My 70 year old father comes to visit us and all he wants to do is rent a Segway and ride it around downtown Chicago.

“Why not? ” I say. What could possibly go wrong?

Keep in mind it’s 90 plus degrees and Lollapoloza is happening just next to where you rent the Segways.

We go to Millennium Park where we are divided into 2 groups. Our group consists of Amanda and myself, my father, and a French family consisting of a 50 something year old father and mother with their two teenage children.

We’re given a 5 minute talk and 10 minutes to practice in a semi-private area. Amanda and my dad get on their Segways without a problem and are zooming around like pros. It takes me several tries to get used to it (that’s called getting your “Seg legs”) and finally I’m shaky on it , but OK.

The guide/instructor tells us to line up single file and it’s off to the streets! I’m the last one behind my dad as we leave the practice area and head toward busy Jackson Avenue down a small hill.

We are 30 seconds into the tour and down the hill we all go.

I’m behind my dad and I see him lean too far back and then uuuuuuh-ooooh:





He totally wipes out hardcore. He falls onto his back and is still holding on to the Segway. His sunglasses go whipping off of his head! It’s almost like he was doing the backspin because the Segway is still going and spinning him around 180 degrees violently.  The machine and my father are making horrible sounds.
Finally he lets go of the Segway which goes shooting out towards people, cars, babies, etc. Oh no! But the guide coolly squats down while still riding his Segway and scoops up Dad’s vehicle.

(Please note during this time Amanda and I helplessly circle my father as he lays on the ground, as we had not yet mastered getting off the Segway yet.)

He’s slightly bloodied but gets up and we’re all off again.  We cruise by various landmarks and tourist sites and then we are on a path in a large splendid field just next to the lake. My father is the last one back and I am just ahead of him.  I look back often to check on him.  On my last look back before we head into  a new section of the city, I see him suddenly laying on his back (one second ago he was fine ) and the Segway peeling off into the grass.  So that’s crash #2.  Again, he’s bloodied but OK.

Crash #3 is small as he just falls over the machine standing perfectly still.

The guide tells us that we tie the record for most crashes in one outing!  6 total as the Frenchies had some pretty great crashes too. In one crash, the French dad took out everybody in his family!  Awesome.

After 3 hours of cruising around and heckling from those hipster Lolapolooza kids, we finally made it back to our base. I would have to recommend the Segway tour after all said and done.  It was really fun.  AND I do have to applaud Amandas natural ability in riding the Segway.  It’s like she was born to ride.


*Pops and Amanda

*This picture  taken just before my father caused $3,000.00 worth of damage to his Segway.