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Human-on-a-stick

I've been wanting to try out a Segway ever since they came out. Thanks to minnehaha K's brilliant idea of including Segway tours in the weekend's festivities, I've now done so. Big fun! And we had a lovely tour of Minneapolis' Stone Arch Bridge, Mill City Museum, and Nicollet Island in the process.

The Segway was instant fun. We each tried one out in the rental shop for just a minute or two. Stepping on and off was easier than I expected, and the way body position translates into motion is a blast. Apparently, I looked apprehensive during the group outdoor practice session that followed. Our tour guide tagged me to be the leader of the pack, following directly behind her so she could keep a close eye on me. I didn't feel particularly nervous, though it did take more concentration moving with a group "out in the real world" than rolling around in our practice area.

We rolled over to the Mill City Museum, then went inside where drinks and cookies were available. That was a nice touch, and so were the free passes good for a later visit. I hope to get there on Tuesday.

We upgraded to the yellow key when we left the museum. Segways operate at 3 speeds, based on which key you use. We started with the black beginner keys. I was one of the few people who had a red key -- supposedly only the guides got those Segways. I wish I'd thought to switch Segways with minnehaha B. at the museum. He was in a different group, but we were all at the museum at the same time. I'm so rules abiding that I didn't use the red key, and he at least would have had the fun of it.

More Segway adventures followed and I need to upload photos, too. But right now, the shower is calling. We're picking up Mike Glicksohn and Susan Manchester in a little over an hour, then heading downtown for the evening's festivities.

It should surprise no one reading this that at the end of the Segway ride, I simply couldn't resist picking up a Human-on-a-Stick sweatshirt. It truly was the Thing To Do.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
dlacey
Jun. 30th, 2007 11:33 pm (UTC)
Sounds like fun. One of my favorite areas here in Toronto, the Distillery District, has Segway tours. I may have to try it some time this summer.
marahsk
Jul. 2nd, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)
They do?! We should go!
dlacey
Jul. 3rd, 2007 03:10 am (UTC)
Sounds good to me. I sent you an email.
marahsk
Jul. 3rd, 2007 10:03 pm (UTC)
And replied.
dragonet2
Jul. 1st, 2007 12:43 am (UTC)
Margene's work
has one for the plant floor managers because of the size of the plant.

She has trained on it and says it's tricky because it senses your motions and behaves accordingly, but fun once you get the hang of it.

Makes me want to take the Segway tour of the Plaza.
mjlayman
Jul. 1st, 2007 09:38 pm (UTC)
DC does Segway tours, too, and some DC police have started using them.

Am I right that my lack of balance would mean disaster?
nancymcc
Jul. 12th, 2007 10:19 pm (UTC)
Lack of balance
I have terrible balance and was therefore scared (but determined). The amaaaazing thing is that it compensates. Me-on-a-stick is way more coordinated and smooth than me-alone.

After the initial uncertainties, I felt so competent that I wanted to go forever!
mjlayman
Jul. 12th, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Lack of balance
Hmmm, I'll have to think about trying one, then!
gerisullivan
Jul. 12th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Lack of balance
I'm very surprised at Nancy's experience -- I'm now both sorry and glad I didn't respond sooner.

I found the Segway was very responsive to what I was doing. Simply putting a little more pressure on the balls of my feet sent me rolling forward, a little more pressure on my heels slowed me down or sent me rolling backwards if I was already at a stop.

I would have thought the Segway would be hard for people with balance problems to use, but Nancy's experience matches what a lot of handicapped folks said online after the Segway was introduced 5 years ago: it works surprisingly well for at least some people with balance problems. Wallace L. Johnston's description of using one might be helpeful to read.

The Minneapolis Segway rental place has a 280# weight limit. Curiously enough, that's 20# more than the total weight limit in the Segway FAQ.
mjlayman
Jul. 13th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
Re: Lack of balance
Aha, I hadn't thought of a weight limit. They're probably not built for people like me.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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