I admit that I’m generally not the sort of person who’s concerned with what random people think of her. Not that I don’t have my moments, but when you have the crazy, wonderful friends I do – friends who, say, pelvic thrust in public at a restaurant booth, or decide to make you run and chase them downtown on a Saturday night after they have been drinking, you learn to stop caring a long time ago.
But there’s one thing I used to find embarrassing, and that is riding a Segway. There are Segway tours downtown, and I can’t help giggling every time I see a group of them ride by me. They are just so funny and dorky looking. How can you look cool riding a glorified motorized scooter and a helmet on your head? Every time I see one, I can’t help think of the “White and Nerdy” video.
My friends decided they wanted to try an evening of Segwaying, and I reluctantly accepted. Our chipper guide led us through the training first – how to get on/off a Segway, how to turn it, and how to stop it. I had this idea that it would be a motorized cart with an ignition of some sort. I had no idea that riding a Segway is actually based on balance and momentum. I was a little nervous during training because I didn’t want to fall flat on my face – I took the longest of my group to “pass” training. Once we all completed the training, we were clear to begin our ride.
I admit I was in the back for the first half, definitely not exceeding the 12.5 mph limit. After fifteen or twenty minutes, I had warmed up and felt more comfortable. It was actually a lot of fun. Being on the other side – the person riding the Segway versus the person making fun of the Segway riders – was entertaining. We got a lot of goofy grins. Some were good-naturedly mocking us as we rode by, but we grinned and took it in stride. My favorite part was when we rode by the lake. We saw a boat below us, and we all started whooping and hollering. We embraced the nerdiness, even dancing a bit on our Segways when we rode by clubs and bars playing music. I enjoyed the beautiful sights of my city and didn’t care how stupid I must have looked doing it.
Not everyone was so enthralled by our presence. One snarly, grouchy, skinny little hipster crossed the street and resolutely walked right in front of us. I braked hard. ”Dude, I nearly ran you over,” I said. ”Yeah…well…it would have been your fault,” he responded behind me as I rolled away. Um…no, dumbass, I think that if you willingly walk directly in front of us instead of waiting for five seconds to let us pass, then it would be YOUR fault. Hipsters.
Our poor tour guide definitely earned her money with our group. By my count, there were at least three falls, several close calls, one girl collapsing from dehydration, one of our friends attacking everyone with his sword and cutting people off, and then me nearly taking out a hipster. By the antics some in our group were displaying, you’d think that a bunch of high schoolers were taking this tour, not professionals in their mid-to-late twenties.
My friend Tap and I are on the far left. Oh yeah, one of our group members nearly took out that statue with the Segway.
Even though I still think Segways are super nerdy, I’d take another tour in a heartbeat. Sometimes, you have to embrace looking uncool if it makes for a fun experience.