|David and Bonnie pause on Annapolis SegZone tour. Photo by owner and tour leader, Debbie Wilson.|
|Bonnie practices before the tour. Photo by David. Ettlin|
|David feeling confident of his new Segway skills. Photo by Bonnie Schupp|
|Bonnie, feeling confident, picks up speed. Photo by David. Ettlin|
The eight people in our group first had to sign waivers. Then we were given earphones which would be connected to transmissions from the leader's microphone. And we put on helmets. Steve Wilson gave initial demonstration and instruction while his sister, Debbie Wilson, would lead us around Annapolis.
When Steve asked for a volunteer to go first, I spoke up. Afterall, I was excited by this chance to try new technology...and I also thought it would give me extra practice time while the others were getting their initial instruction.
Steve steadied the Segway while I stepped on as instructed and just as he predicted, when he let go, I wobbled back and forth. I practiced getting on and off until I felt more steady and then Debbie supervised while I practiced going up and down the street outside their business at 131 Prince George Street. Wow! I could turn on a dime!
Soon David came outside astride his Segway and then the others one by one. Soon we were off for an hour to explore old Annapolis houses, including 5-part mansions, and to listen to interesting stories about people from the past who lived in them.
We rode over the bumpy brick Annapolis sidewalks and ducked low hanging branches. Afterall, we were about a foot taller than we would have been walking. There is no throttle. Nor is there a brake. The Segway becomes an extension of your body as you lean forward to go and backward to stop. Right and left movement is controlled by the handlebar.
Segways have the same rights as pedestrians. Anywhere a wheelchair is allowed, so is a Segway. Although its maximum speed at 12 mph doesn't sound fast, you feel like you're moving right along.
If you'd like to have a fun experience and also learn some interesting Annapolis history, I highly recommend this. Just call SegZone to arrange it. 410.280.1577 or 302.242.6615.
Read more about Segways here. See a video explaining how it works.