30 October 2009

Segway Boot Camp


Hardscape ∕ Transport

The sight of tourist groups cruising through downtown Berlin on Segways officially became normal this summer. Which isn’t to say that it didn’t still look rather odd. Despite the hi-tech promise of the Segway, its users look less like the dashing pioneers of a congestion-free, sustainable urban future, and more like startled animals yanked out of their natural environment. Imagine a herd of deer on the motorway, or Tango lessons in Brussels.

Still, I was delighted to spy this group in training a month ago, tucked away behind the IHZ office building on Friedrichstraße. There’s just something about their circular ballet performed on the apex of a depressing concrete ramp which makes me think that the mismatched hybrid future predicted by early 1980s science fiction really has arrived.

Let’s get optimistic! Where’s my helmet?