What a hoot! I was at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park near Branson, Missouri a few days ago for a variety of planned activities. One of the activities not on the list for us were Segway tours of the facility--new to Dogwood Canyon.
You know, Segways, -- those goofy looking motorized, 2-wheel carts used by security guards in malls and airports.
I have always been intrigued by those things. How do they work? Why don’t the riders fall flat on their face or bum?
At the end of my planned ATV tour on the rugged trails through the Ozarks, one of the Segway guides was putting away the machines after his last tour of the day. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
"How long does it take to learn to ride one of those things?" I asked, then added, "I only want to ride from here to that tree (about 20 yards away) and back."
"Only a couple of minutes," said the guide. "Here, put on a helmut."
"First, we’ll turn it on and let it get running." Evidently there are gyroscopes or something in the foot platform that help keep the gizmo from tipping over. Once the "go" lights came on, all I had to do was step onboard. To make the Segway move ahead all you did was tranfer your weight to the front part of your feet. To stop, rock your weight back on your heel. To turn, just move the handlebar to the left or right.
It was very unsettling for the first 15 yards or so, but it didn’t take much farther than that to become comfortable. Is a Segway in my future? Probably not...but I’ve now done it and it was fun!