Yesterday we went on a Segway tour of Amsterdam with BestDam Segway Tours. It was my second time, DB’s first time. This second time for me was certainly much warmer! My first time on a Segway was in January and it was SO COLD! Yesterday was warm and sunny and perfect.
The guys that run BestDam are great. They make sure you are able and comfortable on your Segway before heading out onto the street. First you have to get set up on your Segway.
Then you practice inside with little cones. You learn to stop and go and weave in between the cones.
And then we’re out on the street, negotiating bike, pedestrian, car and tram traffic. We did the architecture tour, so every few minutes we’d stop and Daniel would tell us about the buildings we were looking at. Most of the tour took place in the Jordaan, but also around the Dam (top photo). I’m a little surprised that they take people into such crowded and busy areas. We are used to the amount and type of traffic on the streets of Amsterdam, but most people are not. I wonder how many people fall off or get into problems on a Segway in the city center.
I am so lucky! I have a friend who invited me on a Segway tour! Andy is writing a travel piece on BestDam Segway Tours and invited Jacki and I to come along. Yesterday afternoon we met at Bilderdijkpark in Amsterdam to start our adventure.
We were met there by Daniel, our tour guide and Segway trainer.
We spent 15 minutes getting ready to roll. Daniel told us all about the Segway and before we stepped a foot on it we knew all the theory about how the machines work and how to stop and go and turn. He then put them in training mode (VERY slow) and we got to try it out, one at a time.
Here’s Andy on his training session.
I was kind of nervous to ride a Segway. I had no idea how easy or hard this would be. I’m here to tell you – it’s a PIECE OF CAKE! And super super fun. You only have to shift your weight to move the thing how you want it to move. Move the bar in the middle left or right and that’s where you go. Stopping is a breeze (my biggest concern). After practicing a few minutes on a side street Daniel changed our Segways to normal mode and we were off touring the entire city.
We rode in the bike lanes, which makes Amsterdam the perfect city to try a Segway because of all the bike lanes. We were told that the top speed was 20kph (about 12mph) and we all managed to ride quite a lot at top speed. We made a large circle through the city, from Bilderdijkpark, to the Vondelpark, P.C. Hoofstraat, Museumplein, Spiegelgracht, Rembrandtplein, Stopera, Damstraat, the Dam, Rozengracht and back to Bilderdijkpark. Wow! We didn’t take our feet off these things for 90 minutes!
All along the way Daniel pointed out things in the city that even us longtime Amsterdam dwellers didn’t know. I can imagine that if you were a real tourist you would find it even more interesting.
Riding a Segway is so fun! Really. I’d do it again for sure. It’s so easy, easier than you think, and very intuitive to ride. Zipping along in the city is cool, and everyone looks and stares at you like you’re a rock star. A Segway makes you feel special too. 🙂
The only thing about yesterday…. the cold. I was So Cold even though I thought I dressed for it. Especially my feet. I didn’t realize how cold my feet were until we got off at the end and I could hardly walk. My feet were numb and frozen. When I finally got home (all the way to Haarlem, via public transport, so an hour later) I took a hot shower to warm up again. It’s not like skiing or biking or running when your movement keeps you warm in the cold. This is like standing and waiting for a bus in the cold for 90 minutes. OK, the time flies by because you are are having so much fun, but your cold feet don’t know that.
My advice? Book a Segway tour. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have standing still.