Tag Archives: Segway

Segway Update


A herd of suited staffers or Representatives or some such swarm out onto the esplanade behind the Capitol. R and Brian and I are making a nuisance of ourselves, whizzing around the plaza on our Segways as fast as they’ll let us go (which is sadly only 10mph).

Guy in a Suit: So what’s better, the tour or those things?
R: What tour?

For starters, I’d like to thank the dude who made the Segway up out of thin air (even though he definitely needs a different haircut). Next, I’d like to thank me or Brian or whichever one of us had the f’ing brilliant idea of renting them to whip around D.C.

I’ve watched the helmeted Segway tourers tool around Paris and San Francisco and have wondered if it was really worth it, given that no one in a group and a helmet looks cool. (You can’t just rent a Segway and take off. Trust me, I asked.) My doubts were needless. Yes, it’s worth it. Get your on-foot ass over to the Segway depot and ante up. It’s an awesome choice worth the time (three hours) and the money ($70).

The tour hits all the major landmarks (Smithsonian, the Capitol, the White House) and is higher on amusing anecdotes than info, but that’s not the point. Being able to get around the city rapidly is an ideal way to orient yourself to what’s on offer, especially in a city where there are a lot of things to see and they’re a fair distance apart (like D.C. or Paris). Besides, you can get the basic historical and cultural info pretty much anywhere else (online, pamphlets at every location, etc.).

Our mileage count was about double the actual distance the rest of the tour logged because of all our attempted wheelies (failed), racing and spinning, but our feet only hurt about a third as much as they would’ve if we’d walked all that way. (You are still on your feet the whole time, so wear comfortable shoes.)

Grab your buddy, make sure you pick the cooler-looking guide, avoid the whiners, and get on board. It’s fun. Really.

Safety First


I’ve been in Washington since Saturday and am climbing the walls. It’s not the incessant swine flu updates, although that is providing a surreal backdrop for a visit to the nation’s capital. It’s not the weather, which has been in the 1000 range. And it’s not the politics. (Although we almost had a beat-down at a pub quiz last night.)

It’s the dreaded Travel Malaise back on the hunt. Too much hotel time + too little time alone + not enough time to write = perfect storm of wall-climbing.

The solution? Segways in the rain, baby! How can an activity that requires a helmet not be fun?

We asked about renting the Segways and doing a DIY tour (like, through the Senate floor), but they said, “No…waivers…liability…blah blah blah,” so we’re on their itinerary. What we’re counting on is that keeping upright in the rain is going to be entertainment enough, monuments (been there, seen that) be damned. Given my history of peculiar injuries, there’s a better than fair chance I’ll be the first one to go down. I’m going to see about some body armor to go with my hard hat.

Perhaps I should have been wearing a helmet all along to prevent the Malaise. Keep the brains in and the pavement out. Specifically, this helmet, don’t you think? If I had this helmet, how could everything not go my way?