Yard by Yard, Life is Hard

September 9, 2015


Sorry for this photo… not mine, horrible resolution… but I needed it.

So, I’m riding my bike into town this afternoon and pull up behind a guy at the corner of 5th and B, wearing tie-dye and loud sunglasses, on one of these. I actually do not know what it is, so I inquire. The conversation goes like this:

Me: What are you on?

Him: No response. 

Me (a bit louder): So.. what are you on?

Him: LSD!

Him (quickly): I’m kidding. I’M KIDDING, really. It’s a segway without a handle.

Me: That looks like it would be really hard to ride.

Him: Everyone thinks that. I tell them, “Yard by yard, life is hard. Inch by inch, life’s a cinch.”

Me (thinking.. what in the world is he talking about..!?): Meaning…

Him: Look, I didn’t just get on this thing, I had to learn to ride it. 

Me (thinking.. o k a y ..well, yeah, but…): Of course, sure, right.  

Him: I worked at it.

Me: Yes, I’m sure.  

Him: Took a long time to get as good as I am. 

Me: I rode a segway once and thought it was tricky.

Him: Oh! You know segways! You’re probably more of an expert than I am!

Me: I doubt that. I had my most awkward accident ever on a segway. 

Him: How’s that?

Me: I was at a dead stop, fell over, the segway fell on top of me and it was like trying to hang onto a very heavy, out-of-control power tool. It was gnarly. I got all cut up. 

Him: Whoaaa… I need to hear more about this.

Me (weaving left through traffic): This is my turn. I gotta go. Bye.

Handle-less segway man is last seen continuing down B Street waving over his head.


As proof, here are a few shots taken in June 2011. It was Peter’s 13th birthday and he and I took a little road trip to LA to celebrate. The weekend was was so much fun–we stayed in a fancy downtown hotel, went to a Dodger game, walked down Hollywood Boulevard, stumbled upon Capital Records, drove up to Griffith Park Observatory, got a close up view of the Hollywood sign, ate at the Westwood In ‘n Out, attended a couple of family birthday parties. Lots of celebration.

But… segway riding was on the top of his list. So we rented a couple in Santa Monica and rode to Venice. It was great fun.. until it wasn’t.

Here is Peter on his segway before HIS spectacular, and sad, spill going too fast around too tight a corner…. and, darn (!), he was having so much fun, too!  He was so confident and full of 13-year old showboatedness before hitting that patch of sand on the bike path… my heart still aches for him.  He’d SO wanted to ride segways… after the fall, he SO never wanted to ride a segway again:


(But isn’t he sweet here? Looks so safe and benign…)

And here’s me on a segway before my very unspectacular fall:


And me after my sort of comedic battle with what felt like a combo buzzsaw-waterwiggle:


Not really ever planning on riding a segway again, with or without handles.

3 Responses to “Yard by Yard, Life is Hard”

  1. Elliot Margolies Says:

    Okay. Segways are off my bucket list.

    • Kari Says:

      Probably there are segways and there are segways. There was definitely a little learning curve… some of the fundamental steering/stopping maneuvers are unintuitive, but definitely learnable. But then, if you get into some unexpected situation, and you’re counting on intuition and reflex to save you, you’re messed up. They are weird. Ours would get up to speeds of about 12-15 mph…. on open bike path, that was super fun.. but as soon as a curve happened, or a sandy curve, or something in your path… you had to be really careful. We didn’t know the limits of them very well. And Peter was 13. So full of confidence and dare-devilishness. Until he wasn’t.

      My accident was literally this slow motion thing that just went from silly to ridiculous to bad to worse. Comical .. if the ground hadn’t been so hard and the segway so hard to manage. I got wedged and torqued and just pummeled by the thing. In the dead stop position!

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