Tour Guides at Ride the Ducks are incredible at their jobs not only because they’re passionate about entertaining all of you, but they truly love the city of Seattle—really, they just can’t get enough! Our Guides are always exploring and constantly on the look-out for new and exciting tidbits to share on their tours. In this enlightening blog series we call Duck Diaries, prepare to follow our Wacky Tour Guide’s adventures and experiences around Seattle—plus get some tips written by none other than the pros themselves!
Meet Captain Bjorn Toorun and Tour Guide Heidi Claire! These two are Ride the Duck’s dynamic duo–and if you’re ever on tour with them both at the same time, be ready for the best tour ever! When they aren’t quacking up guests on board, they love to gather a group and learn more about the sights that can be seen along the tour route. This time, the two of them test drove a Tesla! Follow along as Captain Bjorn shares their Tesla adventure!
Tesla Test Drive
I have been a Tour Guide and a Captain for Ride the Ducks for six years and I’ve driven by the Tesla showroom hundreds, if not thousands, of times. I try to read up on interesting places to talk about on my tours and the Tesla showroom was always on my radar. I had some time off last spring so I visited the showroom in person to learn more. There I met Grace, who taught me all about these fantastic cars. Then, she said the magic words… “Would you like to take a test ride?” Well DUH! I left with plans to set up a test drive. It took until this winter to set aside a day, and I asked my coworker Heidi Claire if she would like to join me. She kinda said DUH! also.
I emailed ahead and we were given a choice of models. I asked Heidi Claire which one she would look better in. The Sedan or the Model X. She chose the Model X and that was fine by me. On this car, the doors are called Falcon Wing Doors because they are double jointed so as to not hit a wall or car next to you as they open or close. We were all set. We both got dressed up. (I am not driving a $118,000 car in work pants!). When we arrived Raphael met us and showed us all the features of the car. Too many to list, really! It was time to drive! We cruised out onto Highway 99 heading north. “This is the first acceleration test area,” Raphael said. So I pressed down the throttle pedal and that car took off! It accelerates so fast that the front end gets light and moves around a bit. This car goes from 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds. Can you believe the other models are actually quicker?!
We both giggled while slowing down to traffic speeds. Raphael had me push some button and the car stayed a set distance from the car in front of us. The car in front slowed down, our car slowed down…awesome! Then I put it in autopilot mode. The car senses the lines and steers itself!! This was creepy for me. I did not let this go on for too long before I took control back.
Next up, auto parking. We went into a parking lot and slowly drove by the parked cars. The Tesla looks for a open spot and measures it. When it finds a spot, the word “Park” comes up on the dashboard. You push one more button and the car takes over–it backs up while turning the steering wheel, stops and straightens the car and backs itself slowly right into the spot! This was cool and a little creepy, too!
We headed over to the Ride the Ducks ticket booth to show it off and then back to the showroom. It was a amazing test ride! I was blown away by the level of tech and engineering. Now, both Heidi and I point out the Tesla showroom on tour and talk about their cars with first-hand knowledge.
After all that test driving, we were hungry so we headed to Farestart for lunch. Farestart helps people who are down on their luck become full-time food industry workers. It is a 16-week program that has a 90% job placement rate. How cool! The service was great. Lots of tasty dishes on the menu. I had the fish and chips and Heidi had a very fancy cobb salad. We ate and chatted about the Tesla as a couple of Duck tours rolled by.
Great lunch. Great mission. We live in a very cool town.
Captain Bjorn Toorun