Segways add an adventurous twist to sightseeing

Tourists who feel like ambling along during a sightseeing tour without being rushed through their favourite spots in a car or bus or even explore areas where vehicles may not be able to enter can now do so through segways, a mode of transportation popular in many countries.

Tourists visiting US use segways in this AFP file picture

Segway Tours kickstarted their India operations earlier this month here offering visitors to the national capital a tour along the Rajpath on segways.

The segway - a sort of a self balancing mini-bicycle powered by a battery. With dimensions no larger than the average adult body and the ability to emulate human balance, the Segway PT uses the same space as a pedestrian, and can go wherever a person can walk.

Segway Tours are already a rage at the foreign tourist destinations including Singapore, US and Europe.

The segway tour promises "an abundance of photo opportunities of historic buildings, monuments and memorials, including the Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Parliament House as well as the scenic beauty surrounding vaious Ministry buildings on Rajpath, Amar Jawan Jyoti and the India Gate."

"Each ride is carried under the supervision of a tour supervisor and two marshals. Along the ride through fascinating sections of the city the visitors can hear informative historic and current facts about the area from them will also take care of the rider's safety and security.

Each tourist is provided with a helmet (compulsory) and additional safety gears like elbow and knee pads to ensure an optimal tour experience," says Rony Abraham, Head, Segway India.

Three 45 minute tours are conducted every morning from 5 to 8 am in groups of six. A segway instructor says, "The excitement begins with a brief training session and for the remaining 45 minutes, the tourists get the opportunity to take their skills to the streets."

While the tours are conducted irrespective of the weather rain or shine a tourist's weight may be the only factor that plays spoilsport.

"The segway PT is appropriate for those weighing more than 40 kg and nor exceeding 100 kg. All, tourists should have the ability to make motions such as climbing and descending stairs without assistance. Children under the age of 12 are not recommended on the tour for safety reasons" says Abraham.

Each ride is priced Rs 1350 on weekdays and Rs 1640 on weekends.

"In other countries we have not faced any issues with the weather conditions. We are yet to test it as per Indian weather conditions. If not suitable we will not conduct the tours in extreme weather conditions like sandstorm" says Abraham.

Tour operator plans to expand their services in the city to include the Humayun's tomb, the Garden of Five Senses and the Delhi Haat in the current tour.

"Even though this is a pilot project in India. We aim to expand our reach to multiple tourist destinations all over the country," says Abraham. 

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