I Tried Segway at the Vanderbilt's
Heureusement nous avions une chouette accompagnatrice qui nous a bien explique le fonctionnement de la machine. Toute seule la machine tombe par terre, mais une fois les pieds dessus, un systeme de gyroscopes lui donne l’équilibre. J'ai tout de mémé laissé les premières
Au début l’équilibre n'est pas très naturel. Le Segway, c'est un peu comme le ski, ça réponds au moindre mouvement du corps. Les fesses en arrière et on frêne (ou passe en marche arriere), un mouvement vers la droite on tourne. J’étais impressionnée de voir la capacité de la machine a tourner quasiment sur elle même. Les deux roues étant indépendantes l'une de l'autre. Mais finalement après quelques dizaines de minutes a pratiquer sur la zone d'entrainement on ne s'en sortait pas trop mal. Notre accompagnatrice nous a donc teste a la descente et a la montée avant de décider que nous étions prêts pour notre sortie.
I'm sure you've heard of Segways. This odd transportation device with two wheels on which you stand up? Well I had the opportunity to climb on one. I even managed not to fall for about two hours! I'll admit that I wasn't feeling all that confidant at first. While I do a lot of sports, I usually rely on my legs and not on an engine. Truth is I've never put my butt on a scooter and I don't care much for motorcycles.
Thankfully we had a great guide who explained how it works. On its own the machine falls down, but once you step on it, a system of gyroscopes gives it balance. I let the first
victims volunteers go first
non the less. No one fell. Well it didn't look that bad then, so I
decided to go for it.
At first finding your balance isn't all that easy. The Segway is like skiing, it answers to all your body's movement. Put your butt to the back and it will stop (or go backwards), a move to the right and you're turning. I was in fact impressed to see how the machine can pretty much turn on itself since the wheels are independent from one another. In the end after several minutes of practice on the practice area we were getting the hang of it. So our guide had us attempt going uphill and downhill before deciding that we were ready for our tour.
Nous étions sur la propriété de Biltmore Estate et le premier arrêt de notre visite fut l'ancien bac qui permettait aux employés de la propriété de passer de la rive Est a la rive Ouest de la propriété. L'eau n'est pas très profonde mais la French Broad River est quand même large.
We were on Biltmore Estate and our first stop was by the old ferry which allowed employees to go from the East to the West side back in the days. The water isn't very deep but the French Broad River is pretty wide.
Recently a bridge was added across the river allowing for much easier access. Hence in fact the addition of this tour of the West Side. Our guide explained that they've only been doing it for a few weeks. They have other activities on the West Side such as clay shooting or Land Rover course, but before the bridge, they had to make a huge detour to get there.
While the most known area of Biltmore Estate is the one with the House, almost half of the property is on the West side. It's however less touristic and more agricultural with also a lot of forest lands. It didn't take us long to get to the first barn (now used for storage).
One of the surprise of our tour was to be able to see the vineyards. They don't guarantee it during the visit since it depends on the needs of the vineyard workers, but we were lucky to make it there. It's a beautiful and scenic valley, hard to believe we are still in the middle of Asheville.
We then backtracked to a different trail. Our guide pointed the field were one of the battle scenes of the Last of the Mohicans was filmed.
A little further we came across this beautiful bridge. They are not 100% sure of the reason behind the architectural effort. But one of the theories is that it would have been the way George Vanderbilt took to go to his mountain cabin: "Buck Spring Lodge".
After a lovely uphill in the middle of the fields we reached Alta Vista Farm.
And a little further on the dirt road we got a beautiful view of the Biltmore House.
La visite guidée de la section Ouest en Segway coute $100 par personne + le coute de l’entrée de la propriété. C'est par groupe de 6 personnes avec environ 30mns d'introduction. Si vous ne pouvez pas manœuvrer l'engin, les billets sont rembourses. Le plus a mon avis outre le fait de tester le Segway, c'est la possibilité de voir "les coulisses" de la propriété.
It was our last stop. After that we headed back to the East side. After about two hours on the machines I was having a blast. It turns out that Segways are very intuitive and respond well to body movements. While I don't see myself using it as a personal vehicul I think it's fun for a guided visit. No physical effort and quiet, it's a nice change from the bicycle.
Vous etes deja montes sur un Segway? Qu'en pensez vous?
Have you ever been on a Segway? What did you think?