Shortly after our visit to the Eiffel Tower, we did another tour with Flat Tire Tours, this time zigzagging through the area between the Tower, Pont Alexandre III, and the Rodin Museum (one of our top spots in Paris, which we visited directly after the Segway tour; tres romantique location, so to say).
I’m 2 metres tall and weigh over 100kg, so did at first felt rather uncomfortable entrusting my life to a wobbly, 45kg light-weight thing that sits on just two wheels and is supposed to be steered simply by me moving my heavy weight forward or backwards, left or right, on the little steering stick that is attached to the wheels and the platform between them.
The introduction and safety instruction was very short, but in Flat Tire Tours’ defence, spending more time on this would have taken the fun out of it. Nonetheless, I still had my concerns and didn’t feel 100% safe at first, it’s just such a weird thing to do. However, our bubbly guide soon made us all feel confident with the new gear (all except two of our group were complete newbies).
The only other time I didn’t quite feel perfectly safe, was when – being a bit too confident – I exceeded the maximum permissible speed for a second or two and was quickly slowed down by the Segway against the physical instructions I was giving to it. The fact that suddenly the machine did not seem to obey my orders and started to act against me, was unsettling, but our guide explained the background to me and it was ok (maybe best to provide that information beforehand, just a thought).
Having done a dozen or so tours of Paris over the years, I was not listening very attentively to the tour guide’s elaborations about the sights we were visiting and the history behind them, but I had the impression everyone else was, which is a good sign. What I took from that part of the tour, was mainly that French feet, as in the measuring unit, are longer than the English feet, and that this led to Napoleon’s height sounding a lot smaller to the English than it was. The English generals were not stupid and figured that part out quickly, but they ignored their intelligence and started a campaign to ridicule Napoleon for his petite stature based on the French unit’s measure in feet, omitting the fact that, were the measure given in English feet, his actual height would have been rightly seen to be more than 10cm taller.
Only one person had a little tumble during our tour, but she was an American OAP who pushed it, and luckily she didn’t hurt herself.
Different from some other Segway tours we’ve seen, Flat Tire Tours really make an effort to avoid roads and heavy traffic, where possible, so nearly all of the tour is on quiet pavements, in pedestrian zones or along the leisurely Seine riverside, where your only concern are inline skaters and playing kids. We’d recommend this tour, even though it doesn’t come exactly cheap at €65. For more on our recent Paris trip, click here, here or here.