History Biking in Tampa

We weretbh pleased to stumble across History Bike Tampa this week.  Florida cities, in general, don’t have as many bike tours as they might.  Humid summers and sometimes challenging cycling conditions may help explain that.  History Bike Tampa offers monthly two hour tours for free (with suggested $5 donation).  Rides are held on the first Saturday of the month and each ride focuses on a specific neighborhood or topic.  Bring your own bike (BYOB) or arrange a rental through City Bike Tampa.

Recent rides have been examining the history of the area soon to be impacted by the TBX makeover of “Malfunction Junction” otherwise known as the I4-I275 interchange.  If you’ve ever driven in Tampa, you’ve probably suffered this confusing freeway tangle.

Check out History Bike Tours’ upcoming rides and sign up early – rides are capped at 80(!) participants.

Miami Art Crawl: Street Art by Bike

Photo by Phillip Pessar
Photo by Phillip Pessar

This Saturday (Jan 30, 2016), Miami’s Pérez Art Museum is sponsoring a guided bike tour of murals in the Wynwood arts district, led by two of the artists.  Post ride drinks are planned at the Concrete Beach Brewery.  While many city bike tour providers cater to visitors, one-off city bike tours are a wonderful way to engage the local community.  I’d love to participate in this upcoming ride except for three little problems:

  1. I’m cheap.  The ride itself is only $30, but it’s only for PAMM Contemporaries.   ($200 annual single membership)
  2. I’m old.  PAMM Contemporaries must be between ages 21 to 41
  3. I’m too far away

But hey, if you’re young and can afford to be a PAMM Contemporary, I hope you can make what looks like a great ride.  Drop us a line if you go!  Otherwise, here’s a peak at some of the murals: http://www.brian-curtis.com/um_webpage/ART%20202-301/mfa_wynwood.html, courtesy of the University of Miami.

Photo by EL Gringo
Photo by EL Gringo


Austin’s TNSR – Thursday Night Social Ride

Social Cycling Austin sponsors  more than a half dozen weekly rides.  Several of their rides could be suitable for taking an unpredictable bike tour.  The Thursday Night Social Ride (TNSR) is the granddaddy of the social rides, sometimes attracting as many as 300 riders.  The rides start at Festival Beach, just under the I-35 bridge over Town Lake Lady Bird Lake near the heart of downtown Austin.

The ride departs around 8pm and lasts about tnsr1three hours, covering 10 to 12 miles, typically.  Sometimes the route is publicized in advance and sometimes not, but always stays within the general confines of central Austin.  The group typically stops for a mid-ride break at a local park.  And the ride generally ends at a bar or bike shop for, often discounted or free, adult refreshments.   Expect to see a tall bike or two, crazy curb-hopping BMXers, fixie bikes, tandems, bike stereos, and plenty of colorfully lit bikes.  The TNSR generally attracts a younger adult crowd, but some of us not-so-younger types ride it too.  TNSR is probably not appropriate for under 21, due to the latish hours/adult beverages.

Here’s a short video of riders departing Festival Beach.  Several ride leaders from Social Cycling Austin help keep riders on track with turns and ensure the group is remassed after being split at traffic lights.

For visitors to Austin, you’ll need to borrow or rent a bike (and be sure to borrow some lights!).  Check out Streamline Cycles and Eastside Pedal Pushers, the two closest rental bike shops.  Austin B-Cycle is a possibility, but the bikes are on the heavy side and it would get a bit expensive for the evening.

tnsr2In any event, TNSR is an opportunity to take a free, unpredictable city bike tour with a couple hundred of your new best bike friends.