Not too long ago, I saw a groupon become available for Segway tours of Chicago. I have always been a little curious about the Segway, so I bought the groupon and talked my sister into coming with me down to Chicago for the tour. Yes, the primary reason for the trip to Chicago was the tour.
We were using the Segway i2. My first thought, getting on the thing was that it is really hard to steady yourself. You get more skilled at controlling it, as time goes on but your feet start hurting fast. You are balancing on it, the entire time you are using it and the constant rocking back and forth works muscles that I just do not have.
The Segway is incredibly nimble. You can turn insanely tight circles with ease. The speed is limited to 12 mph. That said, I am not sure I would want to go much faster than that. It does not do well with potholes, or cracks in the sidewalk, or bumps. I am sure, over time you would develop more skill at dealing with obstacles but I was having a lot of trouble. As soon as you hit something, like a shallow hole in the sidewalk, your balance gets slightly thrown off. If you are not careful, you are going to fall off. If you are going fast, the likelihood of this seems much greater.
The big thing I noticed from on-top of the Segway was the attention you get when you are on-top of a Segway. I would not necessarily call it positive attention either. One woman, as I rode past, covered her mouth and said “Oh, my God!” I quickly asked one couple, as I rode past “How do I look on this thing?” The man replied “Not good, not good” while the woman simply giggled. It is not exactly like driving around in a Porsche.
So, would I buy one? Probably not. It is a $5,000 woman repellent that makes your feet hurt and bucks you off as soon as you come across a crack in the sidewalk. Would I do the tour again? Definitely. The Segway is a fun toy. I would not want to be zipping around Milwaukee on one but it is kinda fun to play with on occasion.
On a final note, I really like how Groupon sells these opportunities to do weird things that you would never think to do on your own. I am curious to see what comes next.