MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is one of the unique ways to tour the city of Minneapolis: a three-hour “Magical History Tour” on a Segway.

“Taking a Segway out on the old Stone Arch Bridge and seeing the skyline of Minneapolis, it’s just incredible every single time,” said tour guide Jim Berdahl.

Mobile Entertainment LLC has run the tours since 2004, riding through the Mill District, near the Stone Arch Bridge, and in the nooks and crannies of Boom and Nicollet Islands.

“We have a practice session we do first,” said Berdahl, so people can learn to ride the Segways. It’s not quite like riding a bike, or driving a car. Subtle shifts in weight control the motorized scooter.

“Weight on front of feet makes you go forward, weight on the back of your feet slows you down, you’ll be just fine,” Berdahl told a group of riders including WCCO’s Jason DeRusha and Kylie Bearse.

The tour covers a lot of ground geographically, and also historically. Guides enthusiastically share the history of the village of St. Anthony, the Stone Arch Bridge, the falls, the lock and dam, among other locations along the Mississippi River.

The best thing is “the fact you can get to places you wouldn’t normally get to see,” said Berdahl.

Tourists and locals have been taking the tours for more than a decade, and “people from all over the world and all over the United States, everyone finds it just wonderful,” he said.

Tours run from May through October daily at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. for $90. Riders have to be at least 12 and they can be up to 80 years old, with a weight restriction of 280 pounds.

Jason DeRusha