A question I have gotten very used to answering these days, but it never gets old seeing the reaction people have when they hear my response. Not quite 2 years is the answer they are shocked to hear and that in itself is humbling and flattering at the same time. My cousin, our owner Ryan Bergeron started The American Bicycle Rental Company roughly 3 years ago with 12 custom ordered, made in America cruiser bikes and a Tandem Bicycle to match. The bikes were so pristine, comfortable, and just plain stylish if I may say so myself that we would have our renters requesting for us to start offering tours of the city on them. Oddly enough I happened to be working 3 jobs that seemed to be going nowhere fast and I was approached with a unique offer to do something that had never crossed my mind before. For most of us born and raised in the New Orleans area, our extent of doing tours in the city is usually accomplished by the time we exit middle school. Not much is retained and things just are the way they are. Needless to say I had never been an official Tour Guide before so I had some learning to do. After surviving City Hall and acquiring my license, I got to work reading and studying and that’s when the fun began. I became amused at myself for all these years not realizing how backwards and different our customs and traditions must have seemed to people not being brought up around that environment. We just think everywhere is like New Orleans and that is definitely not the case. So it was fun to learn why we do what we do, or say what we say. The reason we played football in the “Neutral Grounds” and don’t think twice when you see an ax collecting dust in the attic. These things are second nature to us but get puzzling looks from tourists when this goes by very nonchalantly in conversation. So to have the unique and wonderful opportunity to become an ambassador of my hometown offered to me was both an exciting privilege, and a nervously daunting task at the same time. So I made sure to have double checked information and learn as much as I could because I knew the quizzing would ensue from our guests. Armed with a newly found wealth of information and a renewed faith in my love for the Beautiful Crescent, I nervously took to the streets of New Orleans and began touring shortly after Jazz Fest 2012. I’ll admit my first few tours were nerve-wrecking and the train almost derailed but with great family behind our business steering me in the right direction (love you Ryan and Missy and thank you forever for the opportunity can’t wait to see where this ride takes us) the tour has grown, evolved and become something I never imagined when we first started out on this adventure not quite 2 years ago, but I honestly love what we do and couldn’t imagine things differently. I get to show people the place that helped mold not only me into the person I am, but generation after generation, after generation, after generation, after generation of my family as well. The reason I can count on one hand the members of BOTH sides of my family that have moved outside the state of Louisiana. The stubborn attitude I mention often on my tour, it’s what has kept New Orleans culture and pride intact for so very long and we are very proud of the fact that nothing ever changes here. I am looking forward to sharing my love of New Orleans with you guys and hope to see you riding behind me on some white walls and red rims soon. Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!
A very special thank you to everyone of our patrons who have come and supported our locally owned and operated business. We sincerely appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts especially the many return customers we have had the pleasure of seeing come back through our doors over the last few years. Please continue to show your love and support because as of right now it is y’all that have propelled us to the #3 Activity in New Orleans on TripAdvisor as of this posting and we look forward to continuing that level of excellence for our wonderful customers.