Tuesday, 2 June 2015

30 Days Wild: Day 2 - Wacky Races in Grizedale

You know when you've been meaning to do something for ages and then finally get around to it?  Well a year or so ago we paid a visit to Go Ape in Grizedale Forest to make like Tarzan and whiz along their 7 enormous zipwires (you can see what happened here) - at the time we swore we'd be back to give the Segways a go and it only took us a year to get around to it.  (Which is pretty good for us, our vegetable patch has been in production for 2 years now and counting.)

Segways are unique contraptions that look like the sort of thing Harry Potter and Prof. Pat Pending* might have sketched on the back of a fag packet after one too many beers.  Or the sort of thing you might idly make out of Lego when all you can find is one of those bricks with 2 wheels in it and a pipe cleaner.  Either way they are strange and magical devices.

After putting the fear of god into us during the safety briefing the Go Ape guys let us loose on their training track.  If you've never tried a Segway before it's a little unnerving at first but they honestly could not be simpler to ride - you move your weight to the balls of your feet to go forwards and shift it to your heels to go slow and stop; turning is done by a little leaning and the use of the handlebars.  So long as you have the ability to stand upright & weigh over 7 stone (I was hurt they didn't check my weight...they could have at least pretended...) there is no reason at all you couldn't use one.

Gorgeous views over Grizedale Forest

Fully embracing our #30DaysWild challenge we listened hard as we whizzed through the forest and picked out willow warblers and blackbirds singing in the nearby trees and spotted a number of swifts darting around the woodland edges.  We also noticed a buzzard away in the distance which led me to my new wildlife fact of the day (ta daaa): the collective noun for a group of buzzards is a "wake" (and if you don't want to waste most of your afternoon looking up other strange and unusual collective nouns, don't click here.)

The road is looooong, with maaaaany a winding turn...

The great thing about this Segway experience is that it really makes the most of the fantastic woodlands and amazing views along the way.  We weren't blessed with the best of weather and the views out across the forest were still spectacular.

I wonder why we didn't spot any red deer..? #stealthmode

I will give you a couple of words of warning though.  Firstly wear something warm as you'll essentially be standing still for an hour- that little bit of tilting doesn't exactly get the blood pumping.  And secondly, if you video yourselves, be prepared for disappointment - I swear we were going SO much faster than this video suggests (or maybe it just feels faster when you're clutching a thin metal stick attached to a Lego brick powered by magic).

The local cows were stunned by our break neck speed and mastery of the Segways...

As we made our way back down the hillside we got wild again and screeched to a halt (slowed to a gentle stop) to check out a waterfall which was in fine fettle following the torrential overnight rain.

Once safely back at base we were issued with our shiny certificates and headed off for a well earned hot chocolate and a bacon roll where we debated how long it would take us to come back and try out the Tree Top Adventure.  My money is on a year at least - who knows, we might even have some home grown vegetables by then.  Well, maybe...

(And if you want to follow in our sedate wheel tracks - or go a little speedier & show us how it's done you can book now at goape.co.uk/forest-segway  or call 0845 643 9236. #ShareAdventure) 

* For those too young to know who Prof. Pat Pending is...

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