A Segway PT, that is. Coolest thing ever.

While on vacation, we took the Segway tour around Epcot’s World Showcase. The first 45 minutes or so were spent inside, getting accustomed to the machine and how it works. It’s pretty awesome — it’s constantly adjusting to where your center of balance is to keep you upright, and moving from one place to another is amazingly intuitive. To go forward, lean forward. To slow down or stop, lean back. Tilt the steering mechanism to the left or right to turn. And that’s it.

Okay, so it was a little more tricky than that at first. We’re used to adapting to how other things move: on a rocking boat, you instinctively shift your weight to accommodate the waves and keep from falling over. The Segway works in exactly the opposite way, using its gyroscopes and whatnot to keep itself balanced under you. So when brand new riders step on, they tend to do the “Segway Shuffle,” the competition between the Segway’s compensation for your movements, and your compensation for the Segway’s. I was not immune to the shuffle, but it didn’t take too long at all to convince my body that it could relax and everything would be okay.

After the classroom portion, we went out on the tour, which was worth every penny. We had a great instructor/guide, it was a beautiful day for riding outdoors, and even though we were limited to “turtle mode” — a maximum 5 mph — it was downright exhilarating. The only really unexpected part was how tired my legs were afterward, until I realized that I had been pretty actively standing for nearly two hours.

Like I said, I want one. It would be the perfect commuting vehicle for me — the library always seems just a little too far to walk to when I’m running late in the morning, but close enough that I feel guilty firing up the Honda. When it comes down to it, we’ll probably redo the bathroom before we buy one, but I want one really badly.