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.

video

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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