Segways are one of those things that are so uncool you wouldn't be seen dead on one, but at the same time you really just want to try it! I'm not a very cool person and I'm not afraid to make a fool of myself every now and then so on a recent visit to Rome, I saw you could rent a Segway for just 10 euros for half an hour.
=Riding a Segway=
Segways are a mode of transport that is made up of two tyres, a board and a vertical set of handlebars. It's sort of like an electric scooter and you keep both feet on the board at all times.
My first step on the Segway was actually quite scary! It wobbled like crazy and I thought I was going to fall off, but I was informed that as long as you're holding onto the handlebars it can't fall over!
You control the movement with your feet and legs not your hands - the Segway simply moves with your body. If you have a Wii Fit with a Wii balance board it works in a very similar way to this. I found it very easy to control and turn - I went exactly where I wanted to go and managed to stop very quickly when a dog strayed into my path.
I'm not sure quite how fast the maximum speed was, but it felt quite fast. I would guess at around 15mph or even more (but I was too scared to go for the maximum even though it's perfectly safe!). When you start to go quite fast it starts to feel very wobbly but as I've said it won't fall over.
=This particular Segway rental=
I rented two Segways with my boyfriend in Piazza del Popolo which is a huge open square in the North of the City.
The Piazza has two fountains at either end and a big obelisk in the centre. Street performers and living statues perform around the obelisk and lots of benches. Before we rented the Segways, it was a really nice place to just sit and watch the world go by. We saw a young boy going round and round the piazza on a Segway and he looked like he was having a whale of a time so we hunted the rental place down! It was just outside the Piazza and also rented scooters and bikes.
The lady we rented from was very friendly - she showed us both how to use the Segway before letting us go off on our own around the Piazza. As I've said it was 10 euros per Segway for half an hour or 15 euros for an hour. Half an hour was the perfect amount of time for us to just have a bit of fun. She took my boyfriend's I.D for security and we paid in advance.
Overall I give it 4/5. It was a great thing to do in a big open space and I had so much fun whizzing around. Segways aren't very cool, though and I don't think I'd buy one as a means of transport! In a busy City such as Rome I don't think I' even use it on the roads, although I did see some people doing this. I'd definitely recommend trying a Segway at some point in your life as I couldn't stop laughing and as I've said I think it's best in a big open place free of traffic.
Me and my boyfriend decided to have a go on one of these on our recent holiday to Mexico. It was a tour with a guide all around our hotel complex. As our hotel was so big, these segways were a great way to explore around the resort and see things we wouldn't have seen if we hadn't gone on these!
It cost us £24 each, and overall we were on the segway tour for about 2 and a half hours, and it was well worth the money. Me and my boyfriend loved these segways we didn't want to come off them! They are so much fun and a lot easier to drive than we thought. We were really nervous about getting on one but once your on you soon get used to them.
The segways look exactly like in the picture, and feel really light weight when you are on them. They work by having sensors in the bottom where you stand and your lean and tilt which way you want to move.
You have to put your feet dead in the middle when you get on, because if you put too much pressure on the front or back it would start driving off! When you stand on it if you lean forward slightly your toes put pressure on the front and it moves the segway forward. The more you lean forward the fastest they go. Same with going backwards, you press your heels down and the segway starts to slow down and break. To go backwards you just lean backwards slightly, once you get used to how much you have to lean they are so easy to control.
To keep the segway still you have to make sure you are standing upright, as it will move as soon as you lean or tilt anywhere. They don't have a brake on the handle of anything the only way to break is the try and get in the middle again or lean backwards to slow down first.
You use the handlebar to move you left and right, you just tilt it and tilt your body the same way and it moves so easily. They also don't need to be moving to steer, you can move round in a whole circle on the spot by just tilting which way you want to go.
It is very hard once you have learnt to control the segway to fall off it, although I did loose control going down a hill on mine, we were only supposed to go down the hill slowly at about 10 miles an hour but mine just somehow went speeding down there! Luckily I hit a speed bump at the bottom and somehow managed to stop and not fall off it! It there hadn't have been anything to stop me at the bottom and I had come of it I would have been really injured!
You must wear a helmet on these segways just incase you do loose control and come off it!
The segways feel so smooth once you are on them and have built up a bit of speed, they are a great method of transport! They are so much fun when you are on them, and it was great to go on the beach with them as they went over the sand so easily. Even going down pavements and over bumps, it was so easy they did not feel unsafe at all. They don't go very fast, probably about 20 miles an hour but they feel a lot faster when you are on them!
I absolutely loved my segway tour, they are so much fun to drive about on, and if they were legal in the UK I would love to get one! I highly recommend you try one of these as a tour if you get the chance, they are well worth the money.
During my holiday this year I had the chance to go on a 'segway' tour. At first I was unsure as to how hard it would be to balance and use the 'segway' however, within minutes of getting started I realised just how easy it actually was. Within the tour group there was a variety of age groups from 16 years old to 60 years old, and everyone managed to use the 'segway' in a controlled way.
You begin using the 'segway' in a beginners mode which means it is limited to just over 5mph and if you try to exceed this the handle is pushed back towards you, slowing you down. When you are comfortable at this speed you can up it to around 12mph which, in my opinion, is much more fun.
When using the 'segway' its all about moving your body weight. Going forwards you tilt forwards, left you tilt left and right you tilt right. It's as simple and easy as that. Also with its 0 metre turning circle you can make a 360 degree turn on the spot.
EFFICIENCY and USES
The 'segway' runs on batteries which when fully charged can take you up to 24miles, they are up to 11 times more efficient than cars and 3 times as efficient as a scooter. They are used a lot in America by security in large malls and also for tourist groups to get around cities.
The unfortunate thing is that they have been banned here in England, and at around £5000 who can afford one.
Thank You for reading.
I have been on the Segway Human Transporter on many occasions, generally when I'm visiting a new city as I find it is one of the most convenient and comfortable ways to cover a lot of ground when sight-seeing. Unfortunately, Segways are not legal forms of transportation on UK roads or pavements (hopefully that will change!) otherwise I would own one. However, as things stand, I have to base my review on my experience of using the Segway transporter in various places around the world including San Fransisco, Prague and Amsterdam.
Segways are a whole lot of fun to ride and, once you get the hang of it, they are a great method for transportation. They travel at a maximum speed of 12 mph and when the battery is fully charged, they can travel approximately 24 miles before they need recharging. They are capable of traveling over almost every type of terrain, including the ridiculously steep gradients of San Francisco! They run on battery power and therefore they are environmentally clean and inexpensive to run.
The first time I used a Segway, I thought I was going to have real problems with balance - but having used it I was proved wrong. Although you are balancing on two wheels, the Segway is designed so that as long as you can stand on the platform, the Segway will remain upright. There is no accelerator or brake as such, but speed is manipulated by either tilting your hips forward (to go faster) or backwards (to slow or stop). The Segway is very responsive and it really is very easy to get the hang of controlling the speed. There is also no handlebar that you need to turn in order to change direction, and instead you manoevere the Segway by tilting to the left or to the right depending on which direction you want to go. It has almost a zero degree turning capability and so it can literally turn where you stand without taking up any more space, therefore making it ideal for use in small spaces.
I did, on one occasion, fall off of the Segway. This was when I was going up a hill with an extreme incline and I don't think I was tilting forward enough. I literally jumped off the Segway as I started feeling in fall, and I was uninjured. I think this was an extreme situation and I was probably using the Segway outside of my limited capabilities.
I really do wish that I could use the Segway in the UK as I think it would sort out a lot of transport problems, particularly in inner cities. When they do become legalised for public use, I will be front of the queue to buy one.
On holiday in the Lake District last year, I noticed an advert in a tourist leaflet for Segway tours. I had always fancied a go on one so I booked up. There are different types of Segway - on-road and off-road. I used the off-road Segway because we went through fields and up and down hills.
A Segway is a machine that has a platform between two wheels, with a set of 'handlebars' (I'll call them this because I'm not sure what the proper name is) coming up at the front. You stand on the platform and you lean forwards or backwards depending on which way you want to go, and the Segway moves accordingly. I don't really understand the science of it but I believe it's something to do with gyroscopes. What I do know is that it is almost impossible to fall off one because the Segway will always balance itself no matter how far forwards or backwards you lean (I think you can only fall off if you start leaning sideways).
There are no brakes on a Segway and if you are going forwards and want to stop then you tilt yourself backwards, and vice-versa. It's best not to do any sudden movements because you might come to a bit of a sharp stop, but after about 10 minutes on one you soon get the hang of it. The 'handlebars' are your steering device so you lean them to the left fs you want to go to the left, and to the right if you want to go right.
The top speed on ours was about 14mph which doesn't sound like a lot but it really did feel like we were whizzing along. I think our ones had had their speed restricted so that no-one would injure themselves, but unrestricted ones can get up to 20mph and sometimes more.
The off road wheels meant that we could go up and down some quite steep (and wet!) hills and pathways. It is an odd sensation at first, putting your faith in the machine, but after you've practised a bit you almost start to take risks, as if to test it out!
Segways are not legal on British roads or pavements because they are deemed too slow to keep up with normal traffic and too fast for pavements. They are quite common in the USA though as a commuter vehicle. It's a shame the UK can't change the law because I would LOVE one of these for little trips to the shops!
When a friend first suggested trying a Segway I was a little wary, I hadn't seen a picture of one so found the description of a self balancing electric vehicle with 2 wheels and a pole for steering a little odd. My friend had however taken the chance to use a Segway in Paris where a company called Fat Bike Tours operate guided tours around the city and was full of praise for the experience.
Not long after receiving the recommendation, my partner and I visited Paris and thought why not, it was something new and different to try. Initially stepping onto the Segway was a little scary, the machine itself has something very clever going on inside it (sorry I'm not a techie so can't go into detail!). When you step up onto the Segway it somehow measures your weight and figures out how to balance with you on it. To move forward it is simply a case of putting slight pressure on your toes, to go backwards you use your heels. In my opinion this thing is fantastic!!!
We enjoyed a tour around Paris on the Segways and came back huge fans. Admittedly we did not listen to much of the historical facts our tour guide relayed to us, we were much more interested in whizzing round in circles backwards. We found that we had to use so little pressure though that a lot of the time it seemed we were only thinking about moving and the Segway went where we wanted it to. Despite this though we did end up with aching calves and feet after a while!
Using a Segway is a fantastic way to cover a huge amount of ground in a short space of time and gave us the opportunity to find places of interest that we could return to when we'd finished playing. Needless to say when we were visiting Madrid and discovered another company operated similar tours there we jumped at the chance to do another tour.
My partner and I would both love to own a Segway however I'm not sure this is something many people would ever be able to buy for themselves. They are very expensive to buy and I believe, from the 2 tours we've been on, that there are very strict rules in certain countries regarding the use of these machines. I would however suggest that if you're fortunate enough to be in a city which offers guided Segway tours that you have a go. The tours are a little on the expensive side but the Segways themselves are such a fantastic experience that, in my opinion, it is well worth the money!