Sunday, July 6, 2008

#38 shake, rattle, and roll

One of the challenges of a staycation was finding something totally new to try that I might try if I was an actual tourist. You know, the kind of thing in your own town that you watch and say "there goes a tourist".

Well, a couple of months ago I was at a downtown restaurant and looked out the window to see a gaggle (herd, swarm, school, flight, covey... lets say covey), a whole covey of about 8 people on Segways zipping by as if they were part of some group. I did some research and found that there is a Tucson Segway dealership that gives tours, so today as a totally new thing, I (#38) rode a Segway.

Pretty cool, actually. It totally keeps the balance for you (amazing). You just lean slightly forward to go forward, backward to go backward, and just stand upright to go nowhere. I was riding a first generation model which controlled turning by twisting my left hand one direction to go left, the other direction to go right -- amazingly tight circles! Top speed on these puppies is around 12 mph, but the tour group's units had speed limiters of about 7-8 mph or so.

The tour went from 4th Ave, around the University West residential neighborhood, around part of the UofA campus, and out the bike path across the Rattlesnake pedestrian/bike bridge (someday I'll post pictures of that bridge).

Really amazing technology, a little geeky, and quite a bit of fun! As a long time Tucsonan and UofA alum, I even saw some things that I had never seen before. Very cool!

Compared to walking, it was nice to be able to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time with almost zero effort (the tour was 2 hours long).

Compared to biking, it was very nice to be fully "heads-up" to see things and not have to worry quite as much about obstacles like the 4th Avenue trolley tracks or loose gravel. Unlike a bicycle we could also legally switch from street to sidewalk when we felt like.

Overall, I really enjoyed the experience as a new thing -- it did feel kind of weird to cover that amount of ground out in the open with no effort though... Maybe they need a model with a stationary stair stepper on it so the rider can get some exercise while otherwise effortlessly zipping around? *smile* I'd normally prefer a little more exercise while moving about.

They named this tour "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" since you roll around a lot, ride through the Rattlesnake Overpass, and get a free milkshake after the ride.

There, I've done it, I've ridden a Segway. And I'm suuuurrre that some of my fellow Tucsonans on 4th Ave probably looked at me, shook their heads, and said "there goes another tourist".

Mission accomplished.

1 comment:

  1. What a neat idea! The video is great! I would for certain have to wear my motion sickness bracelets to ever even think about doing such a thing.

    By the way, I hardly ever have anyone with me when I'm out and about with the camera, but I like your photo idea--maybe someday!
    Portland Oregon Daily Photo


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