Adventures on Segway PTs in Mangawhai, Northland

Visitors to popular holiday town Mangawhai Heads can hire Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) to explore the area.

Local resident Blair Graham has been offering his fleet of Segway x2 models for hire since late last year, and says locals and holidaymakers are loving a new experience.

An article in the latest edition of The Mangawhai Focus reports:

For local Mangawhai father and amputee Blair Graham, the two-wheeled personal transport has proved to be invaluable. The eco-friendly device allows Graham more access to recreational activities especially when keeping up with his son, Monty.

“Having a Segway PT changed my mobility,” Graham says. “I can thoroughly enjoy doing things now that my kids love to do outside like bike riding, beach walks and just getting out and about.”

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Blair and his son Monty on their Segway Personal Transporters (photo courtesy The Mangawhai Focus newspaper)

Mr Graham first began riding a Segway PT four years ago, when he identified it as the only mobility device available that could take him to the places he used to go before a workplace accident resulted in a below-knee amputation. With large, softly inflated “quad bike style” tyres the Segway x2 model has greater ground clearance while being very light on the ground it covers. Zero emissions and near-silent operation add to the low environmental impact.

Adding an optional seating solution permits Mr Graham to sit down, and rest his legs from time to time while riding thereby relieving pressure between his body and his prosethic.

His desire to share “…the wonder of the Segway PT and how it empowers people like me to do more that I ever could before, and go places I never thought I’d be able to go again” led to the purchase of two more Segway PTs that he could use to start a business.

According to The Mangawhai Focus, he says:

“Every customer so far has been impressed with the ease of how they ride, they can’t believe how much fun they are,” Graham says. “I had a 92-year-old man have a go, he was amazed at how safe the machine felt.”

While Graham hires out the Segway’s for individual use, he says touring with him is beneficial as he encourages riders to try different terrains that they might not attempt if riding alone.

“I take people around the bush tracks, out to the [Mangawhai] Heads and along the beaches, it’s a great way to see the area in a different way,” he says. “Compared to the cost of a quad or motorbike, I believe in the future farmers will be using them.”

The fleet of Segway x2’s fit inside a customised trailer, making his business truly mobile. Mr Graham says he can bring the Segway Experience along to workplaces for ‘corporate break-out sessions’ and as entertainment at staff functions, as well as to family gatherings such as bbq and birthday parties.

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