I’m going to confess this right up front – when the Segway® personal transporter first hit the market, I wondered what it said about society that people were too lazy to WALK from place to place.
I’ll admit now that I may have judged too harshly.
The Bend Tour Company recently began offering Segway® tours of Bend, so this was my first opportunity to go for a glide. Our guide got us started with a short training session in the shop, teaching us to operate the controls and navigate different terrain. Once we’d learned the ropes, we headed outside to get comfortable zipping around the parking lot.
I’m not ashamed to admit I was giggling like a middle schooler on nitrous oxide. Seriously, guys – the Segway® is FUN!
As soon as we proved we weren’t likely to maim each other or pedestrians, we set out for a tour of the Old Mill District and Downtown Bend. If you’re familiar with those two parts of Bend, then you understand why the Segway® makes a fabulous way to familiarize yourself with the lay of the land. Traveling by car, visitors are so focused on navigating one-way streets and roundabouts, that they miss a lot of details. On foot, the distance can be daunting, and you’re likely to see only one route from point A to point B.
But on a Segway® you have just enough speed to make it simple to zip back and forth, seeing different landmarks and neighborhoods and becoming intimately familiar with how the two districts are laid out. For a newcomer to Bend, or even for a resident craving a unique, intimate glimpse of the area, it’s a fabulous way to get around.
And did I mention the fun factor?
Aside from the unique thrill of riding a Segway® and getting acquainted with Bend’s layout, the tours also offer a historical overview of the city along with a running narrative of different sights, attractions, restaurants, and shopping opportunities.
It’s also a pretty eco-friendly way to see the scenery. Traveling by Segway® you can cruise a fair length of the Deschutes River without having to drive your gas-guzzler from one end of the Old Mill District to the edge of Downtown Bend.
Guests can choose from two different tour offerings. The Bend Tour is a classic 1.5 hour guided Segway® glide for $50. For $65, you can opt for the Bend Tour Plus, which lasts 2.5 hours and offers additional history and sightseeing.
To make reservations or learn more about the tour offerings, visit The Bend Tour Company online.
Oh, and in case I didn’t mention it, this Segway® thing is FUN!