CitiBike Tour Is Not the Same as a #CityBikeTour (But Still Awesome)

Jeffrey Tanenhaus quit his job, checked out a 45 lb. Citi Bike in Gramercy Park, and rode 2700 miles from Manhattan to Santa Monica.  He kept it out slightly longer than Citi Bike usually intends and paid the maximum $1200 “overdue” fine.

“It’s a pretty sturdy bike.”

This wasn’t quite a spur of the moment decision, Tanenhaus had gear and a bike trailer prepared for his journey.

More photos on his Instagram:

By the way, he’s planning to return the bike.



On A Mission

San Antonio has recently completed major upgrades and extensions to the original downtown Riverwalk which is very much focused on food and fun.  The Eagleland segment extends the pedestrian portion of the Riverwalk to the Blue Star Complex.  The Mission Reach Trail starts here and provides cyclists and walkers access to four historic missions, recreational facilities, picnic tables, and views of river wildlife in a semi-urban setting.  North of downtown, the Museum Reach Trail is nearing completion for access to several museums and the zoo.

I rode from the Blue Star Complex to the southern end of the Mission Trail and back on a perfect February afternoon in Texas.  In addition to visiting all of the well cared for missions, I spotted a pair of golden eagles, numerous turtles, ducks and other water fowl as well as a large snake.


Blue Star Bicycling
Blue Star Bicycling

Although I brought my bike from Austin, there are B-Cycle stations located at all of the missions as well as many of the road intersections.  B-Cycle would be ideal for short rides between two or three missions.  But the bikes are fairly heavy and the trail was hillier than expected.  If you intend on riding the full length, consider renting a bike from Blue Star Bicycling Company located in the Blue Star Complex at the north end of the trail.  From there, if you visit all four missions, plan on riding about 22 miles.

Of course, you don’t have to ride the entire length.  The trail is well marked and has frequent picnic tables, shelters, and water fountains, as well as easy access to local businesses.  Lingering at the missions and parks, you could easily make a day of it or just spend a couple of hours riding out and back.  Or just ride a few miles and enjoy this treasure that San Antonio has provided us.

Finally, after your ride, you might like to enjoy one of San Antonio’s oldest brewpubs, Blue Star Brewing Company:

The Blue Star Brewing Company was one of the first brewpubs in San Antonio that has been serving their uniquely brewed beer and food since 1996. Shortly after opening The Blue Star Brewing Company, owner Joey Villarreal and his wife Magdalena opened the Blue Star Bike Shop within the walls of the amazing brewery, and later moved to its very own location right next door. The Blue Star Brewing Company offers organic brew and a selection of locally sourced food, The Blue Star Brewing Company is the place to relax and enjoy a well crafted meal before or after an adventurous bike ride on the trails.

Tell them Been There Bike Tours sent you!

e place to relax and enjoy a well crafted meal before or after an adventures bike ride on the trails.

The One-Off

val-rideWhen we started building the BTBT worldwide global intergalactic #citybiketour database, our focus was on commercial bike tour operators.  But we quickly discovered numerous DIY, BYOB rides, such as Bikabout‘s very professional offerings along with more home grown efforts like the City of Portland’s recommended rides.   And we even wrote one of our own for Austin’s east side.

More and more now, we’re discovering the “one-off”…a specific one time bike tour created by the likes of art galleries, civic groups, advocacy groups, and just plain folks.  Even some of the bike tour operators are getting in on the act.

There are ecotours, history tours, art crawls, and even Valentine’s rides this coming V-day weekend (with optional tandem bikes, of course).

Bikes are a great way to get around town.  City bike tours are a great way to see a city.  And one-off tours are a great way to do something a little different and unique.  On a bike.

Who’s up for Tour de Cluck?


My Other Bike is a Learjet

BTBT’s winter Learjet taking off from our top secret headquarters. Photo courtesy
BTBT’s winter Learjet taking off from our top secret headquarters. Photo courtesy
OK, since we don’t have a Learjet and are still waiting on our winning Powerball ticket…sometimes we have to resort to clever Google-fu and other tactics to build our #citybiketour database.  And suddenly a simple email takes us down the rabbit hole of updating listings on three continents at the same time as having a few Google map windows open.

We’re not done yet, but we’ve added new cities like Porto, Bratislava, Tel Aviv, and Kuching to our listings.

And, along the way, we learned that there are kick scooter tours in Budapest.  Maybe we need to start BeenThereKickScooterTours?




Little Town – Lots of Bike Tours

America’s Favorite TownAmerica’s 20th Quirkiest Town? America’s Coolest Small Town of 2012 (OK, it was a tie)?  A city of 4000 residents with 10 different bike tours?

Welcome to Beaufort, NC and be sure to pronounce it BOH-fert if you visit.  Beaufort is located in NC’s Inner Banks — 150 miles and a ferry ride away from where Orville and Wilbur made history at Kitty Hawk.

Hungry Town Guided Tours features 10 different bike tours and will even work with you to create you own tour.  Here’s the current lineup:

N.C. Oyster Tour N.C. Shrimp Tour Beaufort Culinary Tour Hidden Beaufort Tour Early Morning Risers Tour
Bike, Brunch & Bubbles Legends & Lore of the Sea Beaufort Lunchbox Tour Ride with the Bride A Ride to Remember

I imagine there may be a little bit of overlap in the routes, but this is seriously impressive!

Want more?  Here’s a video from UNC TV. And another one from the Crystal Coast.  Be sure to check out their unique bike license plates.


(Second?) Biggest City Bike Tour Ever?

May’s D.C. Bike Ride is expected to draw about 8000 riders.  Although NYC’s Five Boro Bike Tour draws about four times as many riders, it’s 40 miles long and some people even train for it!  The D.C. ride is more approachable at a “17-mile bike ride en masse that will wind its way around many of the city’s monuments and landmarks”.  The Washington Area Bicycle Association agrees, saying, “Most of the other events of this scale are for the racing, competitive communities.  This is really focused on people who may not feel comfortable riding around D.C. streets day in and day out.”

Registration starts TODAY at DC Bike Ride.

Here’s the map:

Eco Tours Downunder

On the heels of posting about the somewhat unconventional tours of History Bike Tampa, we’ve discovered a series of upcoming Ecocity bike tours sponsored by The Squeaky Wheel in Melbourne, Australia.  For example, this Saturday’s (Feb 6, 2016) ride looks like this:

Hop on your bike with us, we take you on a free 2hr guided bike tour when Melbourne’s favourite community hubs are transforming into eco exploration precincts. Heading off from brand new Library at the Dock, we will come across creative ways of using waste, take a look at Melbourne’s leading Green Buildings and local hidden community gardens. Come and find out how to move mindfully through traffic and explore all things green, community and sustainable Docklands has to offer.

Includes coffee stop at artist run Waterfront Gallery Ari (bring some coins if you like to support Humble Coffee) and a free pastry!

Just like History Bike Tampa’s tours, these rides are free, BYOB (bring your own bike), involve coffee, and run by non-traditional bike tour operators.

Check their calendar for details on future rides.