“How fast does that thing go?” This is the most common question I get. To tell you the truth, they aren’t very fast, but at a top speed of 14 mph, you’ll feel like you’re flying. Keep in mind that such sophisticated devices are not intended for racing, but rather for use on sidewalks and easy access in and out of buildings. I have been asked a lot of questions throughout the time I have owned a Segway, with most of them being repeats. You do get used to it, just as you would when learning how to ride one. The advantage to being asked questions in this case comes from being able to share my advice and experience with those who want to find out so that they’ll know what to expect.
It’s not very often that writers get to express their thoughts in first-person form. But when given the opportunity, one can’t help but savor the moment. And that’s just what I’m going to do. Without going into the mechanics of a Segway and how they work, which is something I tend to do on a regular riding basis, I would much rather spend my time sharing with you what going through a typical day on a Segway at Salt Lake Community College is like.
Since I am only on an SLCC campus three days a week, I often pick and choose which day(s) I want to bring my Segway along. I currently attend classes at the South Jordan campus, which is where my adventures began. Because I have difficulty walking, having such a convenient device makes getting around on campus seem like a walk in the park, or in my case, like a ride.
When I first appeared on campus with a Segway last January, I didn’t quite know what to expect from students, especially teachers and the line of security. I only hoped that with the help of a doctor’s note that I would be able to get by. It turned out that I didn’t even need to bother with that little detail. I was shown support right from the start. In fact, everywhere I went I was able to cruise right along and park my vehicle wherever I needed. I especially liked being able to use the elevator since I can’t take the Segway up or down the stairs.
After a few days on campus, I began to get some attention from those who seemed interested in getting a glimpse of something they probably have never seen up close and in person. As far as I know, the Segway is most popular in Europe. Here, it is still up and coming. When I let others ride my Segway, it’s usually a lot of fun for them, as well as myself. Since the vehicle supports itself and the person on it, I assure the rider that they need not to worry about falling off. Believe me, most people, when they first step on, are a bit nervous. To alleviate his or her discomfort, I start the person on the slowest of three speed levels, and provide careful instruction before I let someone try. And as always, ladies get first choice.
Being an experienced rider, I understand the safety and dangers well enough to watch out for them when on the go. I have had numerous crashing accidents while riding and I must say, depending on how you fall, most of the time you will probably get back up laughing because it was just so fun. A word of caution: Always ride slow when going over uneven surfaces with dirt or rocks.
Have you ever wondered how much a Segway costs? I was able to get mine used for $4,000, although not far from the cost of buying a brand-new one for $6,000 or more. I was happy enough being able to find one that would work for me. The model that I found was one of the first ones ever made, so even getting it used was quite a treat.
Overall, my experience at SLCC with a Segway has been everything I expected it to be. I have not had trouble communicating to others that it is especially helpful to me, and that I use it specifically to make getting around easier for myself, while having a blast zooming around and showing others just what it can do. My father has always said, “Don’t spend your time and energy on things that make walking hard. Instead, focus on the things that make it worthwhile and exciting.”