350 and 11 Or So Miles – Houston Mural Ride

Have I mentioned that Mural Rides are a thing now?  This past Sunday, I hopped in the car and drove 175 miles to Houston to ride in Bayou City Outdoors’ Graffiti Ride (we’ll let Columbia University sort out the difference between murals and graffiti for us 😎 ).

BCO is “Houston’s event, adventure, and social club”.  They sponsor a number of cycling oriented events in and around H-town.  This was the second Graffiti Ride, with more likely in the future.

Market Square Park
Market Square Park

Sixty or so riders started at Market Square Park and focused on East Downtown (“EaDo“) and the 2nd Ward/East End districts.  The first mural stop at the Houston Graffiti Building featured a dozen or so murals on several buildings (near the intersection of St. Emanuel and Bell):

houston_mural_ride_3 houston_mural_ride_4 houston_mural_ride_5We rode east from here and made use of two excellent bits of cycling infrastructure, the Columbia Tap and Harrisburg Hike & Bike Trail.  This part of town provided some great cycling conditions (especially on a Sunday) and offered a handful more mural sightings:

houston_mural_ride_6 houston_mural_ride_7 houston_mural_ride_8DCIM100MEDIAWe eventually looped back toward the start, but not before a brief stop for refreshments at the 8th Wonder Brewery.  The ride took right at three hours and was 11 miles or so.  As you can see the weather was nothing short of ideal.  Especially for Houston.

And, another three hours and 175 mile drive later and my day was done.

If you visit Houston and want to see some murals, please check out this amazing guide by Ashley Cardoza, Carrie Colbert, and Maritere Ricee.  Best of all, they included this interactive Google map:

Happy Muraling!

Get This Headlight — Cargo Pocket Cycling (Reblog)

landm350The Light & Motion Urban 350 IS a great headlight.  Check out this reblog for all the great features.  Another benefit for bike tours and bike rentals is that the light is mounted with a quick release rubber strap.  Take your favorite light with you — it even doubles as a flashlight.

If you ride your bike in the dark, even at dusk, you need lights. In the U.S., all 50 states REQUIRE a headlight and a tail light or reflector. Getting a ticket is one thing…but you absolutely don’t want to get hit by a car. And, unless you ride exclusively in well-lit urban areas, you […]

via Get This Headlight — Cargo Pocket Cycling

Gettin’ Googly With It

So you’re headed, say, to the Big Apple.  You’ve heard of bike tours and are ready to try one in the city.  Or maybe you’ve gotten a few great rides under your belt.  Either way, you Google “bike tour new york city” and come up with a lot of great options.  But there are a half dozen ads at the top, most of which aren’t even about bikes.  Hey, a helicopter ride looks REALLY fun, but that’s not what you’re looking for.  And, do you really want to ride a century (100 mile ride) in a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon?

We’re not saying not to use Google.  FAR from it; we use Google every day to improve our city bike tour directory and to research fun articles about great rides.  Here’s a better idea:

  • For New York, go to our USA/North America page (we’ve divided the directory mostly by continent to keep the page sizes reasonable without generating a zillion smaller geographic pages to dig through)
  • Scroll down or search for New York City, you’ll see this:

NYC Listings

Right away, there’s nearly a dozen traditional guided tours to choose from.  But wait, there’s more…your Google search probably didn’t show you those Wall Street Journal Bike the Boroughs tours.  Not only are these well thought out DIY tours, but you can take these tours right now on your device…every tour has a companion video!

Then there are the Splinlister rides…and Bikabout’s amazing “curated” rides that include multiple maps, transit info, where to rent bikes, what to see, and great eating and drinking spots.

You won’t find Bikabout, Spinlister, or even smaller commercial tours on the first page of Google’s results.  Most people, including us, rarely venture past the first page or two of a Google search.

  • So, explore a few of these rides and choose a favorite or two.
  • Now, it’s Google time.  Google your destination.  You may find a new ride that’s not in our directories yet.  If that happens, please do drop us a line, we try to keep everything current but new bike tours are starting daily, it seems.
  • Look through the results, you might have already found your perfect ride.  But use the power of Google to double-check.  And perhaps follow some links to reviews.  (BTBT has few here).
  • Finally, choose one (or more!)…go there…ride it…have a great time!


Groceries, Graffiti, and Getting High in Houston

It’s November and the weather is cooling off, a little, in subtropical Houston.  This month brings three #oneoff bike tours worth taking.

First up is the Heights Bicycle Tour, sponsored by the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.  Rolling on Nov 12, this ride is only $10.  It’s BYOB or you can grab a Houston Bcycle.

On November 19, Bayou City Outdoors is sponsoring an open-to-the-public bike tour of H-town’s farmer’s markets.  It’s free for both members and non-members.  Again, you’ll need to bring-your-own-bike or use Houston Bcycle.  Note: As of this writing, there are only 23 of 50 reserved spots left. Or, maybe 22, if BTBT decides to make a road trip.

Courtesy: BPPrice (CC BY 2.0)
Courtesy: BPPrice (CC BY 2.0)

Bayou City Outdoors is sponsoring yet another public ride on Sunday, November 20.  The Graffiti Ride starts at Market Square Park in front of Nico Nico’s in downtown Houston.  Also free of charge, this ride currently has a mere 16 slots remaining.  (Hmm, weekend road trip?…make that 15).  This ride also requires bringing one’s own bike, Bcycle, or renting from one of the nearby shops (see article).  Murals, graffiti, and public art are a perfect match for bike tours!