Segway tour. Seg-WHY tour.
I know you’re judging me right now. But stop it.
I’ve been in the same shoes too so I know what you’re thinking.
I bet you think segways are ridiculous and people who take them are, well, a certain breed of travelers you don’t want to hangout with.
They must be in a tour group, most likely on a full package tour. Probably uncool. First-time travelers. Lame. The list is endless. The point is: you promised yourself you will never ever take a segway.
I don’t blame you.
This mega-engineered geek machine that everyone loves to hate has been endlessly scorned since it came out in 2001. On one of my favorite cult comedies, Arrested Development, the segway was the ultimate sight gag. It was its own setup and punch line simply by showing up in a scene. It generates automatic laughs every time Will Arnett shows up in one.
But when the possibility of a segway tour presented itself to me, I signed up immediately. My line of thought was more like: “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”
That was how I ended up with a dozen other people in Antwerp one day waiting for our segway tour guide. When he arrived, the first order of the day was to learn how to operate the segway before we go and invade the city.
I felt a bit pressured and embarrassed because the tour guide was teaching all of us one by one which means everyone was watching me when I crashed into a truck #segwayfail.
But it was actually easy. Segway is designed for the human body. Its main sensory system is an assembly of gyroscope which you can also find in your iPhone. I don’t want to bore you with the details so if you want to know more you can watch this video.
It looks like a simple machine but it is actually a pretty smart, complex machine. To move forward or backward on the Segway, you just have to lean slightly forward or backward. To turn left or right, you just have to turn the handlebar left or right. To stop, you need to move it perpendicular to you and do a poo-sition (aka seat like you’re pooping; see: picture below). Lastly, if there’s a bump ahead, you just need to speed up and kneel a bit and make a semi-jump on the bump. Easy breezy. It takes like 5 minutes to get used to it.
After our training, we were all very excited to go around the city for 3 hours. Riding a segway was actually super duper fun. I can’t believe I’ve never tried it. We were all super excited like a bunch of kids on a school trip. I took the tour with my new blogger friends, Auston and David from Two Bad Tourists, and it was hilarious. We were taking #segwayselfies and uploading them live on instagram.
And we were even thinking of a niche travel blog called Segway Around the World in which one just literally invades each destination on a segway. Sponsored by segway of course!
We went through the city center and made our way to one of the neighborhoods of Antwerp. As I was riding the segway, I can’t help but smile to myself as we passed by other people. I’m sure they thought we were lame and, meanwhile, I was thinking “YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN SO WRONG”.
Which reminds me that you should never ever jump into conclusions until you have actually experienced something first hand. Experience IS still the best teacher.
We initially had an 8km/hour speed which was slow to be honest so it was pretty safe to ride it . But the longer you ride it, the more you wanted to speed it up. After an hour or so, our tour guide increased the speed to 25km/h and that was when the fun started. We were like doing #segwayraces zooming fast from one street to the next. It was so fun!
And that bit about #segwayselfie being dangerous? Well, it seems obvious that it can be very dangerous if you’re moving while taking a #segwayselfie. You can get seriously injured if you fall off of it or worse, fall into a canal or a bridge. If that happens I hope you have a travel insurance. This is why I don’t have a lot of pictures during the tour but I did take a lot of photos of the city in other days which I will post soon!
So do I recommend taking a segway tour of Antwerp? Hellz yeah! If you want to do your own segway tour of the city, check out Belgian Segway Tour to schedule and book your tour.
Have you tried riding a segway? Did you love it like I did?