A winding line formed at the entrance of the MacVittie College Union Ballroom on Thursday Feb. 11. Music filled the spacious room and students waited in giddy anticipation for their chance to participate in the unique and fast-paced event of the night: Segway racing. While no mall cops were present, the Geneseo Late Knight event was a hit, attracting students with the opportunity to spend time partaking in an activity they might not have done before.
Before they were allowed to speed away, all students listened to some quick instructions from GLK members to make sure riders stayed safe. Riding a Segway isn’t as complicated as it may seem, however. The movement of the Segway is simply dependent on the movement of your body—if you lean forward, the Segway moves forward. After a quick rundown of the rules, the students were handed a helmet, helped onto their respective Segways and allowed to ride freely through the ballroom.
Despite the competitive connation of the name, the GLK Segway Races proved to be more of a “choose your own adventure” than an organized race. Some students chose to cruise around leisurely while others decided to zip around on an imaginary track. A couple of students did embrace the competitive spirit, however, and reverted the free ride back into a race or taunted their friends by driving a little too close for comfort.
While many students seemed to get the hang of riding the Segways, there was still a handful of students who were a bit stuck and chose to simply drive around in circles. Carrying on the light-hearted nature of the night, senior Melissa Minaya made it her mission to charge after her struggling friend in an effort to jolt her into racing away. Minaya recognized her friend’s effort with a high-five after their turn was over.
The students were allowed to ride in pairs of two for a total of five minutes. Some were given the chance to ride longer when the line started to shorten.
While riding the Segway was easy for many, there was one aspect that seemed to bode difficult for all: figuring out how to not crash. “It was a lot of fun, but it was really hard to stop,” freshman Amelia Weinberg said.
The most difficult part for many students, like Weinberg, was stopping the Segway—one student almost managed to run into the instructor.
This isn’t the first Segway racing event GLK has hosted and it’s sure not to be the last. “We try to bring [this event] around once a semester,” GLK graduate assistant Lexi Athens ‘15 said. With an event filled with smiling faces, laugher and good-natured teasing, it’s easy to see why.