For those of you that have been to Europe, you know that the best way to experience the cities is on foot. (Bus tour?!?!?!?) And . . . that can be somewhat limiting when trying to march your carcass across Paris. I’ve been thinking that experiencing European cities may be best on a bike. Not the traditional bike tour, that takes you across the landscape on your shiny Trek Madone but instead a city tour for places like Amsterdam; on a street bike made for the city. Specifically a fixie. A fixie is a fixed gear bike; no brakes, no gears, easy to maintain and is synonymous with the hipster culture. I’ve posted about the Fixie culture (here) and think touring European cites on a fixie would be a blast. Of course we can’t neglect the inner (or outer for that matter) geek on this tour so we’d be using some great location based tools to document our travels. Materials for the tour are listed below.
@fixiestudio – Before you head out over the big pond you need to build out your fixed gear bike. Luckily for you there is a great tool by Fixie Studio that lets you customize just about every aspect of your bike. From the colors of the rims, types of handlebars to the color of the frame, you can do just about everything. Once you have the image in hand, you can go to your favorite bike shop and get them to build it out. (or DIY.) If you live in Denver, I would recommend the Track Shack. Once you have bike in hand be sure and take a pic with Instagram and show everyone your sweet new ride.
@instagram – I’ve come to love this app. (@_michaelmyers) For me it’s about taking pictures of amazing things and not so much trying to take amazing shots. Taking pictures of the architecture across the EU and sharing them with your friends sounds good to me. (Don’t forget to take pictures of your sweet ride!) You can also push your images into Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and of course, Foursquare.
@foursquare – Now that Gowalla is gone, it’s a good time to think of 4sq as a way to share your experience and not worry so much about badges and useless points. If you check-in on Foursquare, it’s a great way to map your trip. Friends following you will get sense of your progress every day it may spur them to schedule a tour with Geeks & Hipsters.
@localmind – This is a great app that allows you to ping locals on where is the best places to eat, stay, visit . . . anything! (You’ll need to know where good laundromats are!) I’ve been on Localmind for about a year and have recently seen a pretty big spike in usage. Imagine having an army of tour guides, who want to show you their town.
@raileurope – You’ll need to take the train between cities since riding a fixie on the open road is somewhat less than optimal. The Rail Europe app is a great way to find the right route to your destination. After riding around Amsterdam, you could hit Berlin!
@googlemaps – Once your back @home, the Geeks & Hipsters tour group will use the Google Maps API to map out your trip in a visual way. On the map you’ll see images you took on Instagram and any pictures from others that you place on your map.
The role of the tour guide is to simply keep people out of trouble. Cities would be selected ad hoc by clients based on current weather, train schedules, bands in town and whims!