High rollers

Bird Retail has started up the first Segway tours in India
High rollers

Don&rsquot search for Segway on YouTube, warned the guide. But I couldn&rsquot resist. I could see her point lots of people (and one chimpanzee) crashing their nifty high-tech personal transporters might not seem very good advertising but I couldn&rsquot wait to try it&mdasheven the falling looked like fun.

Which is how I ended up one glorious summer morning gliding on two wheels up Raisina Hill as the sun rose over India Gate. Riding a Segway PT takes a little getting used to&mdashlean forward to make it move forward, backwards for slowdown or reverse and stand straight to make it stop. Unlike a bicycle or scooter where you twist the handlebars to turn left or right, on a Segway, you tilt the entire stem. And also unlike a bicycle or scooter, the wheels are not connected, so you can make full 360° turns.

The overall effect was rather like travelling in your very own personal, open-top, clean, green one-man Popemobile. The smiles and bemused waves we got as our little pod sailed along were worth the price of the tour. In fact, on a Segway tour, you&rsquore more likely to be the attraction than the sights you set off to see.

Since genius-inventor Dean Kamen came up with the machine in 2001, Segway tours have sprung up in over thirty countries, and it has become a hugely popular way to see the sights. Now Bird Retail have started up the first Segway tours in India &mdash initially in and around India Gate, but soon expanding to Humayun&rsquos Tomb, the Zoological Gardens, Chandni Chowk/Red Fort and other sites in Delhi (011-46340460, segwaytour.co.in).

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