Electric Adventure

What a wonderful electric adventure I had today.

From home at 21st & Noe I took the Segway down to the Viking at 17th & Sanchez for a haircut.

From there I rode down to the BART station at 16th and Mission, where the absence of a “down” escalator immediately came to my attention. So I trundled the Segway down the stairs into this deep pit, remembering only about half way down that there were elevators for the disabled. (I had brought my handicap placard along just in case somebody wanted to hassle me by pointing out that the law specifically permitted only bicycles and wheelchairs, but the attendants were quite nice about explaining how I had to push the Segway through the handicap gate and then walk back around and use my ticket to get through the turnstile.) After a six minute wait, I boarded the Dublin/Pleasanton train as it pulled into the station exactly on time.

I had used BART routinely in the late ‘seventies to get to work at Chabot College over in Hayward when I lived at 23rd and South Van Ness, so I was familiar with the first part of the route. And let’s face it, since BART runs underground from 16th and Mission and then under the bay until it briefly surfaces in West Oakland and then dives back underground for three more stops, there’s not really all that much to see for the first part of the journey. Although the stations themselves are all interesting architecturally, the insides of tunnels are quite similar.

However, once my train reached a point just south of the Bayfair station in San Leandro, it veered off onto the new Dublin line that I’d never taken. The first part is relatively uninteresting, but once you’re out in the country, the views are splendid. The BART tracks parallel I-580, but when you’re driving you simply can’t enjoy the panoramic views the way you can when your attention is not taken up with keeping the vehicle in one lane. We’re into winter enough that the hills have greened up and the scattered trees are glossy, the wimpy winter sun lighting them up from the side. Just beautiful.

My friend David and a couple of his colleagues met me at the BART station and we tossed the Segway into the back of his van and went off to Little Home for a splendid Thai lunch. Then back to the PeopleSoft parking lot for a Segway introduction for the two friends and David, all thoroughly photographed and videotaped so as to drive their kids mad with envy.

And then, home again home again. The whole adventure was not 100% electric because of the few blocks in David’s van from the station to the restaurant and back, but I could have just as easily taken the Segway for that part, too.

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