The North Coast Segway Experience

NorthCoastSegwayEllen and I just returned from a month long RV trip to the Oregon coast, Bellevue Washington to visit our daughter and husband, then inland to Sisters, near Bend, for a week and then down the coast of Oregon to Fort Bragg.  We have been visiting Mendocino and  Ft Bragg for over 30 years, renting houses on the Pacific, staying in B&Bs, Sea Foam Lodge [now closed and under renovation] and for the last 15 years using our Airstream trailer for shelter while visiting the coast. Over the years we had taken advantage of almost everything the coast had to offer: food, wine, hiking, ocean beaches, parks, and trails. But, change happens.

When Ellen was registering at the Pomo RV Park in Ft Bragg, she spotted a brochure for North Coast Segway. The brochure was advertising a Segway Tour of the Mendocino Coast. Since riding a Segway was on our bucket list, this seems like a great opportunity.  Checking the advertised web page we discover the service was not available on the one day we planned for our Segway adventure. Undaunted, we call the listed phone number and encounter a voice mail box. As we waited for the arrival of our daughter Caitlin at the Little River Airport we got a call back from Lynne Baumgartner, and yes she would be pleased to give us a Segway Tour the next morning.

On the advice of our oldest daughter Jessica, we watched several YouTube videos on how to safely ride a Segway.  Our video tours only increased our anticipation for a rolling tour along the coast on one of the technical marvels of the day.  There are some excellent trails along the coast in Ft Bragg and Mendocino that we had hiked many times with our dogs. Riding them sounded like a great adventure for aging bodies plagued with some chronic leg and foot pain.  We arrived early for out beginners training and check out. 

As Lynne and her twenty-something son checked us out on how to ride a Segway, we learned the North Coast Segway was a start-up business, in existence for only two months, but was the result of a longer range plan to expand tourism in Ft Bragg. Lynne is a full-time nurse at the local hospital, but after riding a Segway on vacation wanted to bring the experience to Ft Bragg. She started North Coast Segway.  Her goal was to provide rolling Segway history tours of Ft Bragg using the established trails along the coast and bike lanes in town.

After our check out we got rolling down the back streets and bike lanes.  We were not allowed to ride on the network of bike and walking paths, as the City Council deemed the Segway motorized vehicles, which are not allowed on coastal bike paths. The City Council passed a Segway Ordnance, allowing them on the street and in bike lanes in the city, but would not allow them on the bike paths.  A huge setback for Lynne’s Segway history tour plans.

As we early rolled about the neighborhoods, Lynne gave us a rolling history of Ft Bragg over the radios in our helmets. We stopped by the Skunk Train Depot and watched the train leave the station on the morning run and visited some of Ft Bragg’s historical sites.  We were elated with the smooth ride but disappointed we could not use the established coastal trails, only the streets with the other motorized vehicles.  Change is hard for some.

Next time you are on the Coast, I highly recommend a North Coast Segway experience. You can contact Lynne directly on her cell phone at (707) 357-1226.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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2 Responses to The North Coast Segway Experience

  1. gjrebane says:

    Good report Russ, thanks. As I was reading your description of the segway start-up I immediately wondered what government could do to hinder or halt the new business. A paragraph later you answered my question.


  2. Russ Steele says:

    The City Council’s complaint was that Segways were motorized vehicles. We noted many electric bikes in Ft Bragg and wondered if they were also banned on the coastal trails. Bikes are allowed, but are motorize bikes allowed?


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