Don’t sneer at the Segway tourists
Ryan Summerlin June 12, 2014
Do we have outdoor recreation snobs in our midst? Based on the nasty looks and the middle finger flashed our way while on a reluctant adventure to which I submitted, I would say yes.
A couple of weeks ago when my daughter was in town with her partner they got really excited about Glenwood Adventure Co.’s Segway tour up to the cross on Red Mountain. No, not a Segway, I thought to myself. Those nerds going through town on those strange two-wheel devices was not how I wanted to enjoy my day.
“What about rafting down the Roaring Fork?” I suggested as a great alternative. My daughter Sara did that before and her partner Rachel does kayak tours as an occupation. Neither of them had ever ridden on a Segway. What was a dad to do?
Before I knew it, Sara booked the tour and paid my way. I started reading the brochure and got the jitters. Truth be told, I am not the most coordinated guy in the world, and my sense of balance has gotten worse with age. A little before the trip I walked over and spoke to Ken Murphy, owner of GAC, trying my best to learn more while remaining macho. Ken told me that if you can stand and walk, you can ride a Segway.
First we were outfitted with helmets and then provided a training video. Next we had a practice run in the parking lot. I initially wobbled a bit, but once I realized the Segway operated based on body movements, I was semi-comfortable once I stopped my jerky movements. And then we had to ride over a board. I survived, and we were off on our adventure.
Josh Baker, a military veteran, was our guide. We followed him as ducklings would their mother down Cooper to Seventh Street, working our way to Red Mountain Trail. Rachel pointed out that I had an ear-to-ear smile on my face. It was a blast.
Riding up the mountain, Josh pointed out a Black Hawk helicopter. In his military days, part of his role was to rappel out of those choppers. I was impressed how he found time to ride next to each of us at one point or another on the trip.
Please no sneers or rude gestures. After all, most of these folks are guests paying good money to enjoy a week or weekend in a place we get to call home. If you haven’t tried a Segway, I highly recommend it.