So, my husband and kids and I have always mocked people when we’ve seen them glide past us on Segways. What nerds! You can’t help it. Hop on a Segway wearing your helmet and your nerd quotient skyrockets. I guess it’s because of the way you have to stand…and the helmet.
But, since we’re living here in DC for a few months, we decided to take a Segway tour in the Mall. We’ve already driven and walked past all the monuments, so we figured we’d give it a try by Segway. WHAT. A. BLAST!
We took our tour through City Segway Tours of DC and were immediately impressed. It’s kind of a low-budget operation, with no frills and big wooden bins full of biking helmets, but don’t let that turn you off. These folks know what they’re doing, and they really seem to enjoy themselves. And thus, we enjoyed ourselves.
You start out by watching a video that tells about the dangers of the Segway. The poor stick figure in the video cracked its head several times as a consequence of its stupid behavior. But we learned our lessons as a result. Danger: Don’t go down steep hills, beware of bumps, and always maintain your balance! If someone was nervous to start with, this wouldn’t help. But it made everything seem much harder than it really was. It’s so dang easy!
Kristin was our guide (there were about six groups of 4-6 people who went out). First, we went into an alley, where she demonstrated how to get on and off the Segway, and then how to go forward, how to go backward, how to turn, and the emergency stop (squat and push your tush out). Then we each got to try one by one, until we were comfortable. Then we all got assigned our own Segway, and were allowed to run up and down the alley a couple of times…and then we were off!
Our tour took us out by the Capitol, and then down along the Monument Mall past the World War II memorial, and the DC World War I memorial, stopping at the MLK Memorial, all the way to the Lincoln Memorial. We’d just been to the MLK Memorial, so while the others in the group went and sightsaw (?), we played on the Segways. Woot!
After stopping and saying hi to Abe Lincoln, we went back to the starting point, passing along the east side of the White House at sunset (only awesome!), and finished back at the start three hours later.
All along the way, Kristin would stop us as a group and tell us something about the history we were gliding within. She had a great sense of humor, but was also very watchful to make sure no one in the group did anything stupid. She shepherded without hovering. All in all, it was a great way to see the Mall, and so easy to master the Segway.
I HIGHLY recommend this as a family activity!