When we were in Paris a few years back we did the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour to see a lot of sights real quick. While we were on that tour we noticed a group of tourists tooling around on Segways and I commented that I thought that would be a nifty thing to do, but we didn’t really pursue it.
During our research for this trip Cynthia happened upon the web site for Madsegs Tours. She recalled my interest and suggested we might look into this while we were in Madrid.
Once we got here we sorta put it on the back burner. I could tell that Cynthia was apprehensive about the whole idea. She was not at all familiar with the Segway and was not convinced she could operate one without hurting herself.
During our wanderings we noticed the Segways here and there and last night we saw them touring past the palace. Of particular note was a woman who was easily in her 60’s putting along and, by all appearances, managing the Segway quite handily. This seemed to tip the balance and we booked ourselves a tour for the following day.
We were instructed to meet our guides, Antony and Marta, at Plaza de EspaÃ±a in front of the big horse at 10 am.
They should just say it’s in front of the bronze sculptures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza…
Ah well, we got there early and it wasn’t long before we spotted Antony and Marta gliding into the park, Segways in tow.
Antony is Scottish, hailing from Edinburgh and Marta is a Spanish native so Cynthia had someone to speak Spanish with while I had someone who spoke my language.
Antony was GREAT! He took the time to go over the basics of how to use a Segway. He covered turning, going forward, in reverse, stopping and dismounting. Before long Cynthia had it down and he turned his attention to me and I quickly picked up the basics. He and Marta were very patient and let us go at our own pace and we didn’t move out till we were both confident.
Once we were ready we rolled out and started the tour.
Antony took us to the The Egyptian Temple of Debod
Click for full size
We moved around and visited several other sites. Honeslty, for us it was not about the sites, it was about the Segways…but Antony was a great tour guide and we did learn some interesting facts about Madrid.
Antony told us that our Segways were set on the beginner’s setting which was very low power. He said that once we got more comfortable he would move it up to the intermediate setting which was a little faster and more responsive. Cynthia said that would not be necessary, but by the time we got to the palace she was willing to give it a try.
Antony showed us a maneuver he calls “The Titanic” which involves letting go of the handlebars, leaning forward and zooming at full speed. He suggested Cynthia try it and she was nervous at first, but she quickly became a HUGE fan of “The Titanic” …
I got hooked on the maneuver as well, but was also quite fond of slaloming.
Man, what a blast! Cynthia totally enjoyed it as did I. I would totally recommend MadSegs to anyone visiting Madrid. It’s truly a fun and unique experience.