Meet Ballard’s highest-tech commuter

We’ve all seen Segways here and there, even at the Ballard Farmer’s Market. But we watched this gentleman, clad in a suit and tie, effortlessly cruise along the side of Phinney Ave. and drop down into Ballard like he does this every day.

And he does. The man told us, through our open window, that he commutes every day between his home near Swanson’s Nursery to Pioneer Square.

Update: The high-tech commuter has added more details in comments below. “It takes me about 40-50 minutes for my 8-10 mile commute (depends on which streets I take). I have been commuting this way for about 8 months and have clocked about 1400 miles on the Segway,” he writes. “It really is great fun!!!”

46
Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
seattlec2
Guest
seattlec2

I saw him last week, heading south on 11th just north of Market Street during the morning commute hours.

Silver
Guest

Wow – how long does *that* take?

I would worry about standing so long. Isn't it bad for one's circulation?

He certainly looks happy!

BentonJ
Guest
BentonJ

That is too cool! I love it. Only in Seattle…

peppy
Guest
peppy

I'm also curious as to how long this takes.
I'd guess about 50 minutes?

I think it's awesome! he does look pretty happy!
does he stick to the roads or is he up on the sidewalk usually?

thanks for the article, swedes!

silence.kit
Guest
silence.kit

A bike would be faster and you'd get more exercise, but whatever.

ballard sucka#2
Guest
ballard sucka#2

and would be greener too.

SeaSpider
Guest
SeaSpider

I've passed him a few times while bicycling to work. My guess is it probably takes him 60-70 minutes. The Segway seems to move at about the same speed as a moderately fast jog. My commute is almost identical and is 6.7 miles. If you stick to the bike paths and side streets you avoid almost all of the traffic lights that you'd normally get stuck at by going down 15th/Elliott. That right there is a huge time savings, over 10 minutes when I've timed both routes on my bicycle. I've run to work a few times and that takes me about 80 minutes averaging about 11 minutes/mile. I think the Segway is pretty goofy looking but the fewer cars on the road the better – less congestion for those who do need to drive, less pollution, less wear and tear on the roads, etc., etc. Silvergoth: Lots of people spend 8+ hours a day standing on their feet. Construction workers, nurses, teachers, cops, soldiers, waiters, and lots of other occupations routinely spend hours on their feet. You're very fortunate to lead an incredibly pampered and easy life if you're serious with that question. Also it's sitting for hours on… Read more »

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

cool, thanks swedes, it's nice to see someone enjoying their commute, and in no hurry.
btw Silence, showing up at work in a suit and tie, and all 'pitted out' is no way to start the day. imho.

SeaSpider
Guest
SeaSpider

Yep but he may not have access to showers/locker in his office. I bike to work but only because I have access to a shower when I get there. I know some people ride that far and don't shower but that doesn't work for everyone. Also people who ride that far and don't shower often do smell despite their claims to the contrary. People never smell their own stink and coworkers are usually too polite to point it out.

silence.kit
Guest
silence.kit

There's a guy that bikes to work here, and just packs his suit and tie in a backpack. Seems to work for him, but I do agree with you, I certainly wouldn't want to ride my bike in a suit.

Segway Glider
Guest
Segway Glider

Hi! I'm the “gentleman” on the segway. It takes me about 40-50 minutes for my 8-10 mile commute (depends on which streets I take). I have been commuting this way for about 8 months and have clocked about 1400 miles on the segway.

It really is great fun!!! The fact that some would characterize it as “geeky” is fine with me (I'm a software geek by profession).

For those suggesting a bike would be better for exercise reasons – you are correct, but I prefer not to exercise in my suit and tie during my commute (anymore than all the folks in cars and on buses ;-).

If you see me on my glide home, and you are nice to me – I might show you how to ride my segway!

SeaSpider
Guest
SeaSpider

Just curious, but what's the range on a Segway? Kind of surprised they can get 10 miles on a charge – that's pretty good for a pretty small battery that has to carry 200 pounds or more.

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

holy heck…you agree with me? You feeling ok buddy? ;-)

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

hey…that picture adds a few pounds ;-)
But I'd like to know what the range is too…

Segway Glider
Guest
Segway Glider

20-25 miles range depending on temperature and hilliness of terrain. It weighs 110lbs and is officially rated to carry up to 260lbs between person and cargo. A cool feature is the batteries are Litium Ion so they don't suffer from memory problems when “topped up” like older battery technology. Plus, if you go down hill or do a lot of braking – you get more range as it has regenerative braking. I plug it in while I am at work so it is fully charged for both directions of my commute, but not necessary. Back in December/January when the temperatures were in the low 30's I suspect my range was taken down to about 15 miles on a single charge.

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

thanks for the info…enjoy your day!

matt
Guest
matt

“Wow – how long does *that* take?”

– 7.7 miles from Swanson's to Pioneer Square (google maps “walking” directions)
– 12.5 mph is the segway top speed (from http://www.segway.com/support/faqs.php
– 7.7 miles x 12.5 mph * 60 minutes/mile ~= 37 minutes

The theoretical best case is roughly 37 minutes. In reality you would have some stops though.

Silver
Guest

Yeah, I've done retail. ;-)

My understanding is that moving around helps circulation. It would be tough on my body if I was confined to one p0sition for an hour or two a day, either sitting or standing. It was tough back when I had an hour bus ride – and then I had the option of changing positions!

I'm sure he knows better than to lock his knees!

Maybe he has some physical limitation that keeps him from running, walking or bicycling – a bad knee or the like. Then it would certainly make sense! Commuting without the car is good!

Joe
Guest
Joe

Is that a purple suit?

milo dakkat
Guest
milo dakkat

One more reason we need another traffic circle on 11th ;-)

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

lol…well, I'm color blind, (literally and metaphorically), but, I'd guess it's blue…

Segway Glider
Guest
Segway Glider

Blue it is…the purple suit was at home on Monday ;-)

Segway Glider
Guest
Segway Glider

Just like standing on the bus: you can move around, shuffle your feet, bend, etc. Locking your knees on a segway over anything other than perfectly smooth pavement is an accident waiting to happen (the first good pavement imperfection will buck you right off).
I find it works best (and is most fun) to approach it exactly like riding a dirt bike or a horse – loose legs, letting it “bounce around” underneath you- with this stance, you can pretty much go full speed over most surfaces and you don't get tired or numb like you would if you were standing rigidly in place the whole time.

Segway Glider
Guest
Segway Glider

“Maybe he has some physical limitation that keeps him from running, walking or bicycling – a bad knee or the like. Then it would certainly make sense!”

Nope (unless sweating is a physical limitation). That said, I got into Segways when I bought one for my wife who does have limited mobility -I decided to see what it would be like to commute to work on it…and it stuck (we have 2 of 'em as a result – I didn't steal hers :-)

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

wow…like a broken clock….right twice a day ;-)