The Segway PT (Personal Transporter) is the hottest personal vehicle on the market today, with a growing worldwide popularity that is unrivaled with this type of hot, new machine.

The Segway is great for getting noticed. (And you thought a puppy was the best way to meet that special someone:) Take it to business functions, events, parties, Grateful Dead-inspired concerts, the Burning Man festival, a Christmas or New Year’s parade or just about any other venue you can come up with. It’s great fun no matter where you use it and your friends will get the thrill of their lives just having one around.

This machine is the first of its kind anywhere in the world – a self-balancing, personal transportation device designed to go anywhere you do. It provides people with the ability to move faster and carry more with them, making commuting, shopping and general errands more efficient and a heck of a lot more fun. It makes businesses more productive, too, by giving workers greater versatility, mobility and carrying capacity than any other vehicle including a bicycle. It accomplishes this by combining the most advanced and professionally tested technology ever created.

It’s easy to ride and almost anyone can do it, and of course when you get good at it you can start doing a lot on the machine.

Almost anyone can learn to ride the Segway, one of the world’s most advanced vehicles. This is your opportunity to try one out for yourself and see what all the hype is about. These high-end items aren’t widely available and are tough to find these days. Only a few people have experienced these unique machines and now is your chance to be one of them!

* Here are a few personal stories of real people using their Segway in fun and productive ways (from www.segway.com):

Jeff Lauterette, a computer consultant in his 30s from Washington, D.C.

I run a Macintosh Computer consulting company in the Washington, D.C. area. Because of my job, I have to drive my car a couple of miles about 3 to 4 times a day. Each time there is traffic that can take a half-hour to go 2 miles and parking fees of up to $25 per lot. Now I park in one lot, zip past traffic, and save up to $50 or $75 dollars a day.

Using the Segway PT also allows me to respond to computer emergencies more quickly. Since such emergencies bill at a higher rate, the Segway PT is making us more per week in addition to saving on the parking. I estimate several hundred dollars a week in savings due to my Segway PT.

In Washington DC, the cars practically run over pedestrians. But something funny happened to me the other day. I was at a crosswalk on my Segway PT with a “Do not walk” sign. Two cars stopped. I waved them on and they waived me on, so I crossed the street. I guess the attention the Segway PT gets is the same in any big city, but I was still amazed!

I drive from my house in Springfield, Virginia to Washington, DC and park in a local parking garage. I then take out my Segway PT and travel to my first client. I ride it right in the building, up the elevator, and park it out of the way. I try to plug it in at most client locations. During the day I will visit a few more clients the same way in DC and then finish my day back at the garage. If I have to leave DC and go to another city like Baltimore, the Segway PT comes with me. I bought an A/C inverter to charge my Segway PT while I am driving.

On weekends I work with the music industry. Bands like Jimmy Buffett, Aerosmith, Brooks and Dunn, and others. I usually bring the segway pt out to shows, which allows me to get around backstage very easily. The band members also love to try it out, and some have even decided to buy them!

My goal is to educate people about the Segway PT. It is the people who don’t understand it or have never tried one themselves that often complain about it. I also try to make it a point that pedestrians still have the right of way; I will always stand still to let a pedestrian pass. Then when they say “Thank you!” I know that I am earning their respect.

Jan and Bob Aiken of Jupiter, Fla. with a report filed from Paris, France

It’s twilight on our first night in Paris. We had just finished a gourmet meal in a cozy restaurant in the Latin Quarter and were crossing the Roosevelt Bridge on a lazy stroll back to our hotel when we saw it! My heart jumped! It has a habit of doing that when I encounter wonders like the view from the Eiffel Tour, vistas along the Mediterranean, famous works of art, or in this case….a Segway PT!

We had just read the news article about George Bush’s mishap with a Segway PT and the reporter’s “spin” regarding the future of non-petroleum fueled transportation. My guess is that George’s tumble will be no more significant regarding the future of the Segway PT than the first Wright Brothers airplane crash.

We were so excited to see the Segway PT that we signed up at Mike’s Bike Tours for the next evening run. After a brief but thorough introduction to the balancing intricacies of the Segway PT, we were off! Lean forward to go, lean backward to stop, twist the throttle on the left handlebar to make it turn right or left. It has three speeds, beginner (saves battery life), cruise and “get out of the way.” Top speed is 12.5 mph with a range of about 12 miles on a single charge. It didn’t take long before we could show off our skill with the “look Mom, no hands” maneuver.

John, our capable and enthusiastic tour guide from Texas A&M University, provided colorful commentary regarding the Parisian cityscape and historical sites. The excitement of using a Segway PT, PERIOD, was intense, but doing so in the city of Paris was pure heaven. Other pedestrians were just as excited to see us, except the French local who wanted to know how tourists found the ice cream parlor she thought was a well kept secret.

Mike’s Bike Tour had just added the Segway PT on June 5th and we were among the first one hundred people to try it. The Segway company is trying to expose the unit to the public and determine how well in can be used in urban settings. Paris was perfect because of the sidewalks, scenery, ramped curbs, etc. We suffered from a bit of ankle fatigue, but it may have been because we did a lot of walking prior to our ride. Learning how to balance was similar to your first solo ride on your two wheel bike. You soon get the hang of it. It was a bit clumsy getting off and like wrestling an alligator when you fall off!

Despite my fanny-flop caused by a slight miscalculation when ascending a curb between parked cars, Bob and I both agreed the Segway experience topped our recent hot air balloon ride in Napa Valley, California. (Hot air balloons were also a Parisian curiosity in their early introduction.) We shared our story with friends who were so interested they teased about changing their French country tour to include a stop in Paris just for the opportunity to ride a Segway PT.

As for the future of the Segway PT in human transportation, the possibilities seem endless. We talked about making a list of potential uses, then reviewing our ideas in 10 or 20 years to see how close we came! Who would have guessed the snowmobile, skateboard or dirt bike would become such big enterprises?

With the introduction of the horseless carriage, no one imagined 25 years later that a horse would be a pet and that a house would have a garage. Horse manure pollution spawned the automobile. Will we segue from the automobile onto a battery powered, two wheeled moving transporter? The future is here. We’re ready!

Beth Goza, a 31-year-old product manager from Seattle

Ever since the announcement last year I had been hoping there would be an opportunity to buy one. I have always been interested in transportation alternatives to the car, and my husband and I are currently a one car household. The Segway solves two problems – one, we now have another mode of transportation and two, I always love to have cool technology!

The Segway Human Transporter is a very long-term investment. We purchased one in order to sell our second car – the Segway PT will be used for any trips that are ‘too close to drive and too far to walk’. The Segway PT is easier to use for trips to the grocery store or the cleaners, in which transporting a load is required. It helps to maintain your balance, negotiate rough or uneven terrain and get you to your destination safely. It is SO worth considering a Segway PT if you are looking for any sort of transportation alternatives.