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 and a 6 PM evening tour Thursday thru Sunday. 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!
GET ACTIVE. GET GREEN.
Not only will you have a great time on our tours, but you’ll also be doing yourself and the world a service. Bikes are a fun, safe way to “burn carbs, not carbon.” You make an active, healthy choice to travel by bike, but you also make a smart, sustainable one to bail on the buses and boats that create harmful emissions.
We are a locally owned, independent, and green company. So, everything we do is with sustainability in mind. From re-purposing used furniture and retail supplies, to finding carpet made from recycled materials, we’re keeping it green. For bicycle delivery, we roll the same way. The BioBus runs on recycled vegetable oil as it visits Boston area hotels and local events. We’ve also been awarded the Bike Friendly Business awards from both the City of Boston and the League of American Bicyclists. In the end, we’re thrilled to be a part of greening Boston.
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 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.