So I spent a good portion of the morning so far getting the blog content back online. When I logged in I immediately noticed the screens looked odd. Some further investigation showed that my 13 years of posts were gone, the database appeared to be empty. I had no idea what happened. It could have been a malicious hack or just some sort of file/data issue. Thankfully GoDaddy has a robust and reliable backup schedule for their hosted WP customers. The bad news is I had to go back to Thursdays back up until got one that appeared intact. Once I got the data back the first thing I did was change my account password just in case it was compromised. All appears well once again. This isn’t the first time I have had my blog get corrupted since migrating to GoDaddy however recovery when it happens is much, much easier than when it was living on IX Webhosting, where backups were kept for a couple days, were only accessible by the net admins and didn’t work half the time.
After I got my chores done Saturday morning I headed back to the school parking lot for some more Ninebot One practice. After the improvements I made during the week riding in the driveway I was looking forward to seeing how I did in the large unobstructed area.
The session started out badly. I had some minor spills followed by a pretty major one where I was quite glad I had protective gear on. Starting off that way was pretty discouraging. Part of the problem is this phantom wobble that kicks in randomly on my rides. All of a sudden the wheel will start wobbling (you can see it in the video) which immediately throws off my balance. Most of the times I can get it back under control but sometimes it winds up throwing me off the wheel.
From what I read online this is a pretty normal occurrence with new riders and can come from shaky balance and a lack of strength in the muscles used to balance a wheel between your legs. Despite these problems I did have some long rides, a couple inside the smaller loop in the lot and one successful loop around the large outer loop, a distance of damn close to a 1/4 mile if I were to guess. I wished that riding that distance felt better. The truth is it feels like I am walking a high wire most of the time. I will be cruising pretty easily with my hands at my side and all of a sudden a wobble will come in where I am flapping my arms like a chicken to recover from. I had several near spills during the big loop ride. Feeling like you are one small movement away from a wipeout onto the hard asphalt gets stressful. I also struggle doing any sort of turn that is not a huge semi-circle.
Part of being a good rider is wiping those negative thoughts from your head. It seemed like most times I had a wobble or shaky moment I was just thinking “I hope I don’t fall” a few moments prior. I came out of the session with two extremely raw ankles and more bumps and bruises. I still am determined to conquer the wheel but damn, it is one of more difficult things I have undertaken in recent memory. Later at home I did a few tweaks to the wheel that I am hoping will cut down on the wobble issue. I did a quick test in the driveway which felt better but my ankles were too painful to do much beyond an up and back run.
Saturday night Cindy and I got out to see the new Star Trek movie. I hadn’t really heard positive or negative about the film but I always have seen the Star Trek movies in a theater so I wanted to keep the streak alive. We saw the 3D version of the film which adds zero to the experience for me except costing more. The film featured awesome visuals with lots of explosions to keep you distracted from the dumb dialogue and utterly ridiculous resolutions to perilous situations. There were two climactic scenes that come to mind on the stupid list. I don’t want to be a spoiler so jump to the next paragraph if you intend to see the film. Let’s just say I never thought the Beastie Boys would save the day. The movie was just ok. It gets a, “Fine to wait for Netflix release” B from me.
On Sunday morning I was tired and beat up from the Ninebot One riding the day before. Despite this I felt the need to drag my ass to the track and get a run in. Cindy smartly opted to take a pass. The first few laps were not very comfortable at all with pain in my ankle from both a slight sprain and the brush burn. I also had some pain in the knees and hips. Eventually those pains got fuzzy and were just replaced with the misery of running in South Florida in the summer once the sun is in the sky. Even though I started well before 8AM I was soaked after my 13 lap sweat-fest. I was glad I had the mental endurance to get out there and complete something I really did not want to do.
When I got home I jumped in the pool to cool off. All weekend I had been looking forward to Cindy and I taking out our dual Segway Minipros for a ride. After changing we drove to Dunkin Donuts and parked there. After grabbing coffee we headed east towards a nearby development on our electric two wheel personal transporters.
Riding the Minipro is such a relaxing experience compared to the russian roulette feeling I get on the Ninebot One. Riding while drinking coffee is a breeze. I discovered that riding while drinking coffee AND shooting GoPro video is nearly as easy as I recorded portions of the ride.
Cindy and I found us hitting the 11mph speed limit on the bots quite often, it feels very easy to do so because of how stable the ride is. The pace feels pretty leisurely in the first person however when I watched the video back it seemed like we were going pretty fast. In total we rode right around 6 miles and to be honest I could have gone longer. Cindy was having some discomfort in her feet riding that long. I had some as well but it bothered her more. I really liked riding around on the Minipros as did Cindy, it allows you to appreciate longer stretches of scenery in a much shorter time period.
I liked it so much that I actually went back out solo later in the day after I topped off the charge. I wanted to try riding from the house to the school where we do the track running which is about 3 miles each way. The ride required me to be on roads for the first half mile or so before I had a sidewalk to ride safely on. Riding on the road went fine, again the stability of the Minipro made it a very low stress thing to do.
Riding through the development behind the school was much more scenic and peaceful. I got a few strange looks from people that saw me wheeling by. I again had issues with setting off the speed limiter a lot. The bot just wants to go faster, the governor is definitely just a safety precaution and not a hardware limitation. If it would allow you to go just a couple mph faster I think it would hit the sweet spot.
On the way back I looped around more so it took longer on the return trip. When I got back to the front door of the house I saw I had a total of a little more than 30 miles on the odometer. Supposedly with the Ninebot Mini, the non-US version of the bot, once you hit the 50KM mark (31 miles) it unlocks slightly more speed. This prospect excited me so I headed back out on the road for a couple more miles to cross that mark. Unfortunately I still seemed to have the same 11mph speed limit but the battery level was about halfway so I’m holding out hope that with a full charge it will let me squeeze out just a little more MPH. In total I put in 15 miles on my Minibot Sunday and really felt no ill side effects from it.
Last night we watched London has Fallen, the second in the series starring Gerard Butler as a secret service stud. The movie was entertaining although it portrays Butler to be basically invincible. It felt like he killed more people than Rambo did in all of his movies combined. He also set the bar very high in the brutality scale with dozens of headshots peppered with up close and personal kills. If you are the type that is offended by violence in movies you will want to steer a wide circle around the film. If you are able to detach yourself from reality for a couple hours and just enjoy an old fashioned blowing em up ass kicking, you’ll enjoy the flick. B+