Have a go at.. touring the forest by segway
Sherwood Pines Forest Park is the largest woodland open to the public in the East Midlands. The forest is a fantastic and inspiring place to experience the outdoor, with everything from watching wildlife to cycling, there is something for everyone all year round. Experience Nottinghamshire’s very own Eloise tried out the new segway tours of the forest offered by Go Ape!
We certainly picked a beautiful afternoon to explore Sherwood Pines on two wheels. This time, however, it was not on a bicycle, but on a Segway!
The segways used are self-balancing, electric, off-road machines which respond to the user putting pressure onto two footpads to move forwards and backwards. All you need is sensible footwear, the right clothing for the weather and a sense of adventure. You don’t even need to be able to drive!
As we arrived in the car park we were both getting very excited about the prospect of having a go. I had been on a segway once before, but indoors, and for about 5 minutes, so I wasn’t too sure how I would cope off road.
Our guide, Simon, talked us through health and safety before starting, reassuring us how easy it was to handle the machines. We were all given helmets and Simon explained the techniques for stepping on and off, and manoeuvring the segway. Then it was my turn to step on and suddenly I felt very nervous. But soon enough I was doing laps of our training ‘pen’, weaving in and out of trees with gusto!
We all started off in training mode, which allowed us to go up to 6 mph (I never quite made it to this speed!). Then we ditched our training wheels, so to speak, and were set off at our own pace along the course, following our guide.
The other people in our group were a family with a son who was about 15 or so. Each one of them seemed very capable and they showed that Segways are manageable for a variety of ages, the only restrictions being a lower limit of 10 years of age and 7 stone.
From the second we stepped onto the segway, our faces were fixed into permanent grins. The machines didn’t run away with you, even down some of the steeper inclines and the sturdy tires allow you to travel easily over pine cones and tree roots along the course. We soon got the hang of bending our knees in preparation for the bumps!
It’s a beautiful setting to have a go and the forest has a number of readymade paths for you to explore. You can go as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable, so it’s ideal for both thrill seekers and those looking to relax and enjoy the scenery. Our tour guides were attentive in making sure each member of the group was enjoying it and they even had someone on hand so that they could split the group by ability.
By the time we reached the end of the hour long session, I felt I was just getting my segway legs and was just about brave enough to pick up speed. It was certainly a strange feeling to walk normally afterwards!