As someone who has regular work meetings in the Titanic Quarter , I often saw groups of people whizzing past on a Segway. And I was intrigued!
If you’re not familiar with a Segway, it’s a two wheeled, self-balancing vehicle, perhaps “made famous” by mall cops on TV!
So, yesterday, myself and my friend Eileen took the Segway NI tour around the Titanic Quarter- a chance to see and hear about the history of the famous liner; the Slipways; its tender ship SS Nomadic; and the Pump House, for example, all from a very different perspective than your usual tour!
The tour started at 3pm at their offices at Unit 7, Titanic View Apartments, Queens Road, Belfast, (just behind the Dock Café/Mace). For about 15 minutes we were talked through how to use the machines and then got our chance to practice individually.
I was really surprised that it’s the user’s balance which dictates where the vehicle goes, and indeed, how fast it goes! So if you want to move forward, then tilt forward. If you want to go a bit faster, then tilt forward more!
Equally, to slow down to a stop you begin to tilt backwards until your back is straight -which will keep the vehicle still!
I found it tricky enough to begin with (others didn’t, might I add!), but after a few spins round their offices, we were good to go! The tour around the Titanic Quarter lasted about an hour, and I learnt some really interesting facts that I didn’t know before- such as the reason the wooden benches outside are different sizes (i.e a one seater, then a three seater) is that they are spaced in Morse code sequence!
After the hour, we stopped off at Titanic’s Dock & Pump House Café for a quick cup of tea and to stretch the legs. We then headed back up to the offices, and I allowed myself to go a tiny (and I mean, tiny!) bit faster than before the break! It’s really good craic and I can see why it’s so popular with hen/stag parties and team building.
As you are unable to use a Segway on public roads, this is the only Segway city-guided tour in the UK as the area is privately owned. The team at Segway NI also have an off-road tour in Craigavon, so you never know, Eileen and I could be down whizzing round Co Armagh soon!
Slowly does it! Nervous at first
Pros by the end! Eileen and I on the Segway tour