(Thanks to Will the tour guide for taking the picture, even if it does look like one of those "how not to set up a picture so it looks like the Washington Monument is growing out of someone's head" chapters in a photo book. By the way, if you've never met her, this is Padre Sittingstill.)
Yes, the first thing I did in Washington Saturday was to hop the Metro to Capital Segway for my long-awaited first Segway ride. It was AMAZING. I want one. Badly. If I could figure out a way to get to and from work on one I'd be seriously considering it.
Before the tour, you watch a video from Segway that basically says "These things are incredible, but not idiot-proof, and these are the ways you need not to be an idiot." Things like not dropping one wheel off a curb, not riding up to a wet marble floor, not carrying a baby on your shoulders, not jumping off ramps, etc. (If you do any of these things, you change into an animated stick figure of sorts, then you fall, and your head or other body part is replaced by the big exploding star that serves as the universal symbol for "ow".) Then, when everyone is sufficiently nervous, the staff get you up on one in the store (Rule 1: Kickstands cost $50. If you get up on the Segway with the kickstand in place, it will break.). The first 20 seconds is the strangest, but you truly can't knock the thing over. You spend about fifteen minutes zipping around the store, then it's out to the park across the street for some practice in the open, and finally off on the tour. My own interest levels: tour, 5%; riding Segway, 95%. Everyone starts a little tentatively and an hour later is surreptitiously switching from the yellow "intermediate" key (which limits your overall speed and turn speed) to the red "advanced" one. Wow. Just wow. I was thrilled.
Should you decide to book through Capital, I'd advise calling them; you can book tickets online but the time information they give you is not correct. The online directions said to arrive fifteen minutes early (for the in-store training) for the 12:30 tour which would be over at 2:30; the way it actually worked, we didn't start training until well after 12:30 but then also didn't get back from the tour until about 4:00.
More on my trip tonight!