The Segway and Lessons I Learned

I bought my first Groupon! I’ve looked before, and heard from lots of people that they are great deals. I just hadn’t found the one I couldn’t resist. Until earlier this month while I was making vacation plans. I decided to look at what might be available in Galveston, TX where we were headed. I was shocked to see a Groupon for a Segway tour – Half Off! Let me back up  a bit.

My boys have a bit of an infatuation with Segways. They have talked countless times about how awesome it would be to ride one. They have talked about how they work and how it would feel to ride one. But they are expensive! And I am frugal! I carefully plan our vacations to be fun and frugal. And yes they can be both:).

I called Hubby to see if he agreed that it was a must buy/do. He agreed and I purchased! A one hour Segway tour for five people for half price.  And it was the best $125 I’ve spent in a really long time! Here’s how it went…

We scheduled the tour for Tuesday afternoon. We chose not to tell the kids what we were going to do. We just said there would be an “event” at 3:30 Tuesday. They really wanted to know what it was and did lots of guessing. It was fun and a little scary. Fun to see what they thought it might be and scary because a) they might guess it and I wouldn’t be able to cover or b) they would guess something way better and then this wouldn’t seem like a big deal. So I told them they couldn’t guess anymore, ’cause I’m mean like that. So Tuesday morning we wake up to what? RAIN! It wasn’t a yucky morning, just drizzly. But the longer the day went on, the harder it rained. I was pretty bummed thinking we would be out in the rain cruising the seawall. Not what I had pictured.

We decided we should tell the boys what it was, you know, to let them look forward to it for a little while. But we made them play 20 questions to figure it out. They were stumped for quite a while. I think the clue that tipped them was “does it have two wheels?” When we said it was not a motorcycle they were stumped. Until Middle Son screamed, “Segway?!” When we said yes they all erupted! Pretty happy boys. Which totally made my day as a Mom. I love being able to do things my boys don’t expect – in a good way:).

But it was still raining.

We closed the curtains and watched the first half of the last Harry Potter movie so we would be prepared for the final movie in the theater. When the movie was over, we opened the curtains and {insert singing choirs} the rain was gone! We lucked out. The rain subsided and the clouds parted. And the sun came out! It was a beautiful afternoon.

We had a great time, traveled 12 miles up and down the seawall. It was super fun and scary. I learned a few things in this Segway experience.

  1. My balance isn’t as good as I thought it was. They do a little training inside the store before you go outside on the machine. They demonstrated how to get on and off, go forward and backward, turn, go fast and most importantly how to stop. I watched several people before it was my turn. I took a hold of the handlebars {is that what you call them?} and stepped ever so carefully with my right foot. So far, so good. Then I gingerly lifted my left foot up and set it on the platform. Then I felt a sensation that I can only describe as a convulsion as I wobbled forward and backward, jerking harder each time. I can only imagine what I looked like. Based on the looks on my guys’ faces…hilarious! They were kind enough not to double over with laughter like I’m certain they wanted to do. I appreciate their restraint. Our guide quickly stabilized me with the handlebars and said, “Stop pulling.” To which I replied, “I’m not trying, its instinct. I’m gonna fall.” It was all very glamorous and not at all embarrassing.
  2. I’m not a risk-taking teenager anymore. I distinctly remember having the thought, “what the hell was I thinking?! I have no business doing this!” We hadn’t even left the parking lot. And we had to maneuver out to the street, drive a couple blocks in traffic, cross another intersection and navigate amongst the walkers, cyclists and tourists on the seawall. And then I look up and see my boys flying back and forth in the parking lot, swerving around and screeching to a halt right in front of me. As we started out on the road I seriously thought they should have provided us with gloves, elbow and knee protectors instead of just helmets. Someone could really get hurt doing this. Someone like me! I’m pleased to say, I survived with no injuries and all Segways were returned undamaged. {Thank goodness considering the pages of waivers that we signed before we left!}.
  3. Standing completely balanced on both feet for an hour and a half is exhausting! I didn’t think it would be, but about a mile into the ride {or was it a drive?} the arches of my feet started to cramp. But you can’t just lift a foot and shake it out. {Refer to my first lesson} So you just work thru the pain. And then the calves start to cramp up. And the muscles are really getting fatigued. And I’m still just standing. Not running a marathon, not cycling a hundred miles. Just standing. I was thinking, “I’m a total wimp!” Along with, “are we ever gonna stop?!” I know the boys were not experiencing the same thing. They were way ahead of me, swerving in and out of traffic, making me want to pull out my Mom voice. I think I only said, “you know if you wreck that we have to pay $5000 to replace it!” once during the whole ride. Pretty good if you ask me. I certainly thought it more than once.

Overall, it was an awesome experience. Only once did I truly believe I might die. But I didn’t. And a few hours after I told Oldest Son about it he explained to me how he had figured out what happened. How the Segway had to tilt to accommodate the speed since the motor….blah, blah, blah…science-y words….blah, blah, blah….makes perfect sense. I just smiled, content in knowing I survived and not really caring why.


1 Comment

Filed under Family, Randomness, Travel

One response to “The Segway and Lessons I Learned

  1. Letha Markwardt

    Oh how funny. My insides are still laughing (no need to go to curves now). I love your adventureous spirit. You could have set and waited while the guys went, but you would have missed a great adventure. Love you!

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