Monday, August 31, 2009

Get the Balance Right

So, I didn't go hang gliding down in the dunes? Big whoop. Yes, it was to be an adventure, but you saw a few posts ago how I justified not going. I stick by it.

That is not to say we didn't do something fun and different during our trip: Segway!!!!

Yes, we did a two hour Segway tour of DC. Sooooooooooo cool. Mostly the Segway part. And by 'mostly', I mean 96% of it.

I don't think I've been on a formalized tour of DC since 1978, and to be truthful, while the tour guide here was good, he only told me two things I had never heard before. But again, we weren't in it for the tour as much, as it was the only way to try out a Segway for a few hours.

I will give it up for Denton, because even though I made the arrangements, the idea was all his. At first I wasn't sure of it, but after about 5 minutes on them, it became clear how great the plan was.

There were seven of us in the group - not including the guide. An older couple, a younger couple, a reporter and us. It was amazing how easy it was to adapt to these things. Maybe five minutes in the store showroom.
It's all about balance with the device. Lean forward and go forward. Ditto with back and with turning.

Then we went across the street to a park for about another five minutes to buzz around at full speed (12.5 mph) and to do maneuvers and zero-point turns. All of us picked it up immediately. ....and then we were off.

First stop was the White House - and I think none of us were daunted to go out onto the busy streets of DC. Yeah, there was some sidewalk riding, but most was in the actual street.

If you know the White House area (post Oklahoma City bombing), both Pennsylvania Avenue and E Street are blocked off to most anything but foot traffic. But on the Pennsylvania Ave side, one is allowed to use the Segways. And it is a nice wide swath of road with little foot traffic on it - and it was just repaved last week. Sweet!

We rode along the Ellipse and then around the Washington and WWII memorials - obviously keeping a respectful distance and not carousing through the places.

Yes, there were two of us in this picture, but out of respect, I edited "him" out.

Then it was up Jefferson Ave - along many of the Smithsonian sites, including the new Native American museum (an awesome building outside....slightly disappointing inside).

From there it was down to the Botanical Gardens, the Capitol, Liberry of Congress and the Supreme Court - then straight back down Constitution Avenue.

Two hours flew by, but I could have easily gone another two.

I have no idea how many photos I am taken by strangers. Tourists were just snapping away as we rode by - not that we got in the way of their pics, they were all taking pictures of us.

I am in a number of pictures taken by the reporter in our group. He got my consent prior to the ride, but I don't know if they'll appear in anything. He works and was doing a story for Bloomberg News, so I'll check Goooooogle over the next few weeks to see if anything comes of it. I was hoping he'd just email me the pics, but I don't think that's going to happen (since he never did take my email address).

After the fact, I sent a message to my email gang (who btw, is nothing like the Sugarhill Gang) and Jon came back asking if I fell off like Shrub did. To be honest, I forgot about that.

Now during our tutorial and short video presentation, they showed every possible way of having an accident, etc, which was just enough to scare me into saying "I'm not sure I want to do this"......but it turns out they were all worse case scenarios.

And yes, there was one mishap with the group - and yes, it did involve me. But totally not my fault! Honest.

We, had the right of way when leaving the Capitol. But out of nowhere a taxi just flew by and cut some of us off. At the time, I was coming off the sidewalk with no real way to lean back and stop, but the key-ute guy in our group and who was riding in front of me was off the ramp and did have the opportunity to stop. I crashed right into him.

Though both of us were uninjured, it did make me fall off my Segway, but I landed on my feet. He profusely apologized, and while that was a nice gesture, I assured him it was not his fault. The entire event from crash to me back on the device was all of 20 seconds.

As you can see the day was grey and a little cool - which was perfect. The weather predicted rain and it did - as soon as we ended our tour. I even bought little rain ponchos from CVS just in case we had to use them on the trip.

I would highly suggest checking out Segway tours in your areas - if they exist. I think you'd have fun and enjoy it. It was so totally worth it!!!!

Song by: Depeche Mode


tornwordo said...

So cool! They have those here down at the old port. Maybe we'll check it out.

cb said...

There is a Segue tour in downtown Minneapolis of the river and historic areas. I pass them nearly every day on my walks.

Glad you had fun!!

Larry Ohio said...

Wow Blobby, you really loved that Segway. I've always dismissed Segway tours as being way over priced and 'not much bang for your buck'. But I think I'll reconsider it the next time I see one.

rebecca said...

And you just "happened" to "crash" into the group's cute guy. Figures.

Blobby said...

It was a complete coincidence that I ran into the cute guy. Honest. I swear.