Where would we be without wheels? They keep us spinning, moving, exploring. We sing children’s songs about them and Tina Turner immortalized Proud Mary’s big wheel. In San Francisco, the city is full of wheel configurations. Bus, trolley, BART, cable car, taxis, bicycles and ride sharing – but none is as fun as riding a Segway through the city streets.
The morning was cool as we stepped from our Airbnb apartment to catch a bus. One ride took us entirely across town to within blocks of our destination, the Electric Tour Company in North Beach. The weekend was a first for my son, Josh, and me vacationing together as adults and he was more than happy to get up early for the chance to scurry around the city while riding a Segway.
We easily found the Electric Company space, between buildings just steps from the Cannery shops and cafes. Before touching the machines, we were ushered into complete registration, shown a safety video and given helmets. Questions were asked and answered, then the coaching began. I was assigned the ‘Sedgequey’ (a common mispronounciation we were told!) and soon we were confidently starting, stopping, and spinning our machines.
Within minutes of getting his Segway moving, Josh was racing in circles – well, racing is relative. The maximum speed is capped and each machine slows automatically as you reach that. Still, he had fun pushing the limits well before we took to the streets.
Our guide, Aaron, handed out small transmitters and ear buds, connecting us to his guidance and narration for the tour. I was concerned about riding a Segway through city streets packed with pedestrians, buses and cars, but didn’t need to be. Brilliantly, Aaron positioned our group of 12 in formation as if we were the wheels of a bus. We were assigned a place, riding two by two in parallel lines. It made us easy to see and simple to follow. Soon North Beach was whizzing by and while stopped at a signal, Josh reached over for a grinning fist bump. Nice!
Aaron kept us entertained with bit of history and puns. We cruised close to famous landmarks and took at break at Washington Park. Riding a Segway uphill was fun and downhill was easy too. There was no way our Segways could runaway with us.
Near the end of the tour we left the busy streets behind and headed out along the breakwater near Fort Mason. Only a few hikers were on the path, intrepid swimmers splashed nearby and the views were astounding. A historic schooner sat in the bay with the skyscrapers of downtown behind. Ferries and sailboats scooted past Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge sat in full glory.
After time out for pictures, we headed back to the barn, as it were. What a great family adventure. My 20 year old had as much fun as mom. The youngest in the group, 14 yrs. old, had as much fun as his grandmother. Twenty five year old, Lauren, taking the tour as part of her birthday celebration, rode proudly – her helmet embellished with a tall, golden crown. She seemed to enjoy riding a Segway more than anyone and giggled street by street.
Riding a Segway through San Francisco:
- The Electric Tour Company has weekly specials and a detailed website. (Say hi to Aaron for me!)
- Use public transportation to get around San Francisco. Save anxiety about meters, tickets and finding parking places. I used my cell phone GPS and Google Maps to find the best routes and buses. There are numbers to call at bus stops throughout the city.
- If buses and trolleys aren’t your thing there are taxis everywhere plus…
- The Uber and Lyft community is huge in San Francisco.
Special thanks to the Electric Tour Company for hosting our ride. All opinions are my own.
How fun! I rode a segway for the first time this summer in Tallahassee, Florida. I was nervous at first but I ended up loving how easy and convenient it was. I think it’s a great way to learn about a new area!
Nice to hear you’ve tried them. I enjoyed it too.
I’ve never done a segway tour, but they look so fun! I’m worried I would fall on my face.
No way you’d fall on your face! They train you and it’s well designed to be easy.
What a great way to see San Francisco! I have yet to segway or go to San Fran but it looks like so much fun! My boyfriend just came back from a business trip there and loved it so I’m hoping to go next year and would definitely give the segway tour a go 🙂
San Francisco is such a great city and there’s so many ways to explore.
What a cool tour–looks like you guys had a lot of fun! It’s great that you were able to ride by and get views of so many iconic sights. The Golden Gate and Alcatraz are always my favorite to see!
We got a taste of so many different aspects of the city. I love walking but this was a cool alternative for a few hours.
What a fun way to see an area. I know my kids have wanted to do a Segway tour. Nice to see your son liked it.
They’d love it. Something about gliding along is such a kick.
I’m glad you enjoyed your Segway tour. I’ve done a few and find them fun – I’d rather avoid the crowded areas of pedestrians and traffic though. Heading out along the breakwater by Fort Mason sounds much more my speed. It looks wonderful.
I was concerned about the traffic too but we were organized into one block – hard to miss and easy to get around.
Looks like you guys had a great time. Bharat and I have never done a segway tour together, so it’s on our wish list! Also glad to know that it was easy to ride up and down those SFO streets 🙂
We mostly stayed on the flatter areas as it was a beginners tour but the few hills we tried were delightful.
Segways are so much fun and San Francisco is the perfect place to explore on a Segway. All those hills! I’m sure riding Segways saved you from getting a sore back. I’ve explored SF in a GoCar but a Segway tour looks like it’s more flexible and probably less noisy.
The hills we rode were pretty tame as it was a beginners tour. It was certainly quiet and the transmitter made following our leader easy.
They do look so much fun. A great way to save your feet from a whole lot of walking as you explore the city
It was a nice alternative to lots of walking and an easy way to cover ground. My feet did get sore though from standing still for long. That passed pretty quickly.
It sounds such a great experience! It’s a different way to explore San Francisco) Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for stopping by, Natalia.
I never knew this was called a Segway. I first saw these funny vehicles in Europe. They seemed to be going pretty fast, so I didn’t think it would be something I would enjoy riding. Now that I see you on it I’m thinking it may not be so bad.
The two times I’ve ridden Segways they’ve gone fairly slowly yet fast enough. Not sure how it’s handled in Europe. I think you’d like it – perhaps in a beachy, flatter area than San Francisco.
Segways are terrific fun to ride. I wouldn’t want to go everywhere this way because you get zero exercise. When I rode one I couldn’t believe how little movement was involved. It is almost like you control it by thinking. They are great for a short holiday tour though.
I agree that you get zero exercise but as a short tour it was a great option and my son really enjoyed it. Big plus.
I’ve never done a segway tour but have seen them in many places. I guess its a good way to see more than you would on foot. And its always nice to have a good tour guide. Thanks for joining #TheWeeklyPostcard.
It was a fun way to see parts of San Francisco I’d never seen and I once lived there for years! Thanks for being part of #TheWeeklyPostcard too.
I’ve never done it! Segway tours look like something we should put on the list. Thanks for the useful post.
It’s a fun alternative for a short tour and kids, when old enough, really seem to like it. Nice whirling around in the fresh air too.
This looks like so much fun! I have always wanted to try a Segway tour. I always wondered how a tour would be, but I see that earbuds are being included, so I assume that works well?
Also, I love the picture of the large ship in front of the San Farncisco skyline! Stunning sight!
The transmitter connection made it easy to follow along with the narration. Worked very well! Thanks about the picture. It was a stunning photo opp.
We’ve never rode segways as we usually rent bikes, but this looks like a terrific way to tour a city! Especially love your skyline photo! 🙂
Funny but I feel more vulnerable on a bike than I did on the Segway! Glad you liked the picture too.
Looks like you and Josh had a great time on the Segways, Elaine. What a fun way to see an amazing city!
Thanks, Doreen Just when you think you’ve seen it all!