A friend convinced me that it would be a great idea for us to rent Segways and then move through a large cemetery known for its unique tombstones and mausoleums.
We’d be doing this at sunset on an evening when the cemetery closed all the roads to car traffic and encouraged visitors to walk, run, bike, move through the roads.
I hesitated because I’d never ridden on a Segway, but I loved the idea of seeing this cemetery, known for its history, on a more personal level. So I said “yes.”
At first I doubted whether I’d be able to master a Segway, but I did. Sort of. Or at least I did enough to be allowed by the rental company to go move around a cemetery without car traffic.
• • •
If you’ve not been on a Segway, there are 3 things I learned:
1) You have to stand completely still on the device, with your feet locked into a perfectly aligned specific place, or you’ll cause the gyroscopes to reposition you. This means that if you do shift your feet at all, the Segway wiggles underneath you. Uncontrollably.
SO DON’T MOVE YOUR FEET, EVEN ONCE, WHILE ON IT.
2) Going up hills on a Segway is easy to do because all you do is lean forward. [MSNBC would approve.] Going down hills is more difficult because you have to lean back while never moving your feet, yet while softening your knees, so that the impact of any hole in the road doesn’t cause you trouble.
THIS IS NOT AS SIMPLE TO DO AS THE INSTRUCTORS SUGGEST THAT IT IS.
3) Turning a Segway is an unnatural skill that is nothing like driving a car or maneuvering a bicycle. While I was able to easily do it in large movements, such as turning right or left at a 4-way intersection, it was difficult to do on a smaller scale, such as wandering over to look a specific object. In fact, at one point the machine stopped responding to me altogether and took over steering so that I was thrown from it.
YES, I WAS THROWN OFF OF A SEGWAY ONTO THE GROUND BECAUSE IT INSISTED THAT WE WERE GOING TO THE RIGHT WHEN I TOLD IT TO GO TO THE LEFT.
• • •
So did I have a good time on our adventure through the cemetery? Well, to be honest, not really.
I mean I enjoyed spending time with my friend and we did cover a lot of ground in the cemetery, but we weren’t able to see any tombstones or mausoleums up-close because once on a Segway you’re stuck there.
And because it doesn’t go onto grassy areas many of the monuments we wanted to explore were way too far away to get to, let alone photograph. So the whole adventure seemed pointless to us.
Common sense suggests to me that I wouldn’t rent one again unless (maybe) it was part of a guided tour on paved paths (perhaps in a well manicured city park?) that were far away from car traffic. And even then, I might just pass on the whole Segway thing and go for a walk by myself.
It really wasn’t much fun at all. Not recommended.