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Bernie and Peggy, Mall Cops

March 19, 2012

Dorks riders on the storm

It was a dark and stormy afternoon and we were the only two brave souls booked into the Segway Nation Tour of the Texas State Capitol’s grounds and Downtown Austin.

Yes, we took our lives into our hands and decided it was time to brave the jeers of family and friends and take a Segway Tour. (We do suggest you experience a ride on one before you laugh at how dorky we look.)  Paul Blart: Mall Cop made it so look easy. Guess what?  It is easy... and so much fun to perform effortless gyroscopic maneuvers on these strange wheeled appendages. Balance comes naturally on them and it seems to be impossible to lose it. And of course if we were to fall, our bodies would be closer to the ground than when we are riding our bikes - and our speed would be slower.

Really, Segways are amazingly easy to is all in the natural balance of body weight. Even I can do it and in the rain. To go faster you lean forward, to slow down you lean back, to stop quickly - drop your butt towards the ground and to turn just push the handle to the left or right. That’s it! it really does stop, go and turn on a dime. It is so intuitive that within a minute or two of being on the thing you can go, stop and steer gracefully around and between all the people on a crowded downtown sidewalk.

There is a temptation, when no one is around, to open it up and speed away. However, when we attempted to go over 12 miles an hour the Segway started resisting like an old horse that doesn’t want to pull - actually like a speed governor on a car...a gentle, but somewhat alarming sensation to say the least.

The Texas Capitol Building’s exterior is made of red granite, quarried  50 miles north of Austin. It is the largest state capitol in the country (Of course, this is Texas); second only to the US Capitol in size, although with the later addition of a statue on top, it stands 15’ taller. Underground there is a building extension that, utilizing skylights, doubles the size of the capitol building itself, thus keeping the views of the state house unobstructed.

There were lots of school buses parked around the property and plenty of loose kids wanted to climb on our Segways with us. We scurried away to avoid damaging any children.

Downtown sidewalks were next on our tour, and there we were completely ignored by all pedestrians and cars. We glided around columns, mailboxes, people and traffic cones with great style... and then the rains came in ernest. Our guide kept saying the rain wouldn’t hurt the Segways!!! Big wind, sideways rain, 20 degree drop in temperature... the return trip was fierce; particularly since we couldn’t see.

Freezing and wet, but elated, we returned to the camper for a warming beverage. Who knows, perhaps we will try bungie jumping next.

Unfortunately for Segway, we all saw the pictures of then President Bush falling off a Segway... perhaps showing his loyalty to big oil?

Cartoon and photo collage by Peg

Love it!  Transportation by any means! Yes, I'm now installed in the Buc-ees store!  (Surfside ,Texas)  As of 3/10/2012. A new begining and a new adventure! 

Take care. Best Wishes to you both.


OK kids, NOW I am jelous. I have always wanted to ride one of those things even thought the owner of the company killed himself with one. They look like the greatest thing since sliced bread for the cops to have.

Try flying in a Stearman biplane. It's the most fun thing I have ever done :>)


Sounds like a great way to commute to the Larchmont RR station (a little less than a mile).

How much does one cost? Are you going to buy one? Invest in Segway?

I always wondered how come W didn't play on any teams -- now I know!

Admiringly, Stan

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