You know, Larry has some awesome ideas sometimes. So when he suggested to me, plus friends Cathi and Barry to buzz around Long Beach (CA) on Segway two-wheeled electric vehicles, YEAH. Was it really, REALLY fun? “Better than I actually expected,” was Larry’s review and he was right. You find this place at The Pike in Long Beach, a location once an amusement park, but now a mall and hotel complex next to the convention center. But FIRST, a training video to scare the bejezus out of you — the little robot cartoon guy shows all the ways to fall and crack your head on the sidewalk.
Then, practice while silently sweating: “Am I going to be the weenie who cannot do this for very long?” Our guide told us to drive ON THE SIDEWALKS, not streets — anywhere pedestrians walk. Thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), that’s a LOT of places wheeling up and down sidewalks, across streets and bridges, around traffic bumps and flat, safe surfaces. Seriously doubt most cities are that wheelie-accessible.
There is a little backpack on the front of the Segway for your stuff (they have sunscreen to use on the counter). But I recommend keeping the camera around your neck. And don’t let my photos fool you, it may look like you just STAND THERE, but yowza, you really do work it. It was a blustery day; we didn’t sweat but we felt the burn.
Smart of him, Larry suggested a February Thursday morning. Few humans in our path. Yet, about an hour into it, we got GOOD. Our guide left us at one point, once it was clear we were Jetson-esque, channeling George, Jane, Elroy and the daughter (what was her name??). Or more accurately: Ginger, Snoop, Sawyer and Bubba – the Segways all had name tags.
Two hours was plenty – seriously, all four of us (including marathon runners C + B) admitted our legs were blubber and feet cramping. A Segway apparently DOES give some exercise. Larry coined this adventure “Worth The Risk.” Very clever, that Larry. Here’s where we rolled around and to:
- Queen Mary and Spruce Goose
- Shoreline Village and marina
- Along the beach on the pedestrian/bike way
- Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific (well, a parking lot away)
- Ferris Wheel
- Convention Center
It was a little sad giving Ginger up, but my legs were done. Cathi suggested we then walk to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, about six blocks away for nourishment.
Prices vary for the Segway tours due to couponing, so keep your eye out. The brochure rate states “starting at $75 for two hours.” Visit the website: SEGWAY LONG BEACH RENTALS AND TOURS. Their brochure also showed a Santa Monica Pier option, but my suggestion… take the Long Beach one. More good sights and fewer people to avoid.