Prices Have Some Making The Segue Onto Segway - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Prices Have Some Making The Segue Onto Segway

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To fight fuel prices, more San Diegans are looking at Segways as a way of traveling short distances. The sales of these energy-efficient stand-up scooters have shot up 50 percent nationwide in the past year, a trend a Segway spokesman expects will continue into next year.

Joe Welsh owns Segway of Pacific Beach on West Mission Boulevard. He says more and more customers are choosing to glide to their destinations on Segway personal transporters for about a penny a mile, rather than fork over more and more money for fuel.

"They're just tired of it, so anything they can do that's an alternative to that... sort of stick it to the gas pumps and just pass them by," Welsh said.

Segways run $5,350 each, and are also available to rent. Easy to maneuver and designed for short commutes, the Segway can reach speeds of up to 12.5 miles per hour, running about 20 miles on a single battery charge, using the same amount of electricity as a 150-watt light bulb.

"Small advantages like that, they add up - and then there's the fun factor," Welsh said. "Once you get going on a Segway, walking seems archaic."

Experts say riding the Segway can quickly become second nature, and in some cases, even addictive.

"I feel like we might be the local pushers. It is so addicting that when people try us, they never want to get off. And it's the hardest part of my job telling people they must get off the machine," store manager Uranna Greene said.

Some complete beginners may be hesitant to get on the machine in the first place, but 10 minutes later get really used to it. For more experienced gliders like Welsh, the Segway can maneuver over many types of rough terrain.

One of the best parts of the Segway is virtually no maintenance. As long as you keep the tires inflated and the battery charged, there are no worries about having to head to the gas station or get the oil changed.

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