I find the Segway simultaneously hilarious and amazing.
On the one hand, the Segway hints at a complete overhaul of the way we think about transportation; maybe in the future, we’ll use goal-specific vehicles rather than catch-all gas guzzlers (in other words, why use the same vehicle for a ten block drive as you’d use for a cross-country trip?). In certain industries–like policing, manufacturing, warehousing–the Segway could make a lot of sense.
On the other hand, they’re completely fucking ridiculous. What on earth made anyone think that these goofy, bulky, space-aged scooters would be popular with the general public? They may be neat in theory, but in reality they’re totally impractical for city use; too big to bring indoors, but too expensive to leave locked up outside (not to mention the fact that something like 30 states have now banned them on sidewalks and roadways). What’s more, though, there’s just something about them that makes you laugh out loud.
So I’ve been interested to see 10MPH, a documentary following two guys who quit their jobs and rode a Segway from Seattle to Boston. I can’t quite explain why I like the idea, but I do. Having done a few long-distance trips through the States, I can’t imagine how different they’d have been if I was moving slowly enough to see and experience the places I traveled through. It would be a sobering lesson in scale.
Anyway, you can rent 10MPH on DVD, or if you live in Austin you can catch it on August 26th at the Alamo South Lamar.