A few weeks ago we headed to Grafton, Illinois to see the replicas of the Nina & Pinta. As we were leaving I was taking pictures down by the Grafton boat ramps. I wasn’t expecting to come across a man on a Segway. This guy was looking at me very oddly as I started taking pictures. He was either in the middle of a cell phone conversation or checking messages. Although he didn’t seem in the mood for a friendly chat I ended up engaging him in one anyway. The man in the Grafton Harbor hat is from Belleville, IL. From the conversation I gathered he was a Grafton regular. His Segway was bought when they originally came out for $5,000.
He didn’t strike me as the Segway owner who bought it to be earth friendly. The vehicle is just a great way for him to get around. His only complaint was that one of his carbon fiber wheel coverings had shattered recently. When he bought this well known piece of transportation Segway made it seem like the carbon fiber was close to indestructible. Interestingly enough just a few days before I had seen a show talking about carbon fiber car bodies. This material was suppose to revolutionize car manufacturing. But do to cost and other factors this hasn’t become reality. The show actually mentioned how carbon fiber can shatter.
The gentleman stated learning to ride a Segway is very easy and that he enjoys riding it. He is actually in the market for one of the newer all terrain models if a buyer can be found for his current version. I mentioned how at Gnomedex one year Segway rides were being offered if you could track down the owner that was there. I’d also mentioned that the Segway tour at Navy Pier in Chicago was closed when we were there recently. We talked about Dean Kamen and his revolutionary wheel chair. The Segway owner talked about how this machine can go upstairs under the right conditions. During our conversation I also spoke about the different companies that have put the Segway to use. This owner also talked about all the different attachments you can buy to make the Segway more useful.
It was an interesting conversation in a very unexpected place to say the least. I was happy the Segway owner didn’t snap at me for taking his picture. And even though I have a feeling he would have been happier left alone. It was very nice of him to have a conversation with me about his machine. As far as I’m aware this is the first time I have seen a Segway in person. I can’t think of any other time I’ve seen one except online or television programs.
Honestly it frustrates me that I don’t have the cash to go buy one of these. This is one of those things that I have wanted for a long time. However where I live they may not be legal to operate. The Segway owner above wasn’t aware that some communities have banned Segway’s from operating.