Segway just made their new electric scooter, the Ninebot — Segway's answer to hoverboards, those weird two-wheeled boards that explode occasionally — available for pre-order on Amazon
. And while the release of this new product, which will set you back a cool $999.00, is just the latest example of companies trying to cash in on our obsession with personal transportation devices (remember this?
), there's just something especially sucky about Segways.
While in D.C. I witnessed one of those Segway tours first hand, and it royally pissed me off. I was standing at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, paying my respect to those who served in Vietnam and other conflicts, when the tour pulled up.
The tour guide lead his troop of motorized pedestrians up to the memorial, turned around, and then gave his spiel on the memorial. The entire time this was happening, everyone was rocking back-and-forth, since you can't perfectly balance on a Segway, and it was like watching a group of manatees, they all just slowly moved about and bumped into things occasionally. I've never felt so much embarrassment for another human being.
It just seemed so bizarre and disrespectful, that as you are learning about American citizens who lost their lives, you are to preoccupied on keeping balance on your dumb electric scooter.
As shown in the picture above, people wear bike helmets, and look lame but that's ok. I'm not trying to shame people for being safe, that would be heartless, and Segways can be seriously dangerous man! The owner of Segway died from riding one off a cliff
, yes this really
happened. So on top of being expensive, looking silly while riding, now you can add potential death to the list of reasons to not ride a Segway.
And can anyone answer this question: WHY NOT JUST WALK? It seems that all of these devices, Segways, hoverboards, etc, are all just designed to let people move without really moving. These devices seem like a weird stopgap for people who don't want to drive, but at the same time, don't want to walk, and who, for whatever reason, nix the idea of a bike or skateboard or rollerblades or even unicycle.
I'm somewhat gleeful that none of these devices have caught on, as we would be marching perilously forward towards the society predicted by Wall-E aka HUMAN MANATEES.
Just imagine: walkways filled with people riding around in Segways designed to fully support a humans weight, being ferried from location to location like giant babies. Homes with moving walkways a la The Jetsons or hey, better yet, a house take care of its inhabitants like in the movie Smarthouse
(Don't watch though, trust me.)
Someone will probably invent the next bicycle at some point, and it will usher in a new era of personal transportation, just like the jet pack was suppose to. Until then, stick with walking or a bike, your body will thank you for it.