Volume 16, Issue 31 - July 31 - August 6, 2008

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Getting Around

Stories on the move

by Erica Stratton

“You think your way forward,” says saleswoman Kelly Talbott as she steps aboard the Segway. A barely perceptible lean, and the machine moves as smoothly across the carpet as if she were controlling it with thought alone. A moment later, I step aboard the same machine and crash into the doorframe of Annapolis Segway Tours. Maybe I’m not cut out to live in the future.

Within 15 minutes, though, the average Segway user will adjust to having every tilt of her body echoed by a machine much more sensitive than, say, a bike or roller blades. The sensation of being on a magic carpet may be the reason these machines fly. Segways only go a maximum of 12 miles an hour, so even while mounted you are legally a pedestrian.

A Segway costs $5,150; renting one from Annapolis Segway Tours starts at $45 an hour.

Despite price, Talbott says they’re popular with commuters: You can “ride them out of the elevator and park them in the corner of your office.” Like scooters, you don’t need license or insurance. Finally, they plug into the wall instead of the gas pump — another factor that’s helped double Annapolis Segway’s sales this year.

See last weeks 'Getting Around'

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