Thursday, September 9, 2010

Segway Tour: Walking Makes Me Sad Now

While we were in Asheville over the weekend, Matt had a surprise outing for us. We got up Monday morning and he said, "What are the most comfortable shoes you brought?" And I was like, "These thong sandals with big brass salamanders on top, naturally. I didn't know there would be, like, hiking." After he asked that I figured that we were going to meet up with a walking tour, or maybe one of the trolleys I'd seen around town. But no!


ZOMG Segways! He'd booked us spots with Moving Sidewalk Tours. When we got to the Asheville Visitors' Center and I realized what we were doing, I squealed like a tiny baby girl. I'd always been curious about those things, and I couldn't believe they were going to let me get on one. It crossed my mind that I would possibly drive it into a telephone pole, but I was so excited! I resolved to be the most A+++ student of Segway ever and to not endanger other people much at all.

Fortunately our guide, Wes, passed out helmets (Matt got the Evil Knievel helmet) and gave us a lesson before we hit the open road. It was just us and one other couple, which was great. There was only one awkward moment, after Wes had pointed out which were the bigger helmets and which were the smaller ones, and I reached for a bigger one. The other girl said, "But that's one of the bigger ones," and I was all, "Look at the size of this melon." Anyhoo.

So, the instructions for successfully getting onto the Segway:

1) Step up onto it.
2) Just stand there.

Magical fairies down underneath your feet do the work of holding you steady. You don't balance, you just stand and breathe. It feels weird for about thirty seconds and then it feels totally amazeballs.

Then, when you want to move forward, you just barely lean forward with your hips, and you glide forward exactly like you glide in your best dreams. Wes was leading us around the parking lot, and I was getting the hang of it, weaving around obstacles and zooming on the sidewalk. All at once I found myself saying, "I feel that I am magic!" Only I kind of yelled it, like, "I feel that I AM MAAAAGIIIIIIIIC." Wes was like, "Yeah, that feeling is normal." And there were rainbow-colored comet trails of sparkles shooting out behind and bluebirds and cartoon squirrels raced along, trying to keep up with me.

If I had a Segway I would go outside right now, in the dark, and ride all over the neighborhood in my socks. Segway!

me on segway

So you use the handlebars only to turn; you can actually ride with no hands, which is helpful if you are having a conversation and need to add gestures. Wes showed us a technique where you actually steer with your knees, leaving your hands permanently free for I don't know what. The other thing the handlebars do, I found, is nudge against your hips when the Segway decides you're going too fast. This happened to me a couple of times toward the end of our tour when I was getting cocky and sorta kinda racing.

Asheville is the perfect-sized place for a Segway tour. We spent about three hours and covered practically the whole downtown, much more than you could do in a walking tour. I so totally recommend doing this if you have a chance. Plus, when we stopped for coffee, we got to leave our Segways in a little row out front, and I was all, "Yeah, this is the way to make an entrance." I felt like I was at the very top of the Nerd Food Chain.

segway row

The other couple, Roger (in red) and Victoria, was also celebrating their anniversary. Yay!

wnc war memorial
This is a new war memorial for Western North Carolinians, and it is hard to take an appropriately somber picture when people are zooming around it on Segways.

matt and roger

So, you know how when you're on the moving sidewalk at the airport and then you step off and it feels like a letdown? Like the ground is so unfriendly to your forward progress and your feet are so dull? That's what getting off the Segway is like, times a kabillion. After our tour we went back into downtown and got lunch, and it was so sad to be shuffling along the same streets we'd zoomed down earlier. Walking is so boring now. Really, it is like dead to me. Stupid dumb walking!

But what a wonderful treat! I did not want to give that thing back. Y'all have got to try it if you haven't. Good thought, Matt! You want him on your team, people.

matt with sun


Jenni said...

Holy crap I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. And, again, having met you for real makes this post that much funnier. Wonderful story telling - I feel like I was there with all the MAAAGIIIC!

I knew those things must be amazing because the Segway cops in DC look even more smug than the regular cops in DC.

That Matt. He might be a keeper. And he's not too hard on the eyes either.

Anonymous said...

Stupid dumb walking!

I've never had the slightest Segway interest, but now I MUST ride one. I can't wait! Have to send this to DH as a hint...

Megan said...

I'm giggling away like a crazy, amped-on-No-Doz schoolgirl. Your comment about the war memorial just knocked me over the edge from interior snickers to full-on out-louds. I want to ride a Segway now at all somber, reverent locations.

Glad you had fun!

Becky said...

Thanks Jenni! And when Matt sees this his head is going to get even bigger.

And Aimee, I am sure sure sure they do this kind of thing in Seattle. Or I figured everybody out there was already zipping around on one?

Becky said...

And Megan, thanks! Yes, it is so weird, how it feels so irreverent. Like, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, whee!

Amy said...

Walking is such a loser!! That line made me laugh out loud fer real.

That last pic of Matt is great! Those segways look so fun!! I didn't realize there was so little effort involved. I've wanted to try one ever since Gob on Arrested Development had one.

Matt, you da man!

And I always have to get the large helmet, too.

Becky said...

Oh I referenced Gob, of course. This makes him seem much cooler! And then we were all stuck humming "The Final Countdown."

Beth said...

I think the OED needs to consider "amazeballs" for the next edition. It is brilliant.

You were already at the top of the Nerd Food Chain, so the Segway just catapulted you to like, the God of the Nerds or something. You are kind of like a goddess to me, with the helmet and the Segway and the Gob reference.

Bex said...

That looks like so much fun! I can't wait to try it!

Kelly said...

I am so very jealous. Let's all go there ;)

David said...

Level up, mage! I tremble with fear and envy of your experience points.

Best surprise ever!

(My word verification is "multuryl," and I think it should be your wizard name!)

Veronica said...

Sounds totally awesome. Good call, Matt, and happy anniversary you two!! Hope the next fifteen years are equally amazeballs and happy. :)

Steve said...

I'm laughing heartily!

Keely said...

I think I'm going to go bankrupt my family to go get one of those. After I'm done laughing of course.

(Jenni, they have Segway cops in DC?? Isn't that a little...undignified?)

Dave said...

I think the awesomest part may be the picture of the Segways all sorta stacked together outside the coffee shop. It's like they know how to stick together. It looks like Batman-type technology.

Michele R said...

You should write the copy for the website for this company! That is very cool.
Mall cop!

Crystal said...

Just got caught up on yours and Amy's blog. It took two sittings, but I love it.

Gosh you two are funny! The birthday party story had me laughing wwaaaaaaaaaay out loud. Oh. My. Gosh.

BR said...

becky, you are hilarious. amazeballs? the segway is to walking = your blog is to other blogs. see what i did there? i tried to be funny. but it doesn't really work. what i wanted to say is that i just love reading your blog!

Becky said...

Thank you, BR! I really appreciate those kind (and funny) words!

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

That sounds like a blast.

I had always thought that Segway thing required good balance. Nice to know I might be able to swing it!

Elizabeth said...

I thought you'd be interested and saddened to hear of today's death of the creator of the Segway -- on a Segway, no less!