Tag Archives: free

San Francisco – An Alternative Touristy Ride

There are at least a half dozen bike rental and bike tour outlets along the Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf.  All of them offer guided and/or self-guided trips along the bay, across the Golden Gate Bridge and down into Sausalito, with a ferry ride back to the city.  If you’ve never been to San Francisco, it’s not a bad choice.  Except that Sausalito is pretty touristy.

Maritime Park

I was in San Francisco recently, primarily to check out the East Bay Punk History Rock Bike Tour.  I’ve always wanted to bike over the Golden Gate Bridge.  But, having been to Sausalito ONCE, I didn’t really want to do that again,  Plus, there are other ways to ferry around the bay (tip, check out downtown Oakland or Alameda).

So, do ride the touristy San Francisco side (especially if it’s your first time in the city).  And do ride across the Golden Gate bridge. But, then, come back and take in another side of San Francisco.

Fort Mason

Here’s how this ride breaks down:

  • Embarcadero to the Golden Gate Bridge, passing through all of the most touristed areas, including  the Exploratorium, Pier 39 (don’t miss the sea lions!), Fisherman’s Wharf, the USS Pampanito and SS Jeremiah O’Brien, the Maritime National Historic Park,  views of Alcatraz, Fort Mason, and Crissy Fields.  Finally climb up to and on the Golden Gate Bridge.  Approx. 6.5 miles.  Consider which side of the bridge to ride.
West Sidewalk – Golden Gate Bridge

 

The Presidio

 

  • SOMA back to the Ferry Building.  The mapped route is pretty direct back to the Ferry Building, but this area is dead flat and pretty bike friendly.  If you’re interested in craft beer, there are several brewpubs noted on the map.  Approx. 3.5 to 5 miles depending on detours.

Need a bike?  You can’t walk 50 feet along the bay without running into bike rentals.  But consider treating yourself to an upgrade from Golden Gate Rides, Bike Hut, or Dandyhorse.  Tell ’em BeenThereBikeTours sent you.

Have fun!

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.

Progress in Memphis

It’s Martin Luther King Jr day in the U.S.  Rev. King was assassinated in Memphis in 1968.

The timing is coincidental, of course, but we’re happy to say that we’ve finally located a few bike tours in Memphis.  Surprisingly, there still doesn’t appear to be a commercial tour operator (other than a couple of pedal pubs).  But there are two guided tours available from Nick at Vayable.  We’ll have more to say about Vayable in an upcoming blog post.  Nick’s tours are Memphis Today & Tomorrow and Barbecue Bike Tour.

In addition to Nick’s tours, we’ve unearthed three self-guided tours:

We also hope that AIA Memphis will once again be hosting last year’s Architect’s Bike Tour this September.  Stay tuned to this page for updates.  It also features four self-guided bike/walk architectural tours to explore Downtown and Midtown Memphis on your own.

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.