Taking Segways for a spin on the Burlington bike path - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Taking Segways for a spin on the Burlington bike path

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Joggers, walkers and bikers flood Burlington's bike path, but there's a new set of wheels in town-- Segways.

"You can think about where you want to go and the Segway just goes there," Rick Sharp said.

It's a two-wheeled, self-balancing, electrically propelled personal transporter. And it's Sharp's preferred mode of transportation. He started Burlington Segways this year, offering tours of Burlington.

"It's easier to ride than a bike, stops faster than a bike and takes up less space on the bike path than a bike," Sharp said.

But bringing Segway tours to the public was an uphill battle. It took Sharp three years to convince the Parks and Recreation Commission that Segways would work on the bike path. He hopes to make a difference in the city's carbon footprint with this electric mode of transportation.

"We have a one-year permit from the city," Sharp said. "If we can show we're compatible with other users of the bike path, we can go on from there."

With a top speed of 12 mph and a zero-turn radius Segways may seem intimidating and look kind of dorky, but after a quick lesson you're ready to ride! Turn off "turtle mode" and you're off for a one- or two-hour spin around the Queen City.

"We concentrate on the history of Burlington from Samuel de Champlain all the way to Ben & Jerry's to Phish," Sharp said.

Reporter Gina Bullard: Have you seen any crazy Segway accidents?

Rick Sharp: I've seen them on YouTube, but we've never had any.

It's hard to believe it when you see him zipping around, but Sharp is disabled. A leg injury from a paragliding accident left him longing to do the things he once could. He credits Segways with changing his life.

"The only way I can reach the waterfront or the bike path is in a wheelchair or Segway," Sharp said. "The Segway gives me a lot more dignity because I'm meeting them face to face rather than sitting in a chair meeting them with my face at crotch level."

Making it easier for anyone to cruise around the Queen City.

A one-hour Segway tour costs $62; $3 of that goes toward bike path fees. Click here for more information.

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