If you find yourself walking the promenade along St Petersburg’s waterfront and see a group on Segways coming toward you, do not assume the operators know how to control them.
We often find ourselves walking along waterfronts. We are usually heading to the grocery store or a local dining option. The broad sidewalks offer the perfect pathway for just about anything on wheels. While in St. Petersburg, in addition to the normal mixture of bicycles, unicycles, skateboards or roller-blades we notice groups of people on Segways. Most of the people riding them looked like they were having fun. Others looked very nervous. We found out these groups were tours. St Pete has three tour groups offering guided tours on these two-wheeler contraptions. What the heck, we thought. Let’s give it a try.
After asking around and checking with TripAdviser (one of our favorite travel sites), we decided upon Doo’s Amazing Tours. Doo’s had incredible reviews and offered headsets. We liked the idea of headsets since the guide can talk to us as we are moving. We didn’t have any of the normal “gather around” education. I think a lot of time with a tour group is spent gathering around and waiting for people to gather. And, there is always the slow poke in the group who is the last to gather. Okay, we all know that person is normally me. I tend to be off somewhere taking a picture, or two. And when wandering off, I’m very easily distracted, “Oh look Cindy, something shiny. Let’s go look” Yeah. That happens more than I care to admit. Doo’s offered a small receiver that clipped onto our belts and an ear bud. Our guide pointed out all sorts of fun facts as we screamed along at 13 MPH down the sidewalks of St Pete on two wheels.
Some of our friends came to visit us from Atlanta and we decided to have a tie-dye shirt day while doing the Segway tour. Cindy recently gave me a couple of new tie-dyes for my Birthday. We found the most awesome tie-dye extraordinaire during our visit to Portland, Oregon a couple of years ago. We both purchased shirts. Whenever, I wear my shirt I get tons of complements. Perfect strangers walk up to me, “Love the shirt, dude”. Or, “Awesome dye, man”. She had a couple of shirts specially made for me. They are loud and bright, just the way tie-dye should be. Very cool gift!
Modeling our tie-dyes we gathered at the meeting point for the Segway tour. Cindy and I have never been on a Segway. Our friends are old pros. Louisa, the owner and operator of Doo’s gave us the Segway 101 crash course. This included getting on and off, moving turning and stopping. It took all of five minutes. In no time at all we were bombing about the parking lot weaving through traffic cones. Louisa was really good at making sure everyone was comfortable before starting the tour. I didn’t pay much attention to the stopping and getting off part. I figured I would worry about that when the time arose. So, this brings me back to my point. If you find yourself on the sidewalks of St Pete and see a Segway tour coming toward you, think about this post. There is a really good chance that one of the people in the group, like me, didn’t pay attention during the “stopping” portion of Segway 101 training. You might want to stay out of the way. Well out of the way.
It turns out that riding a Segway is not very hard to do. In fact, if you can stand up, you can ride a Segway. Doo’s Amazing Tours was…. what’s the word I am looking for…. Amazing! We had a great day and Louisa was a wonderful guide.