Sundown Segway at Thetford Forest's High Lodge: Torchlit torture or moonlit magic?
I'm a safety guy.
I like driving in the dark, seatbelts, full beam, warm air caressing my cold limbs and I tend to keep well away from fallen branches and anything remotely muddy.
So when GoApe! got in touch to offer up a Sundown Segway at Thetford Forest's High Lodge, I laughed.
Now I've completed the segway courses at Thetford admirably. But it was sunny, it was warm and I could see where I was going.
So take away the vision, take away the warmth and add the frisson of a post-Hallowe'en weekend and the distant sound of both fireworks (it was Bonfire Night) and heaven-knows-what-animal-noise-that-was, and the equation becomes slightly more challenging, shall we say.
But the knowledgeable Victoria put my mind at rest immediately, The bribe of a hot cuppa helped immensely.
Victoria has been at the Thetford site for five years and 2018 is the first year in five or so years that Go Ape! has offered the moonlit segway experience. But judging by the success of this year, I'm guessing it may be on the calendar again next year - and there's also the chance it could be offered around Easter, too - you read it here first.
For the uninitiated, a segway is basically a powered two-wheeler, with self-balancing electronics and a steering handle. Sounds complicated. But after a very helpful instruction session from our guide Ross (that's him in the Go Ape! jacket) and some gentle warm-ups in the training zone, we were ready for the off. I was there courtesy of Go Ape! with a couple of sons (Jack and Tom) and a Lewis Hamilton wannabe in the shape of Laura (Jack's girlfriend).
Oh, and there were assorted muntjac, badger and fallow deer keeping an eye on us and wondering what the heck we were doing in the forest at that time.
And off we went - head torches burning brightly, a safe distance from the rider ahead and the cold breeze trying to bite into our digits. But what a thrill!
You remember what it was like as a kid when you ran in the dark - you seemed to be going at the speed of Usain Bolt and you glided...and that's what it's like as you focus on the tiny spot of light in front, avoiding any twigs and larger trees and aiming (and failing) for a smooth ride around the extreme course's hairpins and downhill section.
Having ridden both in the day and now the night (the stars were out - but I daren't look up in case an unexpected tree came a-calling), I much prefer the night. It's cold, perhaps more suited to those who have a little more confidence and have done it before - but you won't regret togging up for the cold and enjoying some of the best fun you can have on two wheels in the dark.
Go Ape! have a real hit on their hands. Now did someone mention a Christmas gift voucher?
Details and costs here: https://goape.co.uk/adventures/forest-segway/thetford-forest-segway-experience?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5OvIpNe63gIV0-d3Ch2vGQ3BEAAYASAAEgKJxvD_BwE