From I SCOOT to IBOT, #2 of ??

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/10/30 10:31 -04:00, original URI:

Another post about moving to the IBOT ! :-)

After I blogged From I SCOOT to IBOT, #1 of ??, I did leave some people hanging, wondering how the evening went.

How the IBOT was going.

You know, what lessons I learned, etc.

And more on the differences between scooting and IBOT-ing. :-)

I'll start with the trip to the Stumbling Monk for game night on Monday night.

I took the 545 to Seattle and get off at Terry and Stewart.

I took the 8:13pm because last time it took me nearly an hour to make it up the hill that is Dennhy Way there, whatwith the sskow trek up the too-steep hill, punctuated by the occasional stop-and-wait-and-hit-the-reset-button dance and all. Not to mention that it really is uphill and the little scooter that could definitely is not a high-speed climber.

Anyway, I leave the apartment in balance mode, because it is the best one for getting ariund the corner of the jacuzzi right by the door. I might have rethink some positioining eventually, but for now it works.

I decide to slip down to standard mode for speed as soon as I hit the walk outside the apartment . It's faster (up to 6.8mph!) with a bit less control, but good for wide open spaces when the best thing you can do is move through the pasce and on to some place interesting.

Then as I go up the hill after 156th heading toward the highway, I move into 4-wheel mode. Slower (max speed 4.8mph), but much better for hills and such. Much more stable since the gyroscopes are on and actively working to keep me upright.

By the way, did you ever have people telling you to use your inside voice when you were inside, because you were too loud? Well, 4-wheel mode is like really only outside wheels; I have actually brought uo the clearly-done-by-lowest-bidder squares of carpet in building 14 just by turning in that mode. So 4-wheel is not for indoors. :-)

Anyway, I get to the bus stop, slightly early because I am so used to doing it in the scooter thast I forgot I asm dking something faster now. It's just a few minutes.

I go into balance mode as I wait. I'm know I'm showing off since I already decided to get on the bus in standard, but I can't help it. It's fun and people love to talk about it. If I enjoy and so do they, then who am I to deprive us? I know I'll get bored eventually, but for now let's have fun.

Backing on to the bus is as hard as I thought it would be due to the very different steering mechanisms of the scooter and the IBOT. Backing on to the bus had becomes second nature; I was fighting muscle memory now, and even at low speed, the loer amount of control in standard mode is something people clearly aee as thy watch me back and file a bunch of times.

I'm embarrassed, but I carry on.

The driver is not sure where to tie me down but I show him the dedicated tie-downs, which I think he liked -- the are easy for him to reach and we are quickly ready to go.

One person runs onto the bus at the last moment, and now I don't feel as bad for my earlier trouble getting on -- she would have missed the bus had I been more coordinated, by like 45 seconds. :-)

The front is very uncrowded, with people sitting just behind the spot for wheelchairs. It occurs to me that I would be better off (when there weren't a ton of people on the bus) going on the bus forward, in balance or 4-wheel modes, and turning in place!

I make the mental note for the return trip, and then we are off.

I get off the bus in 4-wheel and am mch more coordinated. The bus driver seems much happier with my control, which I am sure he attributes to going forward rather than backward (though I think it was mostly the better mode; standard is not for indoors or tight spaces!

Anyhow, I Am off now at Stewart and Terry, asnd I slide over to Denny. I look at the hill that I have now climbed many times but never in this vehicle, and I pause wondering what it'll be like.

Ah well, the only way to find out is to do it -- I had on up.

I am shocked at how well it is able to maintain as much of the speed that it does going up the hill. I make it to the Stumbling Monk early, and just outside I move into balance mode, full height.

I remember how tall the bar is, and for the first time I am going to be able to see over it when I order a Belgian beer that I've never heard of.

The bartender does not recognize me, though he did before. It is the scooter, people remember it. But they remember the IBOT too, and it is easy to see why people wouldn't make the connection!

Some small talk, people I know start showing up and then throughout the evening people are curious, asking all the usual questions (is this a Segway, how does it stsnd up on two wheels, what if the power runs out, how much did it cost, did Microoft pay for it, how fast does it go, etc.).

Geeks love it an start getting all tech on it. And Seattle has more geeks per capita than most towns I have been in. Hell, I m one of them!

We are playing speed Scrabble. My poor finger dexterity works against me but I don't mind. We are having fun which is really what counts. :-)

When it's time to go, I head out. Straight down Olive Way, the whole way. all the way to the 545. I m on time rather than early, though the bus is late. I pass the time talking to two of my fellow busser folk, one of whom is really mad about her Tarot reading that was rushed because of the people asking too many questions before her. It is interesting just watching the rant so I listen and comment and express outrage at the times that I imagine I would be outraged if I believed in the things she spoke of.

They love the IBOT, and have their questions too. Still fun, believe it or not!

I point out that it must have been karma -- if the other two of them had not had a bus that came early which they missed and had I not had a bus that was late, this conversation would never have happened.

Both of them are delighted at my conclusion and agree very firmly.

When the bus finally arrives, I think I am about to get hugged or something, but they refrain since they don't want to tip me (I was not really in a hugging-strangers mood, or I would have talked about the gyroscopes; the whole thing put me in mind of Suzanne Vega's recent Hugging and Kissing blog she posted, with the obvious exception that I'm not a celebrity, though I totally understand where she's coming from).

I go on the bus in balance mode forward, turn in place, get in position, and move to 4-wheel. It is all very fast and people who are watching it clearly think I've done this before. Which

I haven't but I'm finding my groove, I think. :-)

All things considered, the IBOT experience of the Stumbling Monk was far superior to the scooter one. Even for a first time; I imagine it is only going to get easier now that I am getting a better handle on modes and when to use them in various situations....

Of course today there is a team lunch in a place that would require two buses to get to and three buses to get back from, so I am tempted to take the small scooter to work today and put it in someone's trunk. Or use all this saved up energy and go with just a cane, maybe. We'll see.

Tonight a bunch of us are going to Matador in Redmond. Pop by if you like and come up and say hi, too. Just don't ask to hug me? :-)


This post brought to you by (U+267f, a.k.a. WHEELCHAIR SYMBOL) 

Gwyn on 8 Nov 2008 9:26 PM:

Can you provide some pictures of the different modes? I'm not really sure what they all are exactly like.

Michael S. Kaplan on 8 Nov 2008 10:08 PM:

That's a good idea! Let me see what I can do....

referenced by

2013/09/19 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #10 of ??: The good, the bad, and the ugly (IN THAT ORDER)

2009/07/08 Suddenly the chair looks smarter and I am the one with the control issues

2008/12/20 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #10 of ??: The good, the bad, and the ugly (IN THAT ORDER)

2008/12/12 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #9 of ??: You're not stoned if you see me in Seattle at a 50 degree or a 130 degree angle

2008/12/03 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #8 of ?? (On redefining the ideal kissing height)

2008/12/02 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #7 of ?? (Unintended movement of the joystick will result in unintended movement of the product)

2008/11/27 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #6 of ?? (The cost of standing still?)

2008/11/24 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #5 of ?? (sometimes it is phase 3 that is ????)

2008/11/10 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #4 of ?? (with some pictures!)

2008/11/02 From I SCOOT to IBOT, #3 of ??

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