SEGWAY Isle of Man has been launched by two Douglas entrepreneurs who claim it offers the most fun it’s possible to have on two wheels standing up.
Jason Larrosa and Mark Davison, of Segway Isle of Man, based in the Villa Marina Arcade, in Douglas, are offering people the chance to have a go on the two-wheeled, electric personal transporters.
Mr Larrosa said: ‘Initially, we will be operating guided tours from the Villa Marina arcade at weekends during the winter months until the spring then we’ll be doing daily tours.
‘We are also offering more adventurous off road “safari” tours through some of the island’s beautiful forests and have permission to use them on Castletown beach, and hopefully soon on Douglas beach.’
Segways are legal for use on pavements in more than 30 American states and in Portugal, Sweden, the Czech Republic and in German cities.
But they can only be used on private land in the UK, where they are banned from both roads and pavements.
The Department of Infrastructure has supported the initiative.
In July a six-month order made by the department came into force to allow Segways on the Douglas promenades’ walkway.
There is a maximum speed of 6mph, and they may not be used between half an hour before sunset and half an hour after sunrise unless it is fitted with front and rear lights. People on Segways must give way to pedestrians.
‘We had our first Segway experience seven years ago in Washington DC and loved it,’ Mr Larrosa said.
‘People look at Segways and think they must be difficult to balance on but quite the opposite, the machine does all the hard work; all you have to do is step on and have fun with a gliding experience that is quite unique.
‘The art of riding a Segway can be quickly mastered by both young and old, although those under 16 will need to be accompanied by an adult.’
Mr Davison said: ‘We hope our tours will complement the town centre regeneration and “Living Promenade” projects and give people the opportunity to experience something unique to the island.
‘The Segway PT is battery operated, has a central steering column and is self-balancing. You get the sense of power and speed, yet you also feel an all-important sense of safety and absolute control. It just feels natural, safe, and instinctive.’
The Segways, with a maximum speed of 12mph can travel forwards, backwards and sideways.
Mr Davison said they are about 11 times more energy efficient than the average car, and that depending on the model, will travel between 12 and 24 miles on a single charge, with a 15p cost to recharge.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: South