Even if you have lived in Austin for decades, it is the perfect time to take a bike tour of Austin. Doing things indoors is still kind of sketchy and the weather is that sweet spot between too hot and too cold. Even if you are an Austin old timer, there are different kinds of tours and I guarantee at least one of them has something you haven’t seen before. And yes, we are completely serious about giving away a free bike tour. We’ll tell you how at the end of this post.
If you still don’t believe us, we’ve got Brandi Calhoun in from Austin Bikes and Tours as our latest entry in the Spotlight Series to make it more clear. Why you should take a tour, what’s the best thing to do when you’re new in town (other than a bike tour), and new places to get a burger are all below. And yes, we are still giving away free tours when we’re done.
EAA: How did you get into the digital content business?
Brandi: My degree is in electronic media and I’m currently a journalist for USA Today. Beyond that, I actually stumbled into doing freelance writing for various publications and have always loved the impact that digital content has, so that’s kind of what led me here. It’s amazing to me that we can reach anyone in the world now with a few clicks on the keyboard. Isn’t that so cool? Digital content gives companies a voice. We aren’t just a logo offering a service. With digital content, we can connect with our guests outside of the tour and share useful information, like how to create your own tour or share bike upkeep tips. We can be more useful than just showing people around Austin.
EAA: Who are your ideal clients?
Brandi: Really anyone wanting to get out and explore Austin. Our tours tend to appeal more to tourists as they only have a short time in our beautiful city, but we do get a lot of locals who just want to do something fun and different. It’s easy to live somewhere for a long time and never actually get out and explore your own space. We tend to get so distracted by work, families and really just the everyday, mundane tasks assigned to us.
Our bike rentals also tend to appeal more to tourists who want to explore at their own pace, which is great. Lately we’ve been renting bikes to travelers here on business who don’t want the hassle of a car rental and parking. When the shutdowns happened this year, we tried to cater more toward locals who use city transportation. Buses tend to be overcrowded and full of germs, whereas riding a bike out in the open is a lot safer of an option.
EAA: What makes Bike Tours and Rentals different from other Austin tours?
Brandi: There are several things. The tour being on bicycles is pretty unique and gives guests a chance to really explore. When you’re on a tour bus or boat, you don’t get a chance to stop and step foot in some of Austin’s more popular spots, like local brew pubs or the ever-changing art installations around the city. Our guides are also incredibly knowledgeable regarding the city’s history, and not just facts you can find in a book or doing a quick web search. They’re locals who know stories about beloved residents like Leslie, who can recommend places off the beaten path and who will treat you like family from the moment you walk in the door. Their goal isn’t to make a quick buck. They genuinely care about sharing these experiences and making them memorable for each person on their tour.
EAA: When did you get to Austin?
Brandi: I’ve lived in Austin for about 11 years now. I moved here in 2008 and have loved every single minute of it. This city has so much to offer for all types of people. I’ve lived in a few different cities in Texas and Austin will always be my number one.
EAA: Besides Austin Bike Tours and Rentals, what would you recommend to people moving here?
Brandi: I would recommend they visit Jewboy Burgers for lunch, Odd Duck for dinner, the Texas Farmers Market (Lakelike or Mueller) to get a taste of some local goodies, and basically just ask a local where else to eat because there are so many good options. (You can tell where my priorities are…i.e. My stomach. To be fair, Austin is FULL of great cuisine.)
EAA: What is your favorite Austin thing that most people don’t know about?
Brandi: I think by now, more people know about it than when I first started going, but the Broken Spoke on South Lamar is my absolute favorite spot. I love to dance and I love the vibe. It’s a true Texas dance hall where anyone will dance with anyone and just have a good time. It’s amazing and so much fun.
EAA: Any charities or nonprofits you are interested in/work with/otherwise want to give a shout out to?
Brandi: I would love to give a shout out to Love-A-Bull and Lucky Lab Rescue. We’re huge dog people around here and Austin’s animal rescue scene is overall amazing, but smaller organizations like these who rely on volunteers always need an extra hand. So, if your organization or you personally are looking for somewhere to donate your time, these organizations are my suggestion!
Really appreciate Brandi’s time. Now all you have to do to get a free tour for you and friend is enter your email in the bar at the top of the page or over on the top left side of the page. (tell you friend to fill it out too). Everyone who enters before Friday, November 20th will be eligible for two free tours (normally $100). The winner will be notified by email on Saturday. And even if you don’t win, you’ll get our weekly list of the newest things to do in town. (and you can unsubscribe whenever you want) It’s really a no brainer.