From Laptop to Segway

So, I used to make fun of people on Segways. Who hasn’t scoffed at a bunch of tourists puttering down the street like lemmings? I mean, why not walk? It’s just more evidence we’re growing lazier and out of shape.

That all changed when I got an e-mail from my director buddy who was doing another video for my CEO Double.

We have a shoot in San Diego next week. Can you come and pretend to be Dan (not exec’s real name), he asked.

Remembering I had a blast on the standup scooter in Phoenix, I said yes and wondered what I’d gotten myself into.

“This time we’re gonna have you ride one of those bicycle taxis, except there won’t be any passengers,” he said.

I had a hard time visualizing this assignment, so all I could do the night before was send up a prayer to the Transportation Gods to spare me a broken ankle.

At USS Midway. No idea what to expect.
Up with the sun the next morning, we were off to the USS Midway. This is an aircraft carrier and there was no bicycle taxi. Just a helicopter buzzing overhead. Hmmm. It shall be revealed, I kept telling myself. Just trust the director.

Chris briefs crew on deck of USS Midway
And it was. First sequence of the day: exec parachutes onto the deck, rips off helmet, gives thumbs up. Luckily, I only had to do the second and third thing; they got a real skydiver for the tricky part. (Check out the video.)

Then, we were off to the Segway store, where Rhonda gave me a quick course. (I was tempted to say “crash course.” Not a good idea.) I thought if senior citizens can ride one, so can I. Turns out it’s pretty easy and doesn’t require the balance of a gymnast. I can do this, I thought.

Rhonda calibrates my Segway. Help me, Rhonda!
First stop, San Diego Zoo, where I turned heads crossing in front of the main entrance – with the light, of course. From what I recall, only one insult was hurled at me. Something like “Hey, Segway Man!” You see, it’s one thing to wear shorts and a t-shirt on a Segway, another thing to wear a suit.

Next location, Petco Park, where we discovered it’s best to take the thing out of Training mode because I was having trouble getting up a 3-degree incline. I actually had to perform an emergency dismount once. Embarrassing.

Anyway, there’s a beautiful plaza in front of the stadium, which I traversed over and over, stopping to whip out my smartphone to take a photo of the field. By now, I’d lost all pride and was oblivious to the curious stares of onlookers.

Last stop was Coronado Island, where I spent 45 minutes zooming up and down the sidewalk with the bay and skyline in the background. It was a beautiful day and I had a gentle breeze at my face. Nice work if you can get it! I have a photo to prove it.

Smiling now, because it's over!
Since then, I’ve traded in the Segway and returned to my laptop, where I do my best work. But one day I just may get on that horse again for fun – and remember to take it out of Training gear.