First to upgrade: Christchurch Segway Tours adds new Segway i2 SE

Christchurch Segway Tours is first to purchase a new Segway i2 SE model. This popular attraction in Christchurch is currently ranked #7 of 77 activities in the city by TripAdvisor, and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for 2014.

Graeme Gordon on a new Segway i2 SE in front of Christchurch’s historic Riccarton House. Originally home to the Deans family, the home is on an estate of 12 hectares of parkland and gardens close to the city centre, and is open to visitors.

Graeme Gordon on a new Segway i2 SE in front of Christchurch’s historic Riccarton House. Originally home to the Deans family, the home is on an estate of 12 hectares of parkland and gardens close to the city centre, and is open to visitors.

Adding the latest model is part of an ongoing strategy of “continually upgrading” their fleet, says proprietor Graeme Gordon.

Graeme started Segway agency Urban Wheels in 2005, and launched his tour business the same year with first-generation Segway Personal Transporters (PTs). The original mix of HT i180 and XT models were replaced by second-generation i2′s and x2′s after 2007. Today he is thrilled to be again leading the way with the first of the new SE range.

Visitors can choose between three tour options, including the popular “Rebuild Tour” that reveals how the central city is recovering from the devastating earthquake of February 2011.

USA Today gave Graeme’s tours high praise, as did travel writer Pamela Wade in the NZ Herald.

 Christchurch Segway Tour riders give way to a tram on New Regent Street, illustrating the gentle mix of old and new in this part of town. Originally opened in 1932 and only reopened to the public post-earthquake last year, the Spanish Mission architecture style buildings and boutique shopping are a focal point for tourists visiting the CBD.


Christchurch Segway Tour riders give way to a tram on New Regent Street, illustrating the gentle mix of old and new in this part of town. Originally opened in 1932 and only reopened to the public post-earthquake last year, the Spanish Mission architecture style buildings and boutique shopping are a focal point for tourists visiting the CBD.

Graeme says the new SE models bring several new features that are really important to his business. The first is the lowered centre console “which really improves rider comfort and safety.” Tour riders have more room to easily step onto the platform and dismount again, and have more space for their feet while riding.

The second feature is the white front and red rear running lights that increase visibility to others – especially in low light. Every previous Segway PT has had exceptional built-in reflectivity on its front and rear edges, as well as cleverly integrated reflectivity on the sides of the wheels. These super-reflective areas shine brightly under car headlights and streetlights. The new active illumination provided by running lights on the new SE compliments the passive safety reflectivity. The lights operate whenever the Segway PT is turned on.

The third new feature might be Graeme’s favourite: an easy-to-remove LeanSteer Frame. Whenbringing lots of Segway PTs along to corporate/group entertainment activities, he stacks his fleet tightly into his vehicle to fit them all in. To do this, he removes the LeanSteer Frames. Being able to quickly take off the new-style LeanSteer Frame – and more importantly – just as quickly put it back on – is really helpful. On the previous models, attaching the LeanSteer took valuable minutes per PT, and“those minutes really added up if you had to assemble half a dozen machines before starting an entertainment event.”

Graeme provides his guided tour groups with fascinating commentary as they glide about his hometown, taking in the many and varied sights.

If there happens to be a bit of magic in the air that day, the group may come across The Wizard of Christchurch. Should you ask him, the 80+ year old Wizard will tell you he has no need for a Segway PT himself because he can simply dematerialise and reappear again wherever he wishes. Alternatively, he can drive his VW Beetle in any direction he wants….because it has two front ends.

The Wizard of Christchurch with a Segway Tour participant, in front of his very special red VW Beetle….look carefully, it has two front ends!

The Wizard of Christchurch with a Segway Tour participant, in front of his very special red VW Beetle….look carefully, it has two front ends!

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