[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 14 June, 2003, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Bush fails the Segway test
George W Bush falls off a Segway
The president at least managed to keep his balance
George W Bush has fallen off a Segway - a new stand-on scooter designed to make motorised travel user-friendly.

The machine went down when he stepped onto it at his family estate in Kennebunkport, Maine, but he managed to leap to safety, landing on his feet.

The US president managed to master his lawnmower-like steed, developed by BAE Systems in Plymouth, Devon, at the second attempt and cruised around the driveway with his father George Bush Senior following closely on a second Segway.

A safety manual warns the Segway user to wear a helmet and "get a friend to act as your spotter" but Mr Bush was wearing only his tennis clothes and clutching his racket, while the nearest he had to a "spotter" appeared to be the family dog, Spot.

George W Bush (C) with George Bush Senior in tow
The elder Bush's example may have done the trick
"If you try your first ride without a spotter, you are at greater risk of injury and you probably won't enjoy the experience as much," the manual notes.

The president was not available to comment on the incident, which was caught on film, or confirm whether he had tried out the Segway before.

His foray on the new scooter follows Vice President Dick Cheney's use of a Segway to ride around his Washington office when his Achilles tendon was playing up.

The machine's creator, Dean Kamen, wants to see US Special Forces troops eventually ride Segways into battle.

But machines in use around the world at present have been mostly confined to gentle tasks such as traversing car parks or airport check-in halls.

BBC News Online journalists are currently seeing if they can triumph where President Bush failed, by taking a pair of the two-wheeled transporters out for a test ride.

See how they fared (or perhaps fell) in a report next week.

Segway scooter gets UK airing
22 Jul 02  |  England
Hyped scooter goes on sale
19 Feb 02  |  Business
How's the Segway scooter doing?
14 May 02  |  UK News
Bush makes light of pretzel scare
14 Jan 02  |  Americas

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific