Ruth, whale watching in Iceland. Photo taken October 4, 2012.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

City Segway Tour - Chicago

You may or may not have heard of a "Segway". Introduced to the world almost 10 years ago, they are a two wheeled electric mode of personal transportation. Two things have hindered their popularity, even though they are a VERY neat mode of transportation.

First, they're very expensive. They cost about $6,000 each. Second, our transportation system had a hard time figuring out where you can drive them. Do they belong on the sidewalk? Or on the road? In fact, the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario, Canada is still working on a study they began in 2008. Typical government program that takes too long to complete. To this day, it takes a special permit to use one on public property in Ontario.

But I'm getting off track. Yesterday evening, we took a Segway tour though .

City Segway tours operates in 10 major cities throughout the world. They were the first company in the world to offer tours.

Ruth, getting outfitted with her helmet.


First, we needed about a half hour of instruction and practice.

There were only four of us in our group so we were lucky to have such a small group. But there is a definite knack to using these machines and the other lady on the tour was noticeably nervous about the whole experience and never did get very confident. Unfortunately, that slowed us down a fair bit.

These machines have a maximum speed of 12.5 mph (20 km/h) but you can adjust that and we were set at maximum half speed at the beginning, which was later increased to 10 mph. But, there is no "gas pedal" so to speak. Your movement forwards and backwards, and your speed, are sensed by how you position your weight and balance on the vehicle. Lean slightly forward and you go forward. And it's very sensitive which is why it takes a bit of practice.

Kevin, getting instruction and practice.

I caught on fairly quick, and Ruth wasn't far behind me. She had one nervous moment when we were going up a slight incline and she started going backwards, but other than that we had no problems. They took us out for about an hour and half and toured around most of the areas we had previously walked that day.

Ruth and Kevin and our Segways.

It was a lot of fun and definitely something everyone should try at some point in your life. And it's never too late...they had their oldest customer just the other day when a 94 year old woman went for a tour! They do have some minimum restrictions though which are set at 12 years old and 100 lbs.

This was third installment in today's post. If you missed parts one and two, just click the "Older Post" link below.


  1. Oh I'm with Ruth. I'd love to try it but going up hill and you start going backwards....uh oh! Guess you just lean forward.


  2. Hub and I did an early morning Segway tour at Epcot a few years back. We had a blast and, if they were sidewalk or bike lane legal, we would have one.

  3. My balance is so lousy I really don't think I'll ever attempt one of these. I have trouble keeping a bike upright.

  4. butterbean carpenterMay 10, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Howdy R&K,
    I'm enjoying the Chi-town trip!! The pics are awesome and K, your descriptions are so descriptive and clear; it's like we were there..
    Did y'all know the guy who invented the Segway drove one over a cliff and was killed?? They do look like a lot of fun, though!! I hope y'all are having as much fun as we are, tagging along with y'all.. We love visiting museums, but don't think we want to buy one, just to see what's in it!!!

  5. We've seen Segway tours in various places but have never done one, might need to rethink that.

  6. Bill and I had a great Segway tour in Tucson, AZ. But I wrecked on another tour somewhere in the Caribbean... forgot to squat ;-) Aren't those things great? Have you gone to Shedds Aquarium yet?

    1. Yes, this morning! Check tomorrow's blog...

  7. Wow, I have always wanted to ride one. The police here iuin Monterrey use them. Did you know the owner of Segway died using one! I don't think I have the coordination.

  8. We did not try that on our tour, but it sure looks like fun:)

  9. HI, I was born in Chicago and lived there for 54 years before selling my house last November. I have visited most of the sites you are seeing - but never did the kayaking or the Segway tours. The lakefront is fantastic. We camped a lot at Illinois State Beach Park, a State Park on Lake Michigan near Waukegan, almost an hour drive north of downtown.

  10. I always thought it would be fun to ride a Segway. Great post.

  11. wow 100 lb weight that would really exclude a lot of petite women, Ruth probably just made it......they do look like fun, but I'd probably get top speed and wind up on my face !
    vote everyday...home and're really climbing....
    Company I use to work for had the worlds largest freight terminal and heliport in the world right there in chicago and never got a chance to go there.
    Love seeing it thru you


We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...