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Special Needs, Mobility and Disabled Use Information and discussion for those with special needs interested in the Segway.

Old 06-27-2017, 10:33 PM   #1
Jim McClain
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Default Segway at a Convention

I never knew you all existed (I mean this forum) until some time back. Happy to have found you.

At a big orange store, I had a heart attack and didn't know it. I was with a friend, helping him load lumber in his truck when I got dizzy and passed out for a minute or so.

Turns out I have severe emphysema, with about 25% lung capacity and walk around with a oxygen tank strapped to my back now. At least I still walk, just not very far. It's very difficult to walk around the stores in the little town I live in. A shopping trip to a metropolitan area, where the stores are 2 or 3 times the size, there's no way I can do all that without assistance.

I hate those slow-poke electric shopping carts at stores that have all the good stuff on shelves way out of reach. Getting up and down to look at everything is breath-taking to say the least. Most stores, though, don't have electric carts or any other mobility aide. So my out-of-town shopping trips are on hold. Now I have an even bigger concern.

Every year, the largest gathering of professionals in the world, who are involved in the same business I spent 35 years in, takes place in Las Vegas. The convention draws tens of thousands of participants and visitors. I've been there a number of times. I very rarely see anyone in a scooter of any sort, and never have seen a Segway at a convention, but it has been a while since my last convention.

Now I run a popular, industry related website and the loyal members all chipped in to send me to the next convention. I wrote to a Segway dealer in Las Vegas and to Segway Marketing with the hopes that they would provide me with a loaner for a few days during Surfaces in exchange for an article focusing on use by the mobility challenged and the exposure it would get in this industry as a means of transportation at conventions, mills and manufacturing facilities.

The Las Vegas dealer sent me a price list. Segway waited 3 weeks to answer me, just to say, "sorry..." no. But all was not lost. I got a call from a former client one day. I mentioned the idea and the let-down. I told him I might rent one, if I could. He said he knew someone... "let me call you back in a few minutes." I thought it was just a polite brush-off and a way to end the call, so I exchanged good-byes.

He actually called me back just a few minutes later. Gave me the number of a dealer and told me to call him. I did and the guy already knew what was what and asked if I could go a little bit out of my way to pick up a Segway to borrow for the convention.

How exciting! I spent a few hours reading about Segways and in the process, found you all here. I didn't realize there was already a large group of dedicated people with disabilities encouraging the use of Segways. I didn't realized how much the quality of my life could improve if I had one of these of my own.

Thanks for being here.

Jim
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:00 AM   #2
rickb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McClain View Post
I never knew you all existed (I mean this forum) until some time back. Happy to have found you.

At a big orange store, I had a heart attack and didn't know it. I was with a friend, helping him load lumber in his truck when I got dizzy and passed out for a minute or so.

Turns out I have severe emphysema, with about 25% lung capacity and walk around with a oxygen tank strapped to my back now. At least I still walk, just not very far. It's very difficult to walk around the stores in the little town I live in. A shopping trip to a metropolitan area, where the stores are 2 or 3 times the size, there's no way I can do all that without assistance.

I hate those slow-poke electric shopping carts at stores that have all the good stuff on shelves way out of reach. Getting up and down to look at everything is breath-taking to say the least. Most stores, though, don't have electric carts or any other mobility aide. So my out-of-town shopping trips are on hold. Now I have an even bigger concern.

Every year, the largest gathering of professionals in the world, who are involved in the same business I spent 35 years in, takes place in Las Vegas. The convention draws tens of thousands of participants and visitors. I've been there a number of times. I very rarely see anyone in a scooter of any sort, and never have seen a Segway at a convention, but it has been a while since my last convention.

Now I run a popular, industry related website and the loyal members all chipped in to send me to the next convention. I wrote to a Segway dealer in Las Vegas and to Segway Marketing with the hopes that they would provide me with a loaner for a few days during Surfaces in exchange for an article focusing on use by the mobility challenged and the exposure it would get in this industry as a means of transportation at conventions, mills and manufacturing facilities.

The Las Vegas dealer sent me a price list. Segway waited 3 weeks to answer me, just to say, "sorry..." no. But all was not lost. I got a call from a former client one day. I mentioned the idea and the let-down. I told him I might rent one, if I could. He said he knew someone... "let me call you back in a few minutes." I thought it was just a polite brush-off and a way to end the call, so I exchanged good-byes.

He actually called me back just a few minutes later. Gave me the number of a dealer and told me to call him. I did and the guy already knew what was what and asked if I could go a little bit out of my way to pick up a Segway to borrow for the convention.

How exciting! I spent a few hours reading about Segways and in the process, found you all here. I didn't realize there was already a large group of dedicated people with disabilities encouraging the use of Segways. I didn't realized how much the quality of my life could improve if I had one of these of my own.

Thanks for being here.

Jim
Jim, Check out the TravelScoot! It remobilized my life, under 30#, fits in any vehicle, excellent for airline travel and shopping the big box stores. https://www.travelscoot.com

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Old 07-03-2017, 12:54 AM   #3
Jim McClain
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As long as I have the ability to stand, the last thing I want to do is sit in a scooter and be eye-level to a lot of flabby butts. The TravelScoot doesn't look like fun to me, the Segway does. A Segway will fit just fine in my vehicle too, with no folding, collapsing or taking anything apart. Best of all, I can continue to stand and move around in an upright position the same as I have been doing since I was one year old.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:03 AM   #4
rwoynaro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McClain View Post
I never knew you all existed (I mean this forum) until some time back. Happy to have found you.

At a big orange store, I had a heart attack and didn't know it. I was with a friend, helping him load lumber in his truck when I got dizzy and passed out for a minute or so.

Turns out I have severe emphysema, with about 25% lung capacity and walk around with a oxygen tank strapped to my back now. At least I still walk, just not very far. It's very difficult to walk around the stores in the little town I live in. A shopping trip to a metropolitan area, where the stores are 2 or 3 times the size, there's no way I can do all that without assistance.

I hate those slow-poke electric shopping carts at stores that have all the good stuff on shelves way out of reach. Getting up and down to look at everything is breath-taking to say the least. Most stores, though, don't have electric carts or any other mobility aide. So my out-of-town shopping trips are on hold. Now I have an even bigger concern.

Every year, the largest gathering of professionals in the world, who are involved in the same business I spent 35 years in, takes place in Las Vegas. The convention draws tens of thousands of participants and visitors. I've been there a number of times. I very rarely see anyone in a scooter of any sort, and never have seen a Segway at a convention, but it has been a while since my last convention.

Now I run a popular, industry related website and the loyal members all chipped in to send me to the next convention. I wrote to a Segway dealer in Las Vegas and to Segway Marketing with the hopes that they would provide me with a loaner for a few days during Surfaces in exchange for an article focusing on use by the mobility challenged and the exposure it would get in this industry as a means of transportation at conventions, mills and manufacturing facilities.

The Las Vegas dealer sent me a price list. Segway waited 3 weeks to answer me, just to say, "sorry..." no. But all was not lost. I got a call from a former client one day. I mentioned the idea and the let-down. I told him I might rent one, if I could. He said he knew someone... "let me call you back in a few minutes." I thought it was just a polite brush-off and a way to end the call, so I exchanged good-byes.

He actually called me back just a few minutes later. Gave me the number of a dealer and told me to call him. I did and the guy already knew what was what and asked if I could go a little bit out of my way to pick up a Segway to borrow for the convention.

How exciting! I spent a few hours reading about Segways and in the process, found you all here. I didn't realize there was already a large group of dedicated people with disabilities encouraging the use of Segways. I didn't realized how much the quality of my life could improve if I had one of these of my own.

Thanks for being here.

Jim

Hi Jim:

Your symptoms sound very similar to mine, I can walk, but with difficulty and not for long distances. So I have be using Segways for going on about 9 years now. I wanted to let you know that there are after-market seats available for the segway to let you glide seated if that is preferable. I just got a new one called the GlideSaddle (just Google on that and you will find the info) and it provides a padded seat very similar to what a drummer's stool might be like. There are seats out there, (the Lean Seat, made by the SegVator folks) and I think a few more. But its an option if you would prefer sitting over standing.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:46 PM   #5
Jim McClain
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Originally Posted by rwoynaro View Post
I wanted to let you know that there are after-market seats available for the segway to let you glide seated if that is preferable.
Thanks for the info, but as long as I am able to stand... I mentioned that in my last post:
Quote:
As long as I have the ability to stand, the last thing I want to do is sit in a scooter and be eye-level to a lot of flabby butts.
I don't have any trouble standing for long periods of time. No seat for me!
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:52 PM   #6
OPMD
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Hi Jim and any others interested in this thread. Sorry for the delayed response. I haven't been on the forum for a long time. Hopefully this will help someone in Jim's or my situation,

I've used an X2 Segway (with I2 wheels installed) with a SegSaddle since 2010 as my primary mobility device. It is by far the best way I have found to get around. I use it in grocery stores, Walmart, and most other stores you could name. I've also used it at the beach, off road on slopes so steep that my back battery would drag when I turned around to come back down hill. I've dragged metal picnic tables 20 feet. I've crashed more times than I can remember. I crashed in the rain on the Appalachian Trail on top of Roan Mountain Tennessee. Every crash was because I was trying to push the envelope to see what the Segway will do. Don't try any of this if you are worried about hitting the ground. If you spin a wheel you are going to go down, sometimes fast and hard.

I tell you this just so you know I have a lot of experience using the Segway in many different environments up to and past its limitations.

I have used almost the exact words you use to describe your disdain for the traditional mobility devices. I've been 6'5" all my life, I don't want to be 4' tall looking at peoples butts. In a scooter or wheel chair people seem to treat you as an obstacle that needs to be gotten around. I've used the Segway at conventions/shows that were wall to wall people. The reaction is like you are Moses parting the Sea. You get noticed and respect. You are the coolest guy in the building. Their words, not mine.

The Segway is a very intuitive device. You can glide up to a door, grab the handle, lean back to open, push the door the rest of the way open, and roll through. After a few times you don't even have think about it. It is almost the same motions you would use if you were walking. You still feel very independent.

The one thing that I like about the seated position is that I can push a shopping cart with my hands while I steer with my knees. Grocery shopping is pretty easy. The only issue I have is getting things off the bottom shelf. Seated, I put my foot on the floor so I can lean forward without rolling forward. Usually this makes it doable. If you are standing you can probably come up with a technique or attachment so you can use your legs to steer the Segway and your hands to steer the cart. Bottom shelf would require you to get off the Segway, park it, get your item, and get back on.

I've pushed lumber carts at Home Depot that were loaded with 500 lbs. Stopping takes some distance so you don't want to go too fast.

I love my Segway. I dread the time that I will not be able to use it any longer. It's not cheap. The seat was expensive. It has been worth it for me. It will go places no other wheeled mobility device will go, allow you to do things you thought you would have to give up.

Hope this helps.

Jeff
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Old 11-16-2017, 05:25 AM   #7
rwoynaro
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Originally Posted by rickb View Post
Jim, Check out the TravelScoot! It remobilized my life, under 30#, fits in any vehicle, excellent for airline travel and shopping the big box stores. https://www.travelscoot.com

Rick: Thanks for showing the TravelScoot, I was not aware of it. I may get one for convenience flying.
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