Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You Can't Drive a Segway Up a Post!

Today is Rick's birthday. My present to him was the Wilderness Back Trail Adventure Segway Tour through the woods and trails around the Ft. Wilderness Campground and the Wilderness Lodge. We did a Segway tour a few years ago at Epcot and really enjoyed it, so we were really looking forward to this experience on all-terrain Segways.

Today was the perfect day for this outing. It had cooled off to the mid-70s with low humidity. Although it started out a little cloudy, the skies brightened up just enough by the time our tour started. After a brief orientation, our group of 10 followed our instructors Rob and Wes while they pointed out plants and quizzed us on Disney trivia.

These Segways are extremely easy to maneuver, so we quickly mastered getting on and off, turning and going forward and backward. This made it easy to enjoy the scenery while we traversed the woods, visited the Disney World stables and maneuvered the paths through the marsh to the Wilderness Lodge. All this was so relaxing and pleasant that we soon felt like experts - with the possible exception of one elderly man in our group who had a habit of stopping abruptly mid-trail for no apparent reason, causing whoever happened to be following him to have to react quickly in order to avoid rear-ending him.

This was happening frequently enough that I made a point of not being behind him, but somehow, as our tour was almost over and we were heading back, I found myself following him and his wife as we went up a slight incline and through a covered picnic area, where suddenly he stopped again. His wife started to pass him, so I followed suit, but when she pulled up beside him, I took a wider berth to go around them both. That's when I caught a post with my right wheel and started to fall over. Somehow my right leg got tangled around the Segway's steering column, and I couldn't extricate it as I went over. The Segway's left wheel was still moving, so the machine was gyrating, with my leg still wrapped around it, twisting in directions legs aren't supposed to go. I felt or maybe even heard something pop as my leg finally came loose and I hit the ground. It hurt. A lot. I was quite sure I had just broken my leg. After lying on the ground for several minutes, I was finally able to move my leg and then eventually stand up. Thankfully, it appeared that my leg wasn't broken, nor my knee dislocated as I first feared. I was even able to get back on my Segway and ride it back to the barn, but my knee still really hurt!

EMT's were called and several cast members with clipboards and a policeman materialized to take down all my information. I told my story four or five times. The EMT's checked me over, being particularly careful to make sure I hadn't injured my back or my neck. They put an ice pack on my knee and wrapped it up and a van was called to drive us back to the Beach Club. I decided not to go to the hospital and to just wait and see how I feel later. Right now the knee is very sore and a little swollen, but I can walk, although with a limp. I think I probably have a bad sprain, but some Motrin and a glass of wine have helped quite nicely with my convalescence so far. I'm determined this will not put a crimp in our plans.

I like to be the star pupil in any group, not the one who can't do anything right, so my pride now hurts as much as my knee. I should have stopped behind that man and not been so cavalier about my Segway skills. What do they say about pride coming before a fall?

Thanks to Rick for documenting my moment of shame. See more of today's photos on Flickr.

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