Best Tour - 2005
City Cycling Tours
Given the vacationing hordes that throng here every year for our famed attractions (free/cheap being universally alluring), it's a little surprising it took as long as it did for someone to hit upon this brilliant idea: People like tours. Visitors, sure, but even locals like to gad about and learn something that might help them out at their next trivia night. Chris Gerli heard the call and figured he was just the man to answer it, and thus was born City Cycling Tours, a labor of love he hopes will catch on (and maybe make him a little money). It works like this: You call and schedule a bike tour of landmark Forest Park (bigger than New York's Central Park, not that we're counting) and, at the appointed time, meet him near the sparkling new Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center. He'll be the guy standing next to the white van and an array of well-appointed hybrid bikes, from which he'll help you find an appropriate size, make any necessary adjustments, outfit you with a helmet and water bottle and watch you test-ride the parking lot. When the group is ready, off you go, with Gerli at the head of the pack modeling the appropriate riding technique (a primer on which he covers before you depart). At eighteen various points of interest throughout, you'll pull over and check out the monuments/buildings/what-have-you while Gerli provides fascinating information from his well-researched cache of history. It's pretty comprehensive, takes less than three hours and costs $25 to $30 per person. Interested riders with some schedule flexibility might be interested in the Full Moon Tour: cycling the park by moonlight, offered three nights around the full moon.