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25mi in 5.25 hours on the Segway Mini Pro

As the crow 13mi or 21km! The real route much longer
Braving common sense, inspired by a movie where a man rode a Segway from Seattle to Boston, I took our Segway Mini Pro from 228th in Sammamish near the country club, 25mi all the way to Fairwood in Renton. 5 hours 15min, two stops for charging :) 



I brought along the charging cable because the maximum single charge range of the Mini Pro is about 15mi, depending on rider weight, route topography, wind conditions, air temperature, tire pressure, the age of the battery and number of cycles on the batteries. YMMV (your mileage may vary) ^^

My calf muscles are ever so slightly sore this morning, my FitBit from yesterday logging only about 4000 steps, almost 6000 shy of my daily 10000 step goal.

The journey started at 8am with charging, packing up food, water, a backpack to hold those items, the charger, and an improvised electric air pump setup because my left tire slowly looses air. I loaded the Mini Pro, my prepared backpack, myself and Meg into our Prius and we departed for her work. Arriving in the upper alpine part of Sammamish, I parted way with Meg after giving a primer about the virtues of electric vehicles to two very young impressionable people who know me as uncle Aaron :)

Down 228th, I used the sidewalk most of the way, it was covered with leaves. I encounter one person on the way down the hill, a drifter walking up the hill.

Down Inglewood Hill Road, I turned left onto East Lake Sammamish Parkway, shortly thereafter using a driveway to access the unpaved trail, it turns into a paved trail just before you get to Issaquah when heading south on the trail, right near a roundabout. I continued down the trail until I got to Safeway near the header of highway 900.

I had been hunting for an outdoor regular electrical socket 115v 15a with a waterproof cover for about 20 min. Near the entrance of this Safeway, near the shopping carts, right next to the sliding glass door entry, I spotted a partially defective outlet that had delaminate and broken away from the concrete wall it was previously mounted on. I carefully tested the socket and found it to be live and working, plugged my charger in, by scooters battery was at 61%, I charged until the scooter said it was full, but this was not true, I found that out later. I used my air pressure gauge and found the right tire at 45psi, the left leaky one had dropped to 25psi. I used the electric air pump to pump it up. While waiting for the charge to accumulate, roughly 20mi, I met a guy in his 50's named Eric, a software sales guy who sells B to B sharepoint stack software called Learning Systems, basically training software that companies use to train their employees. He said his job in software sales was extremely boring, but paid very well over the years. He wanted to know about the Mini Pro, so I gave him a primer about the cost, electrical system specs, real world performance and range, etc, my impressions of it, where he could buy one, so on and so forth. He went into the store, and upon exiting found me all packed up, just about to leave. I gave him a quick demo by showing him how it works, he was interested and amused.

Off to Highway 900, I made it to the top of the incline, it was a hair rating ordeal of shoulder riding that I would never repeat!

I stopped at Pacific Top soils and found an ideal electrical outlet post mounted to a utility box next to the utility trailer they use as an office, with an extension cord running to a vending machine located on the outside of the trailer. I tested the socket and found that it was good, there was electrical headroom left on the 20amp circuit for my 120w charger :) I charged up to 87% there, and then began defending the slow, the later section of Highway 900 has wider shoulder margins as you get closer to Renton.  I met a truck driver named John while charging, he thought the scooter was cool. To other truck drivers came over to ask me about it, and thought that riding it on the highway at 12mph sounded dangerous as hell, and they were right, both wished me good luck and told me to be really careful. I was and lived to tell ;)

Turning on to 164th, I headed south towards sunset, climbing the hill past the trailer park, I turned right after the Ice Skating arena, climbing yet another steep hill.

Heading west onto Sunset, I navigated most on sidewalks, and crashed once so badly that I broke my glass water bottle, loosing about 60% of the water I was carrying. I was so cold from the wind chill from riding so far in 66 deg weather, I wore shorts mistakenly, that the water seemed less appealing. The air temp continued to rise as I made my final legs of the journey home.

Making my way down sunset, I used Benson to connect to this cool 3rd street bridge that crosses a river, then up the hill, connecting to Beacon Signal way, its the steepest way up the hill I live on. The scooter can climb it with my 158lbs body (+12lbs of clothes and gear) at about 3km/h at the steepest point. If I try to go faster, the Mini Pro sends the app an over wattage warning about the motors requesting too much power. I get a lot of App warnings on my phone when I ride, I ride the thing to the limit, trying to eek out my money from it, to live, to enjoy, to experience it, so I can think about it, and share the experience with others through my blog, and first person stories when appropriate :)

I arrived home with 4km remaining range indicated on the phone App, the 22% remaining indicated capacity was calculated to only give me a short range because the hill climb drains the battery really fast! Essentially I had about 8km of actually remaining range on normal topographically variable terrain. The outside air was 70 deg, I warmed up quickly once the wind chill of riding came to an end. I plugged the scooter in, and called it a day :) I was a hair raising, scary, but totally doable, if not time efficient way. Driving one way in light traffic takes 40min, while in heavy traffic 1.3 hours, so this electric scooter is about 4-5 times slower on average than driving, or about as fast as a quick walk. 25mi of quick walking sounds like a journey of its own worth writing about, especially if it involved using the shoulder of a mountainous highway for a large section of the journey!

The route was not very distance efficient, I used google maps for foot navigation reference. As the Crow flys, we are talking about 13mi or 21km. This measurement can be seen in the post heading image :) I actually rode the scooter 25mi over a route the looks something like the following google maps image! I blurred out some of the data on the map for security reasons :)

Approximately Similar to my Actual Route 






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