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EUCs not allowed atop the Lincoln Memorial

Bob Eisenman

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    It was June (2016) when I decided to take my Ninebot on a bus trip to Washington DC. I had put about 300 miles onto the EUC before taking the trip. I stayed in northwest DC at a hostel (Highroad hostel) and traveled via Ninebot to the National Mall along the Rock Creek bicycle trail. I decided to walk the steps up to the top of the Lincoln Memorial. Since I did not have a cable lock with me I carried the Ninebot up the stairs. After taking a few pictures inside the Lincoln Memorial while standing astride my powered off Ninebot I moved back to the columns atop the staircase and rested the EUC against one of the columns(4th or 5th column from the front right corner). Stepping back to take another picture of the National Mall a uniformed officer standing closer to the rightmost column approached me and asked if that 'thing', referring to the EUC,  belonged to me. I replied in the affirmative and was told that the 'thing' could not be allowed up there. I picked up the 30 pound Ninebot and walked down the steps.
    Moving on to the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial before riding around a bit along the National Mall. The years since 1972 when my draft card was issued have passed. I was asthmatic and had allergies and got a draft deferment. Maps were something you folded up and put into the glove compartment of the car and not something from a device to which you talk too by saying 'ok Google map to the National Mall in Washington DC'. One of the Viet Nam Vets I saw at the memorial was sitting in a rubber tank tread version of a mobility chair. It was a great day aside from being asked to remove the Ninebot from atop the Lincoln Memorial.
    Almost seven months later, riding regularly in the summer I'm getting close to accumulating 3,000 miles on the odometer. My rider log tells me that I fallen at least 6 times with sufficient trauma to say ouch really hard and enter the event into my rider log of some 160 rider entries. I've read on the internet about 'ninebotvietnam.asia' and realize that the New Hampshire company that invented the Segway has sold its rights to the China manufacturing firm that produces Ninebot. My riding style has become fairly relaxed except for recurring signs of sciatic nerve pain running from my buttocks to my foot on the dominant mounting side. Stretching the 'piriformis muscle' helps when I pre-stretch the muscle before or during a ride.
    I sometimes laugh when I read about a rider falling for whatever reason and describing in detail the nature of the wounds. Just yesterday I went out for a long ride in cold temperatures where battery performance drops as compared to warm summer riding. I came to the highway crosswalk which I've used many times on the Ninebot. The walk sign turned on but at the other side the sidewalk was marked with wooden stakes topped with orange paint from  a surveyors marking of an upcoming improvement to the shopping mall parking lot. Normally the 'S' like tight turn on the opposite sidewalk poses no problem but yesterday I hooked a pedal on something and went tumbling forward onto the ground. Breaking ones fall with your arms should be no big deal but as you get to about 60 years of age (fat in my case) the arm muscles become more accustomed to tasks like typing and right mouse clicking  but not to heavy lifting. Sure enough my elbow hurt (strain not impact) and my wrist hurt.  The wrist area under my work gloves, showed tissue symptoms associated with impact on a hard surface. OUCH!!! That's not healthy.
    I guess EUC riding is a sport where under the most swiftly changing circumstances falls do happen. I know I'm a competent rider and that in a few days or weeks the signs of injury will be mostly forgotten. But with unwanted pedestrian encounters where you end up answering predictive lines of inquiry (how long does the battery last, what does it cost, where did you get it, etc) while standing around trying to synch the bluetooth app to the EUC or where the threat of terrain ruts and bumps while riding poses a risk or while dealing with taunting exchanges from the occupants of moving cars maybe the EUC is not the ideal risk based sport for the average risk taking enthusiast. Accidents seem to happen quickly and in retrospect for very specific reasons. 
    Ride safely and plan ahead!




vietnam vets memorial2.jpg

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