Sometimes You Get Lucky – Bike Tours in Newcastle upon Tyne

There are now well over 350 city bike tours in BeenThereBikeTours‘s database.  We’ve been around for about 10 months now.  So, try as we might, we haven’t ridden all of them or even been to all seven continents (yet).  By the way, are there bike tours in Antarctica?  People do ride there and there’s even a fat bike expedition to the South Pole coming up in 2016!  It’s only $70,000 to ride (airfare not included), so sign up soon.

Sadly, there are no cities in the Antarctic, so we’re not including the South Pole ride in our listings.  But, we did just add a cool-looking city tour in Newcastle, UK.  Since we’re not independently wealthy, we find many of our tours with old fashioned creative Googling.  Recently, we’ve been working on Australia.  Plugging major (and not so major) cities into Google along with “bike tours” is usually a good start.  Newcastle, New South Wales is a city of about 150K in Southeastern Australia that appeared likely to have a city bike tour.  And a quick Google of “bike tours Newcastle” turned one up, however it was the aforementioned Newcastle Cycle Tours in northeast England, only about 1000 miles from being on the other side of our planet from Newcastle, NSW.

Photo: JimmyGuano
Photo: JimmyGuano

Newcastle upon Tyne is the home of Newcastle Brown Ale , a beautiful series of seven bridges crossing the Tyne, Grainger Town, and the Quayside district.

Fortunately, it turns out that BOTH cities of Newcastle have city bike tours.  And Newcastle Bicycle Tours is your destination for the downunder Newcastle.

Now, who wants to try to ride both of these in a weekend?

Welcome to DFW

Photo: Backamp Research
Photo: Backamp Research

Dallas is a tough place to ride bikes.  In 2010, Bicycling Magazine rated Dallas one of the three worst cities to ride a bike. In 2012, it happened again.  The bicycle coordinator from 1991 to 2006 believed that bikes were just like cars and removed the few existing bike lanes in favor of a “vehicular cycling” approach.

The most recent bicycle czar has finally been making some solid progress against their 2011 plan.  Sadly, she recently left for greener pastures in Denver.

Ft. Worth, on the other hand, has a B-cycle operation and a mayor who conducts “rolling town hall meetings” by bicycle. If you’re unfamiliar with the metroplex (a portmanteau originally coined by the NTC) , it’s more than just the big D and Cowtown…there’s Arlington, Grapevine, Coppell, Lewisville, Plano, Garland, Irving, Richardardson, and a handful more.  Mix in a dozen or so municipalities and a crazy pickup truck/luxury car mashup culture and it’s hard to believe anything involving bikes gets done.

Nevertheless, a 60+ mile network of trails is nearing completion that connects “D” to “FW” along and near the Trinity River.

So, what of bike tours?  Until recently, Dallas sadly had no bike tours.  But we recently discovered this video that shows a DallasCityTour bike tour.   No sign of biks on the website, but we’ll keep an eye out.

Update: Here’s a self-guided Brewery Tour by Bicycle!  Good news if you don’t have a bike, Local Hub rents bikes.

As we mentioned, trail infrastructure looks to be Dallas’s primary investment strategy.   Spinlister has a couple of rides using these urban trails.

Things are looking up in Fort Worth too.  Until recently there was only one, running once per month.  CowTown Electric Bikes has recently started several tours, running a few times per week.  Progress in the Metroplex!

We think there’s room for more…C’mon bike entrepreneurs, where are ya?


Medellín Bike Tour is All Right

The owner of Medellín Bike Tour is a former Austinite, home of BTBT….all right, all right, all right!

Most of us probably think of Medellín, the second largest city in Columbia, as the home of Pablo Escobar and his drug cartel.  It was once the most murderous city on the planet, but has rebounded in many ways and continues to reinvent itself.

Dan Egger-Belandria‘s bike tour company is the top outdoor activity in Medellín on Tripadvisor.

We haven’t had the opportunity to visit Medellín yet, but it looks great.  If you go, be sure to check out the free EnCicla bike share.

Two-Wheeled Berlin with Paste Magazine

Paste Magazine has a short piece titled 3 2-Wheeled Ways to See Berlin.  “Way” number one is bicycles and they mention three bike tours also noted in our listings: Berlin on Bike, Fat Tire Bike Tours, and Berlin Bike Tour.  There are also four other Berlin bike tours listed on our Europe page.

“Way” number two is inline skates.  Hmm…well, “two-wheeled” feet is close to two wheels.  Inline skates for an eight to ten mile city tour could be a real challenge for an inexperienced skater.

“Way” number three is Segway tours.  We’ve ridden Segways a few times.  They’re fun, but there can be some downsides.  The learning curve can be a problem for some people and once, I had a battery suddenly go dead.  The Segway dropped to the ground, powerless, underneath me.  Fortunately, I jumped off quickly and was not in traffic at the time.

Naturally, we think bikes and bike tours are the best way to see a city on two wheels.  They have the most range and don’t rely on batteries to keep going