October 24, 2011
our fearless tour guides
Thoughts that come to mind in association with a segway are Paul Blart Mall Cop; former Ohio Governor, Richard Celeste (more on that one later); and lastly, a vacation tourist trap. When the segway first hit the market a decade ago, I think we all had a dumbfounded look of “umm, what in the world is that?” The gadget geeks were, as always, first to test it out, the rich kids asked for a segway just liked young girls used to beg for a pony, and then there were the people like me. Embodying a dual vibe of weird/cool, the undefined mystique made me hesitant to jump on the segway bandwagon. Thankfully, with age comes maturity, and I said enough already, even if I look like the biggest goofball/tool in the world, it is time to hop on board. And so I did.
On a recent beautiful fall afternoon I enjoyed a Segway of Cincinnati tour through Eden Park. Of course with a yellow traffic vest and a helmet, it was hard not to look like a goofball. The first few minutes on the segway took some getting used to, but once I learned the ins and outs of Dean Kamen‘s crazy invention, I had no trouble stopping, starting, turning, and even popping some wheelies. Ok, so the wheelies are a stretch.
The machine can go upwards of 12 mph, which may not seem like much but certainly gives you enough of a thrill to get the heart rate pumping.
For those who think the segway is the lazy man’s way to travel, yes, ok you are right. At the same time, however, imagine standing for two hours with good posture (all about that core balance) and precisely using the muscles in your feet (which apparently there are a lot) to control the vehicle. Believe me, it’s tiring. Even so, as compared to walking, the segway makes for a more entertaining and fun mode of transportation.
*And this brings me back to the Celeste reference… Richard Celeste served as the Ohio Governor from 1983-1991. In 2002 he became the President of Colorado College, which, as it turns out, is my alma mater. Go Tigers! Anyway, Celeste was often seen touring the campus on a segway. It became so much of his shtick, that students made t-shirts with the logo “just dickin’ around” in honor of Richie boy.
The Eden Park route is Segway of Cincinnati’s original tour and includes fourteen points of interest throughout the park. We glided past Mirror Lake and Krohn Conservatory; under and over the Melan Arch bridge; and through Liberty Gardens and Memorial Groves. Along the way, one woman veered off path and another dude took a tumble, but our merry gang of 14 overcame such trials and tribulations with a fighting spirit and a newfound love for the segway.
The guides did a wonderful job detailing history of the park including the Water Works Pumping Building, Water Tower and Reservoir systems. I regret to say I was too enamored with my new toy to recall any of the details, but in the heat of the moment, they sounded intriguing.
Interested in taking a tour yourself? I bet you are. Segway of Cincinnati, which is open year-round, offers two other routes: Downtown and Riverfront.
In the everlasting words of Billy Madison, “You are not cool unless you [ride a segway].” Or, something like that.to top ↑