Yesterday I got the chance to ride a second generation Segway at the Fortune Brainstorm Technology Conference in Half Moon Bay, California.
Myself, Ryan, and a group of about 25 total attendees from the conference started on a nearby tennis court and were trained one-by-one on how to mount, drive, stop, steer, and dismount the Segway. As each person was trained we moved over to the other side of the court to practice getting around.
Only two wrecks later (neither were me) the whole group was trained in about 30 minutes and we were off to cruise along the high cliffs of the Pacific Ocean, luckily on a nice cement trial about 15 feet back from the edge. Even though I had only been a Segway rider for less than an hour I felt comfortable riding along beside the cliffs. I guess you can at least jump off of the thing if it were to try to take you in a direction you didn't want to go.
After we returned from our quick tour around the property and trails of the Ritz Carlton along the ocean we returned to the parking lot beside the training tennis courts. Although we had done all of our cruising around on the turtle mode which limits the top speed to about 6 mph the tour guides turned turtle mode off and we took a few quick turns and shots around the parking lot at 12 mph.
I never realized twelve miles per hours was so fast, at top speed I really felt like I was shooting along. I can see why they wouldn't recommend it to beginners, you could get yourself seriously hurt if you fell off or accidentally steered into something.
Ryan shot a short video of me playing with the Segway at its top speed. Super fun! There may very well be a Segway in my commuting future. It goes about 24 miles on a single charge at a cost of about 10 cents (I cannot remember if that was 10 cents total or 10 cents per mile). My daily commute is about three miles each way. Stay tuned.