October 31, 2018

Devonport's First Fleet of Electric Vehicles

Pauline Baker, owner and operator of Magic Broomstick Tours, has been gliding around Devonport since 2008, leading groups on Segway Personal Transporters. If you've always had a Segway ride on your list of things to do, then now's the chance to take up an Auckland locals 15% off tours this spring.

We talk to Pauline about her business and why you need to get your family down here and take them for a spin…

You’ve been operating the Segway Business for ten years! No doubt ten years ago a gaggle of Segways cruising around Devonport would have been quite surprising! We've always done things a little differently in Devonport so Segway Tours feels to me as though I am keeping the spirit of Devonport alive doing something unique and slightly outside of the square.

Explain how a Segway works exactly.The official name of the machine is a Segway Personal Transporter (PT) and uses technology called " Dynamic Stabilization" which maintains the balance of the machine and moves it forward and backward as the rider leans either forward or backward. A series of 5 gyroscopes and a system of microprocessors along with two electric motors are constantly working to balance the rider. The steering comes from moving the stick or "Lean steer" left or right. The Segway PT very quickly feels like an extension of your body and responds to your movements. 

Is riding a Segway easy? Do you need to take greater care on sand or rough terrain? For the majority of people riding a Segway PT is easy. After 10 to 15 minutes of instruction and some practice time the Segway PT becomes a really fun experience for the majority of people. The Segways we have are the road models, so they do handle low level lumps and bumps. If you are wanting to tackle sand and rough terrain then the cross country models are the ones for you. 

How old do you need to be to ride it? Bodyweight plays the most important role in riding as this is what controls the machine. Riders should be between 35 - 120 kgs. We are generally happy to take 10 year olds on short rides on the flat. If we are riding to the Summits of one of our volcanic cones then the rider needs to be 13 years old. Nobody goes without a guide. 

You’ll know all the ins and outs of the Peninsula – where are your favourite places to take people? I have lived here in Devonport for 33 years and have come to know and love so many of the places around the Peninsula. So my favourite places to take people on Segways really depends on who is on the tour. Some come to learn about the history, some to soak up the charm of the village streets, some to awe at the magnificent views of the Gulf and the City scape and others just want to 'tick another thing off their bucket list' and experience the awesome sensation of a Segway ride. Really, I just love to see people smile and have a great, fun experience and that's not hard on a Segway in such a stunning location as Devonport.

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