This morning I’m sitting in Sweet Finnish, one of my new coffeeshops here in JP, and I just watched a man pass by on the far sidewalk, riding on a Segway. While biking will always be my first love, I’ve had a little thing for Segways since I dreamed about them a while back , and I was struck by how beautiful it looked as it glided by, seeming to float it’s passenger along, perching him at that odd, forward-leaning angle. I think what makes it attractive in this case is the appropriateness of the technology for this particular user, a man who without the Segway would depend on crutches to get around.
I couldn’t help but watch him a few weeks ago when he came into Sweet Finnish to buy coffee. He rolled up to the counter and stood there eyeing the display of pastries, the Segway tilting and shifting to respond to his subtlest movements. A few minutes later he rolled to his table, coffee in hand, and leaned over to put his cup and bag down, while the Segway somehow adjusted to support his changing center of gravity. He struggled a bit as he stepped own, wrestling with his crutches and slowing shuffling his legs into position. Later, just as he was leaving, I was mesmerized as he stood by the door and removed his coffee from the holder, standing for several seconds on the Segway without holding onto the handlbars.
The Segway may not have been the transportation revolution it was touted to be when it first appeared, but it’s still an astounding machine to watch when it provides ease of mobility to someone who might not otherwise have it.