When I signed on to write the Insiders’ Guide to Richmond, like any good freelance writer, I figured I would do as many fun things I’ve always wanted to do as I could and write them off for tax purposes.  If there is another reason to be a freelance writer, I haven’t found it. Since I started the project just before Christmas and had no time to shop for my children who don’t need anything, I also figured it would be thoughtful of me to include my family in my work and make them do (I mean give them tickets for) a Segway tour of downtown Richmond.  Segway of Richmond    

I’d been on a Segway briefly once, and it was really fun, so I honestly thought they might like the zooming about our town on wheels. (Has anybody staged Our Town using Segways? Be my guest.)   I booked us a 4-person trip to see the landmarks of our fair city. Couple problems. The mere mention of the gift was met with groans–yet another attempt at forced family fun. My children were home December and January and between busy social lives, frigid temperatures, lots of frozen precip, and zero interest, there was never a good day to do the tour. They didn’t want to go AT ALL. Perhaps it had something to do with the fear of not being cool. How’s that? How could riding on a Segway with a bike helmet on with a hipster tour guide and your parents not be cool? 

So with my children’s blessing and sighs of relief, my husband and I finally took the tour this beautiful, balmy Sunday morning with a couple of fun friends who had no qualms about looking goofy on Segways. That’s kind of a pre-requisite. I admit I was a little nervous after another friend told me she had seen a woman wipe out nastily on the tour we were about to take,  and then when the very patient tour guide mentioned it was “all about balance–just like skiiing”–I had to laugh since the last dumb thing I had done in a series of dumb things that usually involve propelling myself inappropriately out-of-control was tear two ligaments skiing–but the die had been cast.  And I’m happy to report that nobody died–or wound up in a cast. One woman tried to repeatedly, but she was unsuccessful.

Let me be clear. A cute 23 year old on a Segway is cool. The rest of us—not so much. When we arrived at the shop and saw our comrades-in Segways were four women in their late 60’s and early 70’s, it suddenly didn’t seem like we were living on the edge quite so much anymore. Ah well.