We take electricity for granted.
It powers our homes, our lights and our offices, but I have never appreciated it more than when I had a chance to view Newport Beach at a leisurely pace using electricity.
I actually tried two electric modes of transportation: a Segway, that amazing upright standing vehicle that is virtually impossible to tip, and an electric bicycle known as the Pedego.
For my Segway experience I went to Newport Beach Segway at 611 E. Balboa Blvd. I began by watching a brief film on how to use a Segway, then got on this upright contraption and immediately felt out of control.
Once I relaxed and was told to not overstate movements, within minutes I was able to go in all directions including rotate in place, which was an interesting feeling.
Soon my Segway tour group was out the door and down the street. After a few trials in the parking lot it was down the boardwalk towards the Wedge.
Faster than walking, slower than bike riding and certainly less distracting than driving, we were able to traverse many streets I have never traveled.
The one hour tour was a great diversion. If you are a local and think you have seen all sides of the peninsula, you have not—until you do it on a Segway.
Segway tours leave three times daily, take about 90 minutes and are worth the price of $69.95 per tour.
As I left, the thought that came into my mind was “I have to get myself one of these babies!” Prices start at about $6,500.
After the Segway tour, I went up the street to 2001 West Balboa Blvd. And one of the new businesses in town, our latest Pedego (electric bike) dealer.
Chase McNaughton, the young man that owns Pedego Newport Pier bikes, has an interesting tale, even at age 21.
While barely out of high school, he leased the empty building where the business currently resides and built a thriving bike rental business.
At the end of summer he sold it, but when the building became vacant again after that other shop closed, Chase jumped back in and recently took on the local Pedego distribution.
Since I had just come off the Segway, I wanted to do a comparison of this two-wheel transport. I was impressed, though for different reasons.
This electric bike is smooth, has a top speed of 20 miles per hour (mandated by law), and a range of about 30 miles.
Since I live four miles from the peninsula and regularly ride my bike from my home, I thought I would do a direct comparison. Instead of the usual 20 minutes, with the Pedego I was able to cut that in half, and I did it with no strain and no sweat compared to huffing up the hills.
The thought of owning one of these electric bikes crossed my mind as well. Those prices start at $1895. Rentals are $14 an hour and up. Tours are $69.
Click here to view the original article by Norm Bour