YOU TIT" at regular intervals on the _pavement_. Those stupid dinner plate signs are invisible to peds, who naturally aren't reading traffic signs as they walk. Also helpful (and hideously expensive) would be setting pedestrian crossings back into the pavement so that they are beyond the cycleway (if it's on the outside, which it inevitably is) to stop people wandering over to cross the road and getting an MTB upside them at 20MPH, which really hurts.
Of course by far the best way to deal with all of this is for everyone to stop being pricks. I'm not going to hold my breath for that. Oh and cyclists : Get a bell.
"Oh, and sod all this 'all cyclists/drivers/pedestrians are shite' nonsense. You get crap cyclists/drivers/pedestrians, mediocre ones and good ones. Picking scabs to make things carry on bleeding is just masochism."
I agree that there is far to much of that kind of thing, but OTOH there are a significant number (I hope a minority) of drivers who will go out of their way to make life difficult, and often dangerous, for cyclists. There are also, unfortunately, an increasing number of cyclists who are either a) have absolutely no fucking idea what they're about, or b) have had an altercation (likely more than one) with an idiot in a car and have decided to say "well, fuck you, I'll ride how I like if that's going to be your attitude". Of course, a goodly number of the motorists feeling ill will towards cyclists fell that way because of an encounter with cyclist type b). It all feeds back on itself.
It really is becoming a serious problem, at least that's how feels from the saddle. It falls heavily into the "Something must be done!" category, unfortunately, any of the somethings that would make a difference require either a large investment of cash (not going to happen, look, we spent millions* on providing cycleways already!!!), or a a change of attitude on behalf of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. (I'm specifically avoiding the issue of horse riders, that's another rant in itself). This also requires money spent. q.v previous.
"cycle lanes are generally a waste of space for most cyclists: Put me in the traffic at 30mph - it's way better then having to deal with kerbs, potholes and intermittancy of the cycle lane."
For myself I would agree, on most routes. If you're a cycle commuter, either get on the road or get the bus, or walk. Cycleways have no place on the road, they are dangerous (they make everyone's lanes narrower), and serve virtually no purpose. They also encourage poor (or even dangerous) lane discipline on the part of cyclists (drivers get pissy if you try to manoeuvre out of the cycle lane, and generally won't let you through, and why should they ? The cycle lane is over there!) , and encourage motorists to assign the cyclist to their little box and forget about them. This is unhelpful when you inevitably have to manoeuvre around some tit who's parked up across the cycle lane.
"BTW the last pedestrian that stepped out without looking at me finished up with a broken arm. That hopefully learnt him."
Yeah, same here. Fractured and dislocated at the elbow. He was lucky. I was in a bus lane.
* In case anyone doesn't know, the "millions" spent on painting all those lines on the road to make them narrower and supposedly help cyclists all came from treasury coffers. LAs were awarded funding based on the number of KM of cycle lanes they introduced. This was the only metric used, and therefore the most popular implementation strategy was "bung em out, wherever you can fit em". Next time you find yourself thinking "why the fuck is there a cycle lane there ??" or "That's odd, the cycle lane just peters out for no reason", or, increasingly "What the fuck use is a cycle lane that's only two metres long ?". That's why.
"So it's ok then to mow down smart arse pedestrians who step/jump into the road and cycle lanes right in front of me then? :)"
I did last Friday- a woman stepped into the cycle lane without checking if it was in use and I ploughed her out of it. She was most apologetic and left with a nice black tyre mark up her nice cream slacks.
[Yes, I did brake and even though my bike has disk brakes there was no way I was going to be able to stop in time]
And whilst you are at it, can we force invalid vehicles onto cycle lanes as well please.
Only this morning I was waiting for a bus when a daft old bat.....er.....delightful elderly lady ran into me on her invalid buggy. I managed to dance out of her way and very gracefully went flying a** over t** in a heap. Fortunatly no injury beyond bruses that will appear tomorrow and mud on my suit. On remonstrating with her, she said that, because she is disabled, I could not talk to her that way and I should keep out of her way.
And the elderly complain about our manners!
(Skull and crossbones 'cos that is what she will be before long!)
Physical segregation. Too right, but from the other perspective....
There are divided pedestrial/cycle tracks near me, but narrow because all teh council did was paint a line down the middle. I have been verbally abused and even been deliberatly hit by bikes as they brush past because you are an inch on 'their' side of the path. I have stopped going to those parts of the park, because I cannot have my kids running around into the path of some 20mph "I stop for nothing 'cos its my right of way" idiot on a bike. I could 'not' take them to the park to 'not' run around, but what is a park for?
(and yes I write this as a cyclist as well as a pedestrian, but I do not think I own the road just because there is a picture of a cycle painted on it)
I can ride a bike, I am not an excellent rider but i can ride one provided I keep my behind on the saddle and my hands on the handlebars, I don't feel safe riding on the road and never would, cars and other vehicles are simply too dangerous to be that close to on a bike IMO no matter how much training I received I would feel this way.
I am one of these "fat" people everyone keeps complaining about but would gladly ride a bke more if there was adequate provision for the casual cyclist to use it as a means of transport, if I wanted to be lazy AND felt like enduring hours, weeks and months of training for my transportation I would learn to drive, I don't, cycling is accessible to many more people but should be made moreso to people wanting to feel safer than the road will allow.
As it is I would feel much safer on a Segway which although providing no excercise seems easier, cheaper and greener than a car and much safer than cycling for road use...
People need to bare in mind that until very recently, if you got hit by a car through your own mistake then you stood little chance, for the most part this still holds true, only now are manufacturers being forced to consider pedestrian safety, so why such a big problem with the slower, lighter Segway? give me a vehicle limited by its design rather than one limited solely by how fast the person doing the peddling is, if that person happens to be a 100kg bloke doing a quarter of a ton should THAT not require licensing and registration? A segway will only do half that speed and has that low centre of gravity i mentioned before!!
"..He said: "I wanted to show they are so easy to drive that even an MP can do it. You just lean forward to speed up and back to slow down. It is a bit counter-intuitive at first,.."
Pardon me for querying this, but when you walk, don't you lean forward to speed up and back to slow down? That doesn't seem counter-intuitive to me, unless you're such a lazy git that you've never walked anywhere in your life...
I received a broken nose and severe bruising last month when a really fat american using one of these contraptions ran smack into me in Vienna. No insurance! I took his photo and the police nicked him and was charged with Assault. Then he skipped the country.
As a cyclist I think these things are a real menace
As for powered skateboards? They would be a big challenge to Motorcycle for the title of Mobile Organ Donor vehicles.
Mines the one with a long pointed stick in the pocket
range too short to be useful. 15 miles MAX but not at the oh so pathetic MAX speed of 12MPH. What's the range at this awesome max speed?
There's guys building motorized electric bicycles using RC airplane motors and batteries, gettting better range and higher speed for a hell of a lot less money, plus no wanky stability issues needed.
Want to see something fun? Watch a Segway deal with poor traction, on one wheel. Water on a metal grate is fun. The computer tries to balance by increasing throttle on the slipping wheel, and increases to max power if necessary. When that speed causes enough friction to finally allow the tire to grab, it's turning much faster than the computer limited 12MPH. Now visualize-one wheel stopped, the other turning at max RPM and suddenly getting traction. Computer has to try to haul down a lot of rotating mass thru braking...braking torque gets transmitted back into the axle...a quick rotational jerk added to a face plant, and there's nothing human reaction times can do to keep you standing.
The Segway is proof that a fool and his money are soon parted. A kid's kick scooter is superior. hell, those shoes with the wheel in the heel..too bad they don't come in adult sizes! Failing that, there's attaching a cordless drill to your bike...still cheaper and faster.
I do all my commuting by motorcycle. Anything that requires carrying cargo, i have an old 4 cylinder car (bought it used, how's that for recycling-well over a ton of metal and plastics!) If there's anything I need to get to that can wait for a 12MPH max speed, I'll "shanks pony" it.
And it is a lousy implementation of the idea anyway.
If we are going to have futuristic contraptions on the road, we might as well have the Bombardier Embrio. http://www.gearbits.com/archives/000336.html (Department of pre-crime at your service sir). It is much more naturally stable and much more fun.
I've had a fair amount of experience on these things, and am very confident in their safety. Segways should without doubt be legalised, and I wholly support the idea that they be allowed on pavements as well as cycle lanes. People behave very differently on a segway to a bike, as you're ostensibly taking up exactly the same ground space as a pedestrian does when you're on one, in the same vertical position, which means you behave like a pedestrian. @Steve Davies sounds like the guy who ran in to you was a lawbreaking twat anyway, and him being so careless wasn't to do with the segway (if he was willing to skip the country to avoid justice). I say legalise but make sure the law heartily punishes people who use them dangerously.
Segways will not unblock the roads any more than the long-available scooters, mopeds, motorcycles have in the UK. Why?
They can't compete with the motor car on:
* safety (for the occupants)
Twist-and-go scooters are no more difficult to drive and can actually thread through traffic more easily. Where's the advantage to the Segway over a moped/scooter using the same battery and motor technology?
"I have been verbally abused and even been deliberatly hit by bikes as they brush past because you are an inch on 'their' side of the path. I have stopped going to those parts of the park,"
For the life of me I can't imagine (apart from the aforesaid revenue grabbing) why the hell your LA would have decided to put a cycle way in a park, of all places!
Unfortunately, this type of stupidity (on the part of the LA and the idiot cyclists with bad attitudes) is all to common.
".. cars and other vehicles are simply too dangerous to be that close to on a bike IMO"
I've been cycling on the roads for, well, lets just say since I was a child, and to date I have chalked up a total of two serious injuries, one of which was my own fault (collision with a stationary vehicle, doh!*) and the other of which I could almost certainly have avoided with a bit of forethought, even though it wasn't my fault.
It's really just about confidence and practice. By far the most important thing any cyclist should bear in mind is that vehicles have blind spots, and if you get into one, even a careful driver who is paying attention will run you over. Learn this, and you are automatically safe from most driver/cyclist collisions. Beyond that, just be aware of what's going on around you, be careful, and indicate. If you get to a difficult bit you don't like the look of, get off and walk around it. There's absolutely no shame in that.
Honestly, give it a go. Start with quiet places/times first, plan ahead, practice a bit. You'll surprise yourself, I promise.
*And yes, I did pay for the damage, after I had finished picking bits of light cluster out of my face.
Are they now ... Have you actually tried one?
Clearly very few people commenting here have any personal experience with them.
One thing that needs pointing out - they are NOT a docile 'gliding' form of personal transport.
To use a Segway, you have to start it using a special magnetic key, and which of 3 possible keys you use configures the machine differently. Using the default 'black' key, it is a fairly easy going machine, but the blue key makes it much faster and more responsive - while the RED key makes them downright bloody dangerous because in this mode the gyro mechanism becomes extremely responsive and the machine is capable of quite high acceleration. It takes a very well developed sense of balance and excellent reaction time to even stay on them in this mode.
Quite a lot of fun in the sporty mode and pretty scary in the high performance mode - these should NOT be allowed anywhere near pedestrians in anything other than low performance mode. Remember these things have no actual brakes as such, depending entirely on the users sense of balance in order to exert braking force.
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