Brooklyn Bike Tours to Kick Off From McCarren Park
WILLIAMSBURG — A fleet of San Francisco-made, diamond-frame seven-speeds are on their way to a parking lot by McCarren Park — and Felipe Lavalle is sure the trendy two-wheelers will draw tourists and locals alike to his new bike-tour venture.
Lavalle will lead people on the Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and DUMBO waterfront and across the Brooklyn Bridge for his first tour, and then hopes to expand routes all around Brooklyn with a few other staffers.
"I'll guide people where they want to go but also let them explore for themselves. So people can see what's historical but also stop in local coffee shops, and around the shops," Lavalle, 27, said of the tours he'll begin the second week of June, with his soon-to-launch company Get Up and Ride.
"My idea was guided tours from a local perspective," said Lavalle of the three- to five-hour routes he has planned.
And all the while, he wanted his clients to maintain their image, with "classic simple" public bikes.
"[Some rental] bikes are really cheesy and campy, you can't help but look like a tourist when you're on them," said Lavalle, who quit his job in April in sales for a digital printing company to try a new livelihood.
He said he hopes the city's new bike-share program and more focused attention on bike paths also will help promote his business.
"I've always been a big fan of anything on two wheels," said Lavalle, who mountain-biked in Virginia growing up and commuted by bike to Midtown from his Williamsburg apartment.
He plans to charge between $50 and $100 for his tours, which he hopes will extend in appeal to people who live in Manhattan and even in his own borough.
"Even just getting my friends to come here from Manhattan can be the biggest hassle," he said. "So having something paired with it, it becomes this great little afternoon in Brooklyn that I don’t know if you'd otherwise do."
Lavalle is launching his website, Getupandride.com, June 1, where he will feature more details about his company, including chances for customers to book tours.