Tag Archives: byob

Silicon Valley Goes for a Mural Tour

Aztec calendar mural in San Jose’s Biebrach Park, originally painted by Antonio Nava Torres, is one of the murals that will be showcased in a community bike ride sponsored by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition on March 4, 2017. (Sal Pizarro/Staff)

Bike and murals seem to go together at least as well as bikes and beers.  This time, there’s a mural tour of San Jose, scheduled for this Saturday (March 4, 2017).

The route is about 13 miles and the tour is free of charge.  Sign up at Eventbrite.

It’s cool to see San Jose join Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, and Phoenix get in on the bike/mural tours trend.

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!

 

World’s Shortest Bike Tour?

aus_brewery_tour1This past Saturday, three breweries in Austin sponsored the Brewery District Bike TourAdelbert’s Brewery, 4th Tap Brewing Co-op, and Circle Brewing comprise the self-proclaimed “official-ish brewery district”  (I think Austin’s east side could make a similar claim).   Of note, Colorado based Oskar Blues is opening a brewery in the same area, any day now.

The breweries are situated in a light-industrial/warehouse ecosystem that grew to support IBM’s manufacturing operations in the 70s and 80s.

The tour took this GRUELING, 1.3 mile route :

aus_brewert_tour_mapRiders to were invited to buy a beer at each stop, in exchange for a collectible Bike Tour aluminum water bottle.   A group ride would have been impractical considering congestion when arriving at the breweries, so the organizers suggested “riding in packs”.  The turnout felt a bit light to us.  Nevertheless, we chanced into meeting up with friends (the founders of The Brewtorium) and spent an enjoyable, albeit muggy Saturday afternoon.

aus_brewery_tour2Once Oskar Blues is open, we expect to see future similar events.  BTBT has a few suggestions:

  • Throw a few free T-shirts to some volunteer tour leaders.  “Packs” could depart every 30 minutes or so and rotate between the breweries.  The leaders could do a quick intro to each brewery while the riders are queuing up to be served.
  • Some additional bike racks or valets would be helpful for bike security.
  • Sponsor a “ride to the tour” departing from central Austin.

Anyhow, at 1.3 miles, we think this may be the World’s Shortest Bike Tour.

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?

 

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.

 

 

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.

Urban Restaurant Tours in Tampa

Florida Bike Tours is currently running monthly Urban Restaurant Tours for the low-low price of $15.  The tours are BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike).  The tours are on the last Thursday of every month and feature a different area of town each ride.  Apparently the last tour sold out at 100 riders!  Small plates at the featured restaurants and a raffle ticket are included in the registration fee.  Seems like a bargain and great way to have some fun on a Thursday night in Tampa.