Segways, one of the most technologically advanced modes of transportation, have made their way to Costa Rica.
Most popular amongst law enforcement, security, they are gaining more support as a safe, “green” way to get to and from work, the market, and – most importantly – from the tee-off to the eighteenth hole!
My associate, Gabriel, and I were able to get a firsthand tour from the go-to girl for Segways in Costa Rica – Tami Buttenhof.
Watching these machines roll down the ramp off the back of the delivery truck at Parque la Sabana (Sabana Park) didn’t help the butterflies in my stomach, but after Tamis’ thorough yet surprisingly simple safety tutorial, I strapped on my helmet, placed one hand on the handlebar, plopped my feet in the center of the designated spots and, to my surprise, stood there with ease.
Tami explained that the balance is all controlled by five different gyroscopes under the feet, not to mention the acceleration and braking by naturally leaning forward or backward.
Segways In Costa Rica Video
To watch this short Segway video, please click on the small white triangular Play button below and allow a few seconds for the video to begin.
Turning and maneuvering are a breeze because the handlebars (height-adjustable, thankfully) are used for only that, differing from motorcycles or scooters. Gabriel and I were ready to give it a whirl… in “Turtle” mode at least.
After a tame, but educational lap around the track, we felt prepared for the full tour. Tami took each “key,” which actually resembled a necklace style stop-watch, and changed our settings from “Turtle” to “normal…” I guess the brave engineer who suggested “hare” was probably fired.
Needless to say, however, Segways are programmed not to travel at speeds greater than twenty kilometers per hour – which is plenty if you ask me!
So off we went, bending our knees to absorb speed bumps, trekking over grass, sticks, and pebbles, and receiving numerous jaw-dropped facial expressions from youngsters at recess. I, the tallest of the group, had to duck under the occasional tree branch in only the thickest parts of the park.
Speaking of ducks, we soon made our way over to the lake to visit our favorite little ducklings who continue to grow at a tremendous rate. (How ’bout that for a següe?)
After saying our hellos from atop our mechanical transportation devices, we followed the sidewalk to all ends of the park – baseball fields, soccer fields, all the way over to the gigantic new national stadium – I was really getting the hang of this!
We decided to make a little toe-wiggling pit-stop since after an hour’s worth of intense riding ones toes are bound to get a little bit numb. Thankfully all thirty seemed to be in working condition, thus we continued: downhill, uphill, and along winding pathways, all the way back to our home base near the shiny new rollerblading rink.
We rode in circles with excitement at the thought of such a toy that was not only fun, but safe, reliable, and extremely user-friendly in almost every way imaginable.
Gabriel and I sheepishly retreated from the pedestals of our new favorite vehicles, thanked Tami of www.SegwayCostaRica.com for her lovely tour, and watched sadly as they all went back into the blue delivery truck only to wait for more promising owners in the future.
Written by VIP Member Charles Edwards who is a regular visitor to Costa Rica and dreams of retirement here “one day.”
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