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Two-Wheel Touring, Davenport, Iowa

 See the Quad Cities on two wheels – on a bicycle or on an electric vehicle called a Segway.

See the Quad Cities on two wheels on a bicycle or an electric vehicle called a Segway.

Mott:  Ok everything is in your feet, ok? When you put the weight on your heels you go backwards. Put the weight on your toes, you go forward. When you want to turn it is not turning your body, it is in the column itself.

Kaercher: Once the basic driving instructions are down for this two-wheeled electric vehicle called a Segway, the tour of Davenport begins. Riders start out on a trail that parallels the Mississippi River with stops at many points of interest.

Mott:  Right here is one of the Quad Cities and Davenport's prominent pieces of artwork. It is the Dillion Fountain. Also you will look right across here and we have the Figge Art Museum. This is one of the most well-known museums in Iowa. They offer a lot of Grant Wood paintings, and now we will go towards the lock and dam.

Kaercher: While I wasn't on this particular ride. I did get a chance to talk to the owner of Iowa Segway who started his business after taking a Segway tour in Spain.

Mott:  I had such a great time that I - the whole plane trip back I was thinking about how I could bring this to Iowa. We can stop at multiple spots easily. Like if you are on a bus you have to make a stop and get everyone off and then get everyone back on. But a Segway you can just move around. You can stay right on the Segway.

Kaercher: So instead of stopping, Segway riders idle during tours thanks to the vehicle's unique design.

Mott:  They stay up by a computer system with a gyroscope which basically holds the rider's balance at all times. It recalculates the weight distribution several times a second. That is why it holds the rider in place.

Kaercher: It is a novel way to be a tourist and it has at least one rider sold on Segway sightseeing.

Weaver: Well, I ride bicycle almost every day and this is almost like riding a bike. You kind of lean into it and use your knees and - I took right to it. I am not winded, my legs aren't sore; it is a good way to get around. I want one.

Kaercher: The Segway looks fun. But if you prefer a more traditional two-wheel ride, Davenport is also a great place to bicycle. There is a riverfront trail and a scenic way to transport you and your bike across the Mississippi to reach the trails on the Illinois side.

Wine: We have a lot of trails in the Quad Cities. It is a wonderful amenity for connecting people to the water which is what River Action is all about. We started this 27 years ago for advocacy for trails. We had two and a half miles at that time. We have 60 now. Yes and you won't find anything easier to ride because it is all flat. It is flat and wide and in most cases beautiful views.

Kaercher:  Kathy Wine, whose River Action Group works on among other things trail development says navigating the trails is easy.  There are kiosks showing trail maps as well as other signage.  Bike rentals also are available.  Trail users can learn about local history from a cell phone audio tour.  There are RiverWay Art displays including the storm fallen trees used to create a replica of part of the famous Sunday Afternoon Painting by French artist Georges Seurat.  While the art is certainly worth a stop a big draw is the river itself.

Wine:  Any way you want to do it you can get across the Mississippi here.  We built ramps up to the Government Bridge, built a separate bridge across the slue-- and ramped it down and these are open, these trails open every day of the year, 24 hours.

Kaercher:  Bikes and pedestrians can cross the river on land or on the river on the Channel Cat Water Taxi.

Wine:  It is a wonderful people mover and it is a peoples’ bus really.  And we designed it and had the vision for a way for people to get across the river without a reservation, inexpensive, ride all day if you want, get on and off, river hopping if you will, and also hold bikes so that people can do trails as well as hit restaurants or shopping and that kind of thing.  When there is festivals going on in both sides of the river this is the way to get there without having to park and things like that.

Kaercher:  And if you are lucky there will be a knowledgeable passenger on board to give a little tour.

Bolton:  Up here there is a pier and there is - used to be several of them along here that they would put kerosene lamps in them.  And that is how they would mark the channel at night.

Kaercher:  People can get on and off the boat all day, but you may just choose to stay on board for the hour long route.  Then it is off to keep touring whether on foot or your choice of two-wheeled traveling around the Quad Cities.

Tags: bicycle trails bicycles Davenport Figge Art Museum geodes Iowa Kathy Wine Lock and Dam Number 15 Mike Mott Mississippi River Scott County Segways tourism travel water taxis