Tours On Wheels – Segway, eScooters and Bikes
I’ve now published three posts to give you some tips and tricks on how to choose a good “mobile” tour i.e. using a regular bike, e-Bike, eScooter or Segway. But before you choose, there are some things that you need to know and this post will point you in the right direction regarding the choices plus what to look out for. The individual tour posts will have options ranging from 60 minutes up to several hours. So let’s get started.
At the time of writing this post the following applies:
1) Segways are banned from the Prague 1 area, selected parks and selected riverfront locations.
2) Bikes, e-Bikes and eScooters can be ridden anywhere in the city so long as you obey the normal road rules that apply to a bike.
3) A 1000-1700 time ban for bikes in the city is planned but is not yet in force. When it comes into force you will need to dismount in the designated areas.
Bikes and eBikes
Give or take this largely comes down to 3 companies operating a variety of different bikes which can be eBikes, Retro, road bikes and off-road bikes depending on the tour. Some will operate with headsets so the guide will talk as you ride. Others are the usual riding and stopping at given points. Bikes and eBikes have the advantage of being centrally located and allowed in the historic centre of the city although you may need to dismount on a city square if required. Bike tours traditionally offer the “out of city” options where 10 hour tours are not unusual and may require a transfer or train travel. There is usually a surcharge if you select the eBike option. Ponchos and water may be included but you pay for beer.
The first thing to understand here is that Segways are NOT allowed in several places in the city including the entire Prague 1 area i.e. Old Town, New Town, Lesser Town and Hradcany (Castle). So expect to start your tour in either Prague 5 or Prague 6 which may mean they offer a transfer for you to get to the start point. This means that whereas eScooters and Bikes will do a city loop, Segways normally go out in one direction and several of the companies use the Prague 6 area which includes Sacre Coeur Park, Strahov Monastery, Strahov Stadium, Strešovice, Brevnov and Ladronka. Training time is part of the tour so the quicker the group can start, the more you’ll see. It’s a fun ride but remember you’ll be outside of the main tourist areas so you won’t be seeing the main attractions.
eScooters largely appeared after the city banned Segways from the historic centre and the tour organisers needed other options. First thing to note is that they are fully electric. Design-wise you have the “Hugo” style which has the large wheel at the front and the smaller rear wheel. Or you have the “chopper” type with equal sized smaller but fatter wheels. Both have saddles but in my experience the “Hugo” style bike has a better balance especially if you decide to stand up plus better range. eScooters often have the advantage of being centrally located and are allowed in the historic centre of the city although you may need to dismount on a city square if required. Note that if an eScooter is offered by an existing bike company then the meeting point will be central. Any eScooter tour that includes Brevnov Monastery or Ladronka Park will require you to take a tram back into the city after your tour. In this case I’ve included combination Segway/eScooter choices as well.