Archive for August, 2010
“Terrific fun” is how NZ Herald travel writer Pamela describes Wheel Awesome’s Segway Personal Transporter (PT) tours in “Kaikoura: Whale of a time” (published yesterday). While whale-watching may be this tourist town’s best-known claim-to-fame, Wade raves about her excursion on the “super-cool Segway” and highly recommends it to readers:
“I had arranged to meet Bruce in town, from where he escorts tours to the seal colony on the peninsula – by Segway. On the face of it a physical impossibility, it turned out that this self-balancing two-wheeler is a Zen machine: just think of a direction, and away it hums.
“Women do best,” said Bruce, “because first, they listen to instructions, and then they follow them.” I nodded smugly and swooped away, leaning forward for speed and thinking how brilliant it would be to play polo on one of these things, as Bruce sometimes does.”
Segway PT Guided Tours are a great way to see the sights in a limited time. Just as importantly, they empower everyone in your group to experience and enjoy a scenic excursion, where otherwise some individuals may be unable to complete such a journey by walking (perhaps due to age, medical condition or fatigue). Visit segway.co.nz for a list of all Segway Tours around New Zealand, and links to Segway Authorised Tours worldwide.
Gizmodo – one of the world’s most popular daily tech news sites – has issued a major and sincere apology. Jason Chen, one of their senior journalists writes (full article):
“You might remember this post three years ago in which I laughed at a woman on a Segway pushing a baby stroller for being lazy. Well, I’m a giant asshole, and I want to apologize to Melissa Hofstetter. I’m sorry Melissa.”
What Jason Chen and many other people had failed to recognise is that many mobility impaired people choose Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) as their preferred mobility device. In his retraction he explains how it has been recently brought to his attention that “….Melissa is a 15-year cancer survivor who lost her left leg to the illness. She started using the Segway as an assistive device because it’s both maneuverable and because she has difficulty walking, especially on hilly areas. It also allows her to be in the standing position and look people in the eyes during conversations, and be mobile in ways that wheelchairs are not. The photo came to be when she was visiting her family in Seattle a few years back, helping take care of her grandniece while her grandnieces parents were busy. Someone—no idea who—took a photo of this and put it on the internet. It spread quickly, as unique images are apt to do.”
Compared with wheelchairs and mobility scooters, the PT has a tiny footprint and is small and light enough to make it easy to take in a vehicle. Segway NZ estimates that mobility use is the largest single customer group of Segway PTs in this country.
The benefits of two-wheeled self-balancing technology is lost on many commentators – even those who should know better. For example, when General Motors and Segway revealed the EN-V concept two-wheel, two-seater city microcar at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai in May many motoring writers missed the real benefits of bringing Segway’s self-balancing configuration to this type of vehicle. Motor Trends’ article explains it clearly. Last week the EN-V was taken from the Expo for a joyride on Huaihai Road.
Today’s Sydney Morning Herald published a travel article about visiting Christchurch – and rated Urban Wheel’s Segway Guided Tour as the DONT MISS attraction:
“On our last day in Christchurch we….learn to ride a Segway – a two-wheel electronic personal transport device, a kind of vertical bike without pedals – and take a tour of the city. We take pathways alongside the Avon and churn through the yellow fallen leaves….”
A Segway tour of the city centre with commentary from Graeme Gordon. +64 3942 8834, urbanwheels.co.nz.