While most of our riders get used to the Segways pretty quick, once in a while it takes people a bit longer. Ava (12yrs old) joined us with her brother and grandparents recently. Her grandparents had been with us before but it was Ava’s and her brother’s first time.
Ava’s brother picked up riding the Segway really quick and her grandparents quickly got used to it again, even though it had been several years since their last Segway experience.
Ava however, wasn’t comfortable and wanted to quit shortly after stepping on. Having been through this with a number of customers in my 15 years of Segway tour guiding in Queenstown, I knew it was important to encourage Ava to give it a few minutes. Just a little riding time can see a quick transformation in confidence levels.
If she’d given up, it would have been dissappointing for everyone, myself included though I really wasn’t sure if we’d get there. She was shaking her head from side to side non stop for a couple of minutes and some tears even formed in her eyes. I asked her to push on for 5 minutes to see how she felt but she said no. I then asked for 2mins and she agreed. This is when things started to turn around.
I walked a lap around the training area with my hand on her Segway then did another lap just walking next to her. I asked if she’d then do another lap without me as I still had to get her granddad started. She agreed and minute by minute got more comfortable and was soon happy to take the sightseeing tour around Queenstown.
By the time we took a lakeside photo stop, maybe only 15mins after Ava first stepped on, she was so comfortable she took her hands off the handlebars and raised them in the air for the photos. She easily navigated her way around Queenstown and was keen to raise the speed setting not once but twice, getting up to the top setting of 20kmph.
The whole family had a great time and I was very proud of Ava to push through her comfort level and overcome her fears. I really love to see this transformation in the short time we have with customers. As she left I said maybe next time you feel (I nodded my head side to side) maybe it’s actaully (I nodded my head up and down). It was a very positive experience for all of us.
Segway on Q