Segway into nature

Segways are quickly becoming popular across North America. Alpine Explorers will be offering tours starting at $55 for an hour.  Photo: Alpine Image, Gemma Harris

Segways are quickly becoming popular across North America. Alpine Explorers will be offering tours starting at $55 for an hour.
Photo: Alpine Images, Gemma Harris

Bikers make way, the two- wheeled phenomenon that is quickly becoming popular across North America is coming to Sun Peaks.

Gemma Harris of Alpine Images has a new business called Alpine Explorers that will be offering Segway tours this summer.

Segways are two-wheeled, motorized machines that use motion sensor equipment to interpret the minute movements of the operator moving them forward, backward, and to stop and start.

“It acts an extension of your body. This thing is actually designed to move in a way that you already know how to move,” explains Chris Szydlowski of Canada West Segway, the leading distributor of Segways in Alberta and B.C. “When you’re standing on the sensors and you lean forward you start to move forward and when you stand up straight it stops right away. Once you learn how to ride it, it becomes second nature.”

Segways are derived from a class three medical device known as the iBOT system; a fact that Szydlowski thinks makes the Segway a safe and fun way to explore and get about town, without destroying the environment.

“We’re not trying to replace biking or walking, it’s driving,” he explains. “People are just creatures of habit, it’s easy to just hop in the truck and drive down the street to the store. (But) Segways are a great way to get around — zero emissions, I joke around that it’s the ultimate convertible, it’s totally open air and it’s so fun.”

Segway pull out quote smallSegways are quickly becoming popular for tourists as a unique way to explore a new city, or in this case resort, with minimal effort and maximum mobility.

“Sun Peaks has a lot of activities that are geared toward people who want to be active, going up the chairlift to hike and mountain bike, which takes a certain amount of physical and mental confidence,” explains Harris. “(Segwaying) is such a novel and easy way to move around, and I think that once people see them — they look like fun — they might want to give it a try. It makes certain areas of the village accessible to people that might not have the inclination to walk or hike or bike.”

Sun Peaks will be the first ski resort in Western Canada to offer Segway tours. Alpine Explorers will be offering tours to those who are looking for a Segway experience and those who want to explore areas of Sun Peaks they may otherwise have reservations about venturing to.

Photo: Alpine Images, Gemma Harris

Photo: Alpine Images, Gemma Harris

“In the summertime it’ll be an amazing way to go up and see the wild flowers and get to different viewpoints. We’ll be able to take people over onto Morrisey and up some of the cross-country bike runs and ski runs,” says Harris.

Alpine Mountain tours will start at $55 for an hour, increasing in price by half hour increments. Riders must be 14+ and at least 45 kilograms (100 pounds) to experience the tours. Each tour will include one-on-one training to learn how to ride the machine along with safety guidelines.

For more information or to book a Segway experience call 250-851-1905.

 

About Charlotte Drewett

Charlotte has BA in English Literature from the University of Guelph in Ontario. Initially intending to settle in Sun Peaks for one winter season, Charlotte has made the community her home for three years. She is enjoying the mountains and all of the activities offered in Sun Peaks and surrounding area,