Tag Archives: art

Bicycle Tours of Atlanta – Fall in Love with Atlanta Tour

While visiting family in Atlanta, an extended BTBT team rode the Fall in Love with Atlanta tour from Bicycle Tours of Atlanta along with a few other guests.  When we arrived, all eight bikes were ready to go, identified with name tags for each rider.  BTofA’s website asks for height and age info when booking to provide an appropriate bike for each rider.  That’s not only helpful to find your bike, but doubly nice since it makes it easy for the guide and riders to learn one another’s names.

After a brief test ride and a few fit adjustments in the parking lot, we rolled out toward the historic shotgun houses near the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.  From there we began a rambling clockwise route roughly encircling the Little Five Points, Inman Park, and Cabbagetown neighborhoods.

After stopping for an iconic downtown Atlanta photo, we paused again to explore street art along a short section of the Atlanta Beltline (including one of three “tiny doors” that we encountered).  From there, we rode the Freedom Park Trail passing by The Carter Center.  A few shady streets later, we arrived at Little Five Points, Atlanta’s “answer to Haight-Ashbury”.  Little Five Points is proud to have exactly three non-local establishments:  The post office, a Starbucks, and an American Apparel.

After more shady residential streets and another short stint on the Freedom Park Trail, we entered Inman Park proper. Sadly, we rolled PAST the King of Pops HQ & Walk Up Window. (“Mmmm, popsicles…”)  Several blocks later, we stopped for a story about a pair of iconic houses, and their connections to the Coca-Cola company.  A bit further on, we discovered the butterfly flags marking the first neighborhood in Altanta to gentrify.

Next up, a fast, dark ride through the heavily graffitied Krog Street Tunnel followed by a photo taking break at the Cabbagetown terminus.  Heading west along Wylie Street, we encountered more murals along the concrete railroad embankment.  We then circled back to Sweet Cheats for a brief cupcake and bio-break.

Following the break, we pedaled a short distance to the site of the Fullton Bag and Cotton Mills.  A portion of the historic mill was converted to loft apartments in the late 90s.  Hundred year old walls overlook the inviting modern pool.  Just around the corner, we rode through a residence of a different sort, the Historic Oakland Cemetery.  The cemetery predates the Civil War and serves as both a final resting place and peaceful city park.

The final leg of the tour took us past the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the King Center, once again, before returning to the bike shop.

What We Liked

  • Just about everything.  The location of the shop and tour route are nearly ideal to experience a cross-section of Atlanta.
  • The bikes were in very good condition (a couple were brand new) and set up for us in advance.  The name tags were a nice touch.
  • Walt was an enthusiastic, knowledgeable guide.  Sara was learning the ropes and having a second guide to help with intersections in busy Atlanta added to our safety.
  • Plenty of water provided before and after the ride.

What Could be Better

  • One of our riders had requested an e-bike.  She wasn’t able to use the throttle, but the pedal assist worked fine.  Kudos to Walt for emailing us after the ride to explain the quirks of how that bike usually works.
  • I sure could have gone for that King of Pops popsicle  🙂

Should You Go?

Absolutely, highly recommended!  

Of note, Bicycle Tours of Atlanta also runs “Street Art” and “Twilight” tours.

St. Petersburg Goes Bike Tour

Photo from Bikes and Brews St. Pete’s Facebook page

Update:  Unfortunately, Bike & Brews St Pete has gone out of business and seems to be for sale.

Here at BTBT we try to keep our bike tour directories current.  Sadly, some tour companies don’t make it, but we usually find more new tours to add than those defunct ones we have to remove.  Well…I guess they may end up being a defunct tour after all….here’s hoping someone takes it over.

While updating our St. Petersburg (Russia) links, we stumbled across Bikes & Brews St Pete in that other St. Petersburg in Florida… It wasn’t that long ago that this St. Pete was known as God’s Waiting Room (PS: There’s still a bar called that).  And retirees still abound, but the Millennials are coming in hordes.

Which comes first, Millenials or craft beer/bikes/dogs/cafes/farmers markets/etc.?  We don’t care because we love those things too.  And Bikes & Brew St. Pete offers you a chance to check out the resurgent town.  Founded about a year ago, they ride cruiser bikes and offer a:

“3+ hour historic bike tours of downtown St. Pete. Includes a drink at 3 brew spots in town.”

With at least eight breweries in town, along with plenty of craft beer bars, you should have plenty of choices.  Chances are that you’ll stop, of course, at Cycle Brewery and see a bit of street art on your ride.

Want to keep riding after your tour is over?  Just this fall, Tampa’s Coast Bike Share was extended to St. Pete.  You still have a half dozen breweries to check out, not to mention:

If you happen to be visiting Tampa, the Cross-Bay Ferry is a great way to get from downtown over to St. Pete.  No traffic and pelicans are virtually guaranteed.

 

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!

 

Murals and Bike Tours – Is This a Thing?

We hope so, it’s a perfect combination.

Remember the Miami Art Crawl we mentioned back in January?  It seems that things are warming up enough in Philadelphia to follow suit.  This Saturday, there’s a Mural Arts Tours 2016 Spring Launch Event featuring a couple of bike tours (free) and a walking tour ($22).  Spots are going fast, so sign up now.

The tours will be lead by Philadelphia Eagles DE Connor Barwin.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that there are any regularly scheduled mural bike tours.  But the event is cosponsored by Philly’s bike share, Indego…..so maybe that will be changing?

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