Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Local Destination: Philly Bike Tour Co.

 
 
 
 
Philadelphia is (in our opinion) one of the most amazing cities out there.  With an unbelievably rich history, amazing culture and art scene, growing business communities, and thriving residential areas, it's a city with many different sides and many different ways to experience it.  One of the more interesting ways that we recently discovered is by booking a tour with the Philly Bike Tour Company.  Based out of Fairmount Bicycles, near Eastern State Penitentiary, the staff of Philly Bike Tours is showing tourists and locals Philadelphia the best way they know how - by bike!
 
 
At the moment the company offers three different bike tours: The Classic City Tour, Northern Neighborhoods, and the Fairmount Park Tour, with three more tours on the way: Outdoor Art Tour, Movie and TV Sites, and a Beer Tour. (Check out this great piece on the upcoming Beer Tours from PA Weekend Fun!)  All the tours have their own individual draw and they vary in length of time and levels of biking difficulty, with most of the tours running from super easy to moderate.  Both seasoned bikers and infrequent riders will have no problem enjoying every moment.
 
Daily Vacationer was thrilled to be able to take part in a Classic City Tour - seeing highlights of Philadelphia's most famous places from the Rocky Steps to Independence Hall.  This was our very first bike tour, and our first experience with city biking in general.  The company is serious about safety and the comfort level of their riders.  Before you leave Fairmount Bicycles, you have a chance to give your bike a quick test spin and are shown how to adjust your helmet for the best fit.  Bike and helmet rentals are included in the tour prices (although you can bring your own bike for a discount), as is a complimentary bottle of water.  After getting a run down on biking in Philadelphia and signals to watch for from the guide, we headed off feeling perfectly at ease with the idea of park trails, bike lanes, and traffic laws (in groups of more than two an additional guide rides in the back as a "sweeper" to make sure that no one gets left behind).  The fact that we felt safe and trusted the guides throughout the entire tour was a point that continued to stick out to us.
 
Seeing so much of the city on a personal level was an experience that we'll never forget.  In the Classic City Tour, you hit all the spots that everyone should see (native Philadelphian or not, everyone should view City Hall down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's famous steps), as well as smaller, less known points of interest (such as America's first hospital located on a quiet residential street).  Throughout the tour you feel the part of tourist and local, hopping from neighborhoods and parks to main squares and historical landmarks.  You get to see more than a walking tour can cover, but on a more intimate level than a bus tour can provide (not to mention you're doing the city's environment a favor by riding a bike instead of a bus!).
 
The Philly Bike Tour Company has a handful of different guides, who specialize in their specific tours.  Our Classic City Tour, was lead by Josh, along with extra safety from our tour "sweeper", Russell.  Josh, a certified Philadelphia tour guide, knew pretty much something about every single thing that we passed by and every location that we stopped at.  Rather than constant running commentary that sounded like a script, the tour was more of a conversation where you could bring up the points you were most interested in and infuse your own experiences and knowledge.  And if you have any questions about anything on the tour route (seriously anything), be sure and ask, because we're pretty positive by now that Josh knows the answer to all of it!
 
Daily Vacationer was unbelievably impressed with the Philly Bike Tour Company.  We got to see the famous sights, get a taste of residential life, and come out with a renewed appreciation for the city of Philadelphia - both its history and its present-day culture.  It was informative and covered all the tour bases, but it went far beyond that.  Plain and simple, our Classic City Tour was tremendous fun.  We felt like we were taking a relaxing bike ride with close friends and getting to enjoy the city we love so much on top of it all.    We highly recommend the Classic City Tour from our personal experience, but our desire to do all the other tours would lead us to believe that every tour they offer is equally amazing.  Locals and out-of-towners, add the Philly Bike Tour Company to your list of "musts" for Philadelphia.  And don't forget to purchase a t-shirt at the end - you're going to want everyone to know about this tour company!

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Follow Philly Bike Tours on Social Media:
 
 
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Tours start & end at 2015 Fairmount Ave
 
 
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14 comments:

  1. Sounds like a lot of fun! I may see if my teenager wants to do this with me during the week.

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  2. This looks awesome! Add it to the long list of Philly things I need to do:)

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