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About Urban AdvenTours

Our Company

Urban AdvenTours is a unique, eco-friendly company, offering bike tours, rentals, and sales out of Boston’s Historic North End.

We’ve come a long way since our founder, Andrew Prescott, started running bike tours out of his apartment in 2004. Since then, we’ve expanded by way of partnering with other local bike shops and spreading the word. Now, we have two storefronts of our very own: the tour and rental shop at 103 Atlantic Avenue, and the bike shop a few doors down at 109 Atlantic Avenue.

We still give the great historic tours that made us famous, leaving from 103 Atlantic Avenue every day at 10 AM & 2 PM. We also offer quality bike rentals, both of our standard Kona Dew Boston hybrids and of more technical bikes. Over at the bike shop, you can find a wide selection of new and used bikes, as well as tons of apparel and gear. A friendly bike mechanic can also help you with any repairs or tune-ups your bike may need.

Our team is what makes us really stand out. We’re fun, friendly people who love to share our enthusiasm for bikes, Boston, and biking in Boston, whether it’s by giving a tour or helping choose a new bike in the shop. We can also point you towards hidden gems all over Boston and the surrounding area. Think of us as your own personal Bike Concierge!

Want to hear what customers have to say about us? Check out reviews of our tours and shop.

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The History of Urban AdvenTours

Andrew became a serious cyclist when he was 16 and would ride 20 miles from one parent’s house to the other. After attending college at Wesleyan University, Andrew took on about a million and one jobs. He’s been a dishwasher, a bartender, an international recruiter, a manager of an Italian import furniture company, and an accountant for an online clothing company. He helped launch a number of different marketing and brand ambassador campaigns for Cointreau, Coke Zero, Napster and Anheuser-Busch.

In his 20s, Andrew would commute into Downtown Boston for work and then explore the city on weekends. He was doing some less-than-honest accounting for a company right around the same time as the Enron scandal, and staying in that environment felt terribly wrong. He wanted to do something that was meaningful, something that he believed in.

After two years of thinking about changing gears into the world of cycling, perhaps designing clothing for cycling, Andrew got out of his corporate accounting job.

Sitting around a table with some friends and some drinks, they came up with Urban AdvenTours. Getting started on a $200 tax return and credit cards weren’t easy, but Andrew had friends to help him along the way. At the time Boston was annually ranked as one of the worst cycling cities in America by many of the experts and trade publications, yet he still saw an opportunity.

The first few tours left his house, but soon a corner of Boston Bicycle (now Superb) became home to Urban AdvenTours. He started at Boston Bicycle with 8 Jamis mountain bikes in a very crowded space. It was around this time, in 2006 that the infamous BioBus came into play, delivering bikes to hotel guests and special events, fueled by recycled veggie-oil.

Shortly thereafter, UA made the move over to Landry’s on Commonwealth Avenue by Boston University. Landry’s was a step up from Boston Bicycle, but Andrew and his now fledgling staff were under a vent, which could literally be a bit of a headache, as they’d often bump their heads on it. Nevertheless, having a bigger crew to work with and a team environment was certainly an improvement.

By the 2009 off-season, it was time. Andrew and his crew packed up from their attic in Landry’s and moved down to space at 103 Atlantic Ave, neighboring the Aquarium, Quincy Market, and the North End. They were awarded a special loan from the Boston Local Development Corporation and Green Business Awards, and Bike-Friendly business rankings weren’t far behind.

In April of 2010, The Bike Shop at Urban AdvenTours opened its doors, just down the block at 109 Atlantic Ave. Expanding from tours, rentals, and service to include more sales and accessories has allowed Urban AdvenTours to help their customers all the way through the cycling experience. Located right on the edge of Downtown, The Bike Shop is outfitted to keep commuters geared up and on the road. The loaner bike program even lends riders a bike while theirs is under the wrench for repairs.

Urban AdvenTours also works closely with the Mayor’s office and Boston Bikes to help provide cycling access to Boston school kids. We’ve done work with countless area youth groups, including the Citizen’s Schools. Through after-school programs, Urban AdvenTours has spent countless hours teaching cycling education to kids who don’t even have access to a bicycle, let alone have someone teaching them how to ride.

In the last year or so, in part due to Andrew’s and Urban AdvenTours’ impact, Boston has been ranked by those same early critics as one of the top cycling cities in the country. And as long as Urban AdvenTours continues to grow and embed themselves in the community, there’s no doubt Boston will get to the top of the cycling world.

A Message of Background and Inspiration: Andrew Prescott, Chief Wheel Officer

Many people ask what the company is like, and how it is to work here. I think the easiest way to explain this is to let  people know where I’m coming from and where we are going.  These are the biggest influencers on me and my business, and no, they are not social media influencers!
My mother raised me to have compassion for people and to be a critical thinker. She spent her career in education after attending Connecticut College, and later ran a non-profit that advised parents of disabled children. I was taught perseverance and scrabble, and that as difficult as life’s challenges can be, there is always someone else who has it worse. I’m grateful for what I have, and I work hard to have a positive impact on other people’s lives. I got the wooden spoon once in my life and I’m better off for it. My favorite times with her are with the golden retrievers on our feet and discussing the current state of affairs, and disagreeing on who’s NESCAC education was better, even though I went to Wesleyan and I’m always right. This is where I’m coming from.
My father raised me to work hard and pay attention to the details. After all, if you designed submarines for 40 years, you’d want to make sure that everything worked 100%, If you were laying out your new kitchen with your teenage son, you’d want to make sure everyone was double checking their measurements and the state of the level. I bring that attention to detail to the bike shop, because we are putting people on bikes and they need to be almost perfect. I had a bar of ivory soap once when I was young because of my ‘adventurous language’, and I’m better off for it. Dad brought me skiing, to every sporting event possible, and helped clean me up when I crashed on my bike in the neighborhood. He made sure to bring me to the movies, especially the rated R action ones I was dying to see, and we’d have conversations about them afterwards to make sure I could decipher the information appropriately. Ken helps his friends and neighbors, and he is always smiling. This is where I’m coming from.
My grandmother raised me to keep moving and form lasting, impactful relationships. She was a hard-working farm girl who started at an orphanage, threw newspapers at 4am on the paper route to make ends meet, and eventually owned a Hallmark store. I learned about the challenges of small business, and to always put family first. She was direct and stern, but loving and a great listener. She was my best friend and her attitude and discipline kept her smiling and laughing through thick and thin until she left us at age 96. She was my best friend and taught me so much. I was taught to be accountable and to have a good sense of humor about things. Working with her in the kitchen at church are some of my favorite memories growing up. This is where I’m coming from.
While my parents have been divorced for some time now, we generally all spend the holidays together along with my stepmother Maggie, another positive influence on my life. I’m constantly reminded that while people may have different opinions, we can still find a way to get along and enjoy each other’s company.
a couple of people posing for the camera

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