Can You Use A Segway With Only One Hand?

October 11, 2014 — 1 Comment

Recently I had the opportunity to try out a Segway for the first time.


ryan haack segway


I absolutely loved it.

To be honest, though, when my friend Cabell first suggested the idea, I was a little hesitant. Not because I didn’t think I’d be able to do it, but because it was unfamiliar and, frankly, I didn’t want to die. I had images of being spun uncontrollably and being launched into oncoming traffic lodged in my imagination for some reason. I’m all about reasonable expectations.

The opportunity presented itself because I was staying in DC before heading to the e-NABLE conference at Johns Hopkins and we thought it would be pretty cool to do a Segway tour of the city rather than walk it all. Best decision ever.

We arrived at Capital Segway and took in the brief training before going out for some real-world practice.

ryan haack segway

I freakin’ love training, you guys.

The control over the Segway itself is incredibly simple. In fact, it’s almost completely determined by your toes. Sounds crazy, right? When your toes are up, it slows you down – when your toes are down, vroom vroom! The only really important positioning is to have your feet both dead center on the machine. This makes for complete stability. And turning is super simple. All you have to do is pull the handle to the left or right; no leaning involved at all. In fact, the only time one of the guides said something in reference to my hand situation was when one of them said I could just hold the middle rather than the right handle as that might be easier.

I didn’t do that, of course.

After a few minutes of practice, I felt confident and we took off to view the city.

We all had an earbud in so we could hear our guides through the communication device hanging around our neck and they (the guides) were great. A couple hilarious college dudes who knew their stuff and made the tour fun. The top speed of our machines was 13 mph and, at times, I took full advantage.

We zoomed by nearly every important monument and memorial, including the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. It was my first time in DC and I was stunned by the size of each of these iconic creations! The only break we took was by Lincoln, which was great. What a view.

Cabell and me at the Lincoln Memorial, not looking like nerds at all.

Cabell and me at the Lincoln Memorial, not looking like nerds at all.

Me and Cabell and that big pointy thing.

Me and Cabell and that big pointy thing.

After about two hours, the tour concluded and we returned to where we started. Our guides were awesome, the experience was fantastic and I wanted to buy a Segway. Seriously, it was so fun! If you ever have the chance to get on a Segway, do it!

Even if you have two hands.

Thanks to Cabell for the (most of) the videos!


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One response to Can You Use A Segway With Only One Hand?

  1. Very cool! I have often wondered if I could use a Segway. I really had no idea if they were hand controlled or not. Thanks for going first.

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