Touring Coronado Island on a High-Tech Segway
A Segway tour with Another Side of San Diego Tours was another “first” for me. I really wanted to try this in Paris, but I¹m glad I waited for the flat open spaces of Coronado Island, which is a must-see destination for any San Diego getaway.
Coronado Island is a 10-minute drive from downtown San Diego and is a darling island sprinkled with small shops and restaurants. Another Side of San Diego Tours offers its guests many different ways to experience the island, including by boat or on a bicycle. But there was no other choice than a Segway for this California Girl. The machine has been called the “bike of the future” but there was nothing about the Segway that felt like a bike to me.
After a brief orientation riding my Segway on grass, I got used to starting and stopping this high-tech machine. It can go pretty fast but it’s surprisingly stable. Yes, hosting a video segment while learning to ride a Segway is an exercise in coordination, but I had it easy compared to our cameraman, the multi-talented Jimmy Dunn. He was shooting us while riding his Segway backward, but I must warn you please leave that to the professionals. Jimmy shoots video on boats, racing cars, and out of helicopters, so he had no problem handling the Segway tour. For me, however, talking and looking at a camera while riding a Segway was a huge accomplishment.
I loved riding a Segway. It was almost as if the machine became an extension of me, like one of those sci-fi movies where some artificial device is able to read my mind and deliver immediately. A slight movement of my feet or shift in my body weight would send the Segway into a turn, another direction or even a complete stop.
It did make my feet tired. It was almost like when my trainer has me balance on a Bosu ball, and all those tiny little muscles in my feet and core have to stabilize me. I think a foot massage after this tour is a must. I suggest you wear comfortable clothes, comfortable shoes, and bring a windbreaker. There is a small compartment in the front of the Segway to store a few things.
It’s worth talking about the technology on the Segway. I am not a techie, but here are the key design elements that I found interesting:
Dynamic Stabilization: This means the Segway is designed to keep you from falling over. The turning radius is really tight, which is why a slight lean made my Segway go where I wanted.
Electric propulsion: It’s a clean machine and it’s quiet. This technology makes for great traction and braking. I did notice that it automatically slowed down when I took it to higher speeds, which made it a bit wobbly. So I learned to slow down when it felt like it was “pulling” me back, which allowed me to find my balance again.
Advanced Sensing: Remember my little sci-fi mind-reading analogy? Well it turns out that’s somewhat true! It’s the combination of propulsion, energy, inertial sensing, and an intuitive user-interface that creates that feeling.
Details of the Tour
The three-hour tour brings you up-close to all of the sights of Coronado Island. Chris stopped to point out the bungalow architecture and unique upscale-yet-laid-back touches that make Coronado an ideal place to get away and slow down. Hotel del Coronado and Coronado Beach are two of the sites on the tour, and zipping by the bougainvillea-covered white stucco-walled homes in perfect weather made for a dazzling way to spend an afternoon.
Unlike a bus tour, we were able to stop for an ice cream cone when we wanted to. I’m not sure if this is part of the regular tour, but I enjoyed my cone seaside at the Hotel del Coronado while watching the Navy SEALS go through some drills.
Another Side of San Diego Tours also offers a host of other signature tours such as The Plunge Biking Experience in La Jolla, Gaslamp Flavor, History Walking Tour, and the San Diego Sailing and Champagne Tour. The guides at Another Side of San Diego Tours pride themselves on knowing the city, and will happily make suggestions for restaurants and other destinations. Consider Another Side of San Diego Tours a concierge on wheels. This is a great way to get to know a new city. Yes, you might feel a little dorky wearing a helmet, but once you become one with your Segway and start zipping around town, you might just flash a cheeky smile at the poor hoofers around you.
Another Side Tours
300 G Street, San Diego, CA 92010