Seattle Segway tour

posted by Jeff | Sunday, August 28, 2011, 10:38 PM | comments: 0

We did our second Segway tour today, starting down by the aquarium and heading up to Seattle Center and through Belltown. Our first tour was at Epcot, closing in on three years ago. Diana saw an offer on Groupon or Living Social or something, and we jumped at it because we had so much fun doing it before. We're not very good at being tourists in our own home town either (for the next month, anyway), so it was good to get up and see the sights.

First, let me talk about the gear. I was not aware that there was more than one generation of Segway, and these were the older ones. They steer by a twisty nob on the handle instead of leaning with the entire handlebar, as the newer units do. It's completely unnatural and not very smooth at all. The forward and backward motion is still very much an extension of you, but the steering is not. That took a bit of getting used to. Fortunately we started out on Pier 62/63, which has a ton of room to whirl around on. Once we got our feel, it was as if we just did the Epcot tour a week ago. It's very much like "riding a bike."

Our tour guides did not spend a lot of time training, which is completely different from the over-thinking that Disney did with us. They got each person up on the Segway, got them comfortable enough with the machine that they wouldn't hurt themselves, and let them go apeshit on the pier. That was it. Ten minutes later, we went out into traffic with pedestrians, joggers and cyclists, and even crossed streets. This is quite different from Disney, which only does the tour before the park opens (International Showcase, at least), and makes you slow down and use extreme caution to go over a garden hose. The patch panels on the pier alone offered bigger bumps. They also weren't using the 6mph governors... these bad boys were open at 9mph. Would've liked to have tried 12!

The tour guides were a couple of women in their 40's, and they knew their stuff and were patient with the n00bs. One of them had a radio transmitter, and we all had receivers so we could listen. They first led us down Alaska Way up to Broad, and then to the Seattle Center area. We were able to really tool around there at full speed. It made me want to own one.

From there we went down 4th Ave, all the way to Pine Street, passing a great many restaurants in Belltown, as well as the Duck tour bus/boats. We stopped short of going into the market and went down 1st, to Madison and back up Alaskan Way.

Overall, it was a lot of fun, though the fog was just clinging to the sound, even when we finished up a little before 11.


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