Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Traveling with the iBOT

I had my first traveling experience with
the iBOT this past weekend. I didn't take
it on an airplane, but it was the first
time I took it somewhere and had to bring
the charger along. I stayed in the Puget
Sound area in WA for two nights. The iBOT
was wonderful to have on vacation. We did
much "walking" which would have been a major
pain had I been using my manual. We walked
(er, I botted) from our hotel to the main
part of town. Doing that in my manual would
have been impossible, especially in the heat.
There was a nice long boardwalk that we went
on which ended at a park with trails. Although
the boardwalk would have been okay with my
manual, the park would have been very difficult.
The iBOT had no trouble going on the trails.
The iBOT made the trip much, much easier for me.

I did have one problem. We were over a mile
away from our hotel and I was in Balance. I
turned a corner and it caused the tire to come
off. Although I'm not positive why this
happened, we noticed there was a nut missing.
Apparently the guy at the bike shop who fixed
the flat two days earlier failed to put the
nut on. So I had a flat. Again. It was
completely flat and I didn't want to roll
on it anymore than I had to. So I sat in
the shade and my sister looked in the town's
phone book for a bike shop. No bike shop.
My traveling companion walked back to the
hotel and drove my van over. I limped the
bot to the van and we drove it to a Les
Schwab to see if they would fix it for me.
The lady behind the counter was very reluctant
to help. She was worried about liability.
But then a young guy came to the desk and
he said he'd be happy to do it for me. I
gave him a new tube and the bot and he took
it into the shop and fixed it for me... no
charge. Very nice guy, unlike the selfish,
nail-biting twit I first spoke with. He did
an excellent job and I went about the rest of
my vacation with no problems.


-Always carry a spare tube with you. There
ought to be a little pouch somewhere on the
iBOT specifically for a spare tube.

-If possible, travel with a manual chair as
a backup.

-If a person isn't willing to help, don't give
up, ask someone else. Not everyone in America
is scared of getting sued.

This morning when I talked to IT, they told me
how I could have switched the clusters so that
the good tire infront of the flat tire could
be used to roll on instead of rolling on the
rim of the flat tire. And writing that just
now made me realize that I should have just
called IT when it happened. D'oh! They have
a 24-hour tech support line. I knew that, but
didn't remember it when I was in the situation.
Anyway, I don't feel like writing about it right
now. I will write about it later.

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