Ever since the Segway came out, it has been the subject of many geeky lunchtime conversations. They were always just too cool.
Now I’m actually considering buying one. I would mostly use it to get back and forth to work. I live only 1.5 miles away, but it takes too long to walk and it seems silly to drive. Today I tried biking to work. It took only a little longer to bike (10 minutes) vs driving (7 minutes) so time is not a consideration.
What I don’t like about the bike is that it’s just slightly too large of a vehicle. You need to store it somewhere at either end. You’re not supposed to ride on the sidewalk, but it’s way too scary to ride in the lanes crossing the “intersection of death” at 101, 237 & Mathlilda. I’m also not looking forward to the day when I get a flat tire. With a Segway, I’d be able to legally and justifibly ride on the sidewalk.
The new Segways just came out and they have some cool new stuff. For one, you turn by leaning, just like you accelerated and decelerated before by leaning. I found the twisting of the grip unintuitive when I rode one a few years ago. It has a new wireless key device and a security alarm.
It certainly wouldn’t save me money vs. driving. A Segway is over $5,000. If I drive 3 miles a day and pay $3.00/gallon, I’ll save approximately $100 in gas plus whatever 675 miles is in terms of maintenance over a year. It’s better for the environment I suppose, but then again, I’m not sure 3 miles is going to make a difference over people driving in each day from San Francisco.
Neither a bike nor Segway would be great in the rain. The Segway would probably be better in cold and hot weather. I’d be going slower in cold weather, so there’s be less of a wind chill, and in hot weather I wouldn’t work up a sweat.
South Bay Segway in Campbell offers 2.5 hour tours of the Los Gatos Creek trail for $75. I’m thinking about taking one of those to see if I like it. Anne thinks it might be enough time to “get it out of my system”. Perhaps.
It might just be too geeky, even in Silicon Valley. I’m not sure I want to be known as “the Segway Guy” at work or deal with people who want rides all the time. Still, I think the technology is damn cool, and I lust for cool technology. That coolness always wears off after a while though and you’re left with the practicalities of if and how it improves your life.
Would a Segway improve my life by $5,000 worth? Would something else that costs $5,000 make me happier? I don’t know. Do you?