One engineer’s interpretation of the Segway as a hybrid vehicle


In a discussion of commuting options (in which I was primarily an observer), the following exchange took place:

A: I would rather get kicked in the shins every morning than bike up the massive hill that sits between my apartment and main campus.

B: Have you tried an electric bike?

C: If you're going to eliminate pedaling, then you may as well go all the way and get a Segway.

B: Actually, I used to own a Segway. I was floored by the engineering achievement of creating a device that combined the speed benefits of walking with the exercise benefits of driving, and for just the cost of a used Honda!

Note, of course, that this is just one engineer's opinion. Some people at Microsoft are quite enamored of the Segway device.

Public Service Announcement: Today is Bike to Work Day. A number of commute stations will be set up along popular bike routes in the greater Seattle area to hand out bicycling information and snacks. And if you pass a guy creeping up the 520 hill at around 8:00am, that was probably me. Sorry I forgot to wave.

Comments (12)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Every day is Bike to Work Day!  I even bike FROM work as well.

    20 minutes of Spanish sunshine — or torrential rain, in the winter months — each day whilst cycling is great for the soul AND the waistline.

  2. Anonymous says:

    E-Mail in the form of the telegraph did exist before the telephone.

    Imagine a world where every child was taught Morse code instead of typing and each home had a telegraph station. Teens would wear out their fingers using their battery-powered portable telegraph to chat with friends.

  3. Anonymous says:

    @Zan:   and with creative spelling, code words and abbreviations similar text messaging.

  4. Anonymous says:

    David Walker, I refer you to the book "Peopleware" by deMarco and Lister – Chapter 11 The Telephone.

    "And that's the beauty of the BellOPhone," says A.G. "It never gives you the chance to wonder whether to answer it or not."

  5. Anonymous says:

    Huh… TIL that Bike to Work Day/Week is different in different parts of the country. It was last Thursday in the SF Bay Area.

    But really, every day should be Bike to Work Day! </zealot>

  6. Anonymous says:

    That's funny!  The speed benefits of walking with the exercise benefits of driving….

    I can't help but believe that if e-mail was invented first, and the telphone later, that the telephone would be considered quite revolutionary.  You can talk to someone *in real time*!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Telegraphs have a pile of codewords actually, plus shortenings and abbreviations that make it similar to texting.

    Today's teens would probably love a Morse texter though – imaging texting without having to look at the screen – just use the key in their pocket to text away discreetly. Responses also need not be read, but the phone can vibrate instead. They can send all their texts without anyone knowing. Perfect.

  8. Anonymous says:

    >Teens would wear out their fingers using their battery-powered portable telegraph to chat with friends.

    And on a noisy night, it would give meaning to the question, what the *beep* is going on in there?

  9. Anonymous says:

    "Today's teens would probably love a Morse texter though – imaging texting without having to look at the screen"

    Don't know about you but my younger nieces seem to have perfected THAT technique anyhow ;)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Re texting without looking, and getting the results as vibrations:  Eventually we'll have implantable electrodes to allow communication with other people.  I hope we get to control who can listen to our thoughts…  Yay, a whole new morass of privacy settings to deal with!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention: the electrodes will allow unwanted ads coming directly into our brains, unless we buy an ad-blocker.

  12. Anonymous says:

    @David Walker

    "Buy… Ray's… book… Amazon….."

    Woah. What just happened?!

Comments are closed.