Rochester Pedal Tours offers a unique one of a kind way to experience Rochester in a safe and enjoyable way with us serving as your tour guide and DD. We have 4 “pub crawlers” three 13 person pedal tours and the other fits 15 (minimums of just 6 and 8 respectively). Bikes can be rented simultaneously for larger groups of up to 54 people. We offer something for everyone from architecture/history tours to food tours (a different course and cocktail at 3 restaurants), to bar crawls and brewery tours. We offer tours for groups of all sizes from groups of 1,2,3 people (mixer) to private tours for 6-13/8-15 people depending on which bike you rent. Check out our FAQ section below to find the answers to any questions you may have.
When the time comes to book click on the book a tour now button on the top scroll bar and select the private pub crawl unless you are looking for an architecture or progressive dinner tour. You simply pick from the available dates and times and enter your contact information and your credit card and the date and time is yours. How payment works is that half is due when you book and the other half gets automatically collected 30 days before your tour from your card on file. That means if the date you are booking on is within 30 days of your tour it will all be due which is why we always say get the confirmations then book. Cancellation/Rescheduling policy is a subsection below
Here are a few pro tips to make your tour go as well as possible
We cant stress this enough because 1 it will make it much easier for your group to pay you back. 2 it will prevent your group getting delayed because you had to wait for someone to close out there tab. You will only be in the bar long enough to have 1 drink and many bars have $10 minimums on credit card purchases so avoid opening up tabs in teh first place. 3 to tip your driver at the end. You will find that they do a whole lot more then just drive your group from Point A to B, one of the big things they do is to take all the group photos on the organizers phone. Many people ask us what do you tip a pedal tour driver and $5 is pretty standard with some tipping more for great service. Please let the ladies in your group know to bring a wristlet versus a large purse because they only need cash and an ID.
Wear sneakers or shoes
People think “my sandals have backs to them” I am fine but exposed toes are dangerous because when the bike is moving the pedals are moving and when your feet inevitably slip off the pedal we do not want for the pedal to come around and hit you on your foot. If someone shows up in flip flops/sandals we have to let them on but there is a reason we tell people to not wear flip flops every step of the way.
Always prepare for the worst weather wise
Bring a hoodie/jacket. We have plenty of space to store everything and don’t want our guests to be cold. The awning will keep you dry, & we drop you off right in front of the bars, and cover your seat so you don’t come back to wet seats. We have gone out in every type of weather imaginable and never had any problems. In fact the fall and spring can be the perfect time to do a pedal tour while the weather is cooler.
Winter Weather Policy during the winter we have a special weather policy to prevent any pedal tours from going out when there is snow/salt/slush in the roads because the salt will eat up the bottom of the bike. High winds are another reason for a pedal tour to get cancelled (25+ mph) You simply get a “snow check” to use at some other point over the winter or applied to the summer tour rate. .
Play whatever you want from your cell phone to our speakers via Bluetooth. Pandora, Spotify, a playlist, it all works. No need to bring a aux cord because of the bluetooth system. Find out who has Pandora or Spotify premium so you do not have to listen to commercials or sign up for the 1 week free trial before your tour.
The Answers you are looking for
The most commonly asked questions are: can I drink/bring alcohol on the pub crawler?
The answer is YES!! You may bring beer and wine. No more than 2 alcoholic drinks per person tho (that means 12oz cans of beer, cider, Bud Lite a Rita type beverages) Larger cans of beer count as your 2 drinks and we discourage people from bringing them because by the time you get towards the bottom it has warmed up for an hour+, it is better to come back to a new cold drink. The other stipulations are that beer must be in a can and the wine must be in a plastic bottle. NO glass, NO liquor which includes jello shots and mixed drinks in water bottles and NO growlers or boxed wine which we cannot have you drink out of solo cups due to the large mess it will make with all the bumps. You must have completed your beer by the time we get back, you cannot take open beverages to go and we have to get ready for the next tour so you will have to dump out your beer. Coordinate who will bring what (this year we had a group where 5 people brought bags of potato chips). You are responsible for your own cooler and ice, only one cooler per tour due to space constraints. Don’t forget the water! No drinking or eating your own stuff before your tour on the Marshall Street Bar and Grill premise if anyone in your group is caught drinking there own stuff before the tour then they are not allowed on the tour. We do not want to start off on the wrong note so please make sure no one does this. Please consider forwarding your confirmation email to the group or putting all the information we give you before the tour into an email so your group knows what to expect the day of your tour.
Where does our tour begin and end?
Your tour will begin at Marshall Street Bar and Grill at 81 Marshall St right off Monroe Avenue. It is an awesome bar and restaurant with cheap drinks, a great menu (super underrated garbage plate) all types of games (darts, pool, big genga, and all types of board games) and 3 large projector TV’s that show all of the games. While groups are meeting up ahead of time to sign waivers they usually have a drink or some food. Make sure your group leaves your food and cooler in the special storage area, they will be safe there. Before you go park drop your cooler off so you do not have to walk down from the parking lot with it.
Where should we park?
The City of Rochester has been great to us and opened up a municipal parking lot down the street early and making it FREE for our guests to park in. The address for the Wadsworth Square Parking Lot is 40 Marshall Street That is where everyone should park and walk the 7 houses ish down to Marshall Street Bar and Grill where your tour will begin and end. Pro Tip drop the cooler off at the front of the bar then go park. On the street parking is hard to find and parking on Monroe Avenue is 1 hour parking so just let your group know to save time of them trying to find spots that don’t exist. When walking back to your tour at the end please be respectful of the neighborhood, they don’t want to hear groups yelling and being obnoxious.
Can anyone not pedal?
The length of everyones legs vary but if you are 5’2 or shorter we will want you to go on the seat and pedal backwards before the tour to see if you will be able to pedal or not. If you are not able to pedal enjoy any of the 5 non pedaling seats on each bike. We do have weight restrictions on who can pedal and that means anyone over 275 lbs can not sit on a pedaling station because with the angle of the seat it will bend under their weight. They can ride on the back bench
How Old Do You Have To Be To Come On A Tour?
For the pedal bikes we consider this on a case by case basis, minors can come on family tours and we also do architecture tours for high school students. 21st birthdays when the family is not present is a different story. You must get written permission from the Rochester Pedal Tours Team when you book your tour. On the boat it is different, minors are allowed. We have 3 life jackets for children. Because we can keep an eye on our guests to make sure the minors are not drinking it is different then on the bike when the groups go into the bar and out of the drivers sight. With the boat you should also make mention ahead of time if children so we can have the childrens life jackets ready.
What is your season?
We go year round now that we have a garage space. We offer a special winter rate from December 1st until March 7th. This past 2016/17 winter we did over 50 tours and everyone had a great time. Having driven a vast majority of them, I can tell you that everyone has fun when they dress appropriately (wear gloves and something to cover your ears). Between the pedaling and drinking will be more than warm enough. Our weather guarantee in the winter has to do with snow/slush because the salt would eat up the bottom of the bike and you get a “snow check” to be used towards another tour.
Cycle Boat goes from May 1st until they take the docks out of the water in October
Can we bring food and drinks?
Absolutely! Bring all types of food, snacks, appetizers and candy that you want on board. We have plenty of room for you to store your food. We strongly encourage you to bring some food and snacks to munch on & some water to hydrate with. Don’t forget to bring the paper towels and plates. Dont forget the candles for the cake. For drinks bring all the water you want but no more than 2 alcoholic beverages per person (12oz cans of beer) NO glass, liquor which includes jello shots and mix drinks in water bottles and don’t plan on drinking out of a solo cup because it will spill all over the bike. These rules are strictly enforced which is why we tell them to the organizer and put them all over the website so please abide by them. If you don’t you will have to return the banned alcohol to your car which will kill time when you could have been out on the bike. Keep in mind certain foods are easier to serve on the bike such as cupcakes vs bringing a birthday cake (and the knife, plates, utensils). Each route has one stop where the bar does not have a kitchen so you can bring your own food and snacks in.
How many people do we need in our group?
This is determined by the number of peddlers you have because not everyone can pedal and we need 6 people at minimum to go out on a tour & smaller groups should do our East End route which is our shortest route. We set the limit at 6 so that the tour wouldn’t be too physically exhausting. The maximum is 13 people with room for 8 peddlers and 5 riders. For the 15 seat bike the minimum is 8 and again you must do the East End route. We offer mixers for smaller groups, these take place on weekdays when no private tours are booked. To find out when they are taking place take a look at our Facebook page. Private tours are for groups of between 6-13/15.
How much should we tip our driver?
Our drivers do way more than just get you from Point A to Point B. They will help you decorate the bike, clean, stay with your belongings on the bike while you are in the bar, put up with everyone’s drunken shenanigans and most importantly take all the group photos on the organizers phone. Make sure you have battery and memory before the tour. The organizer almost always collects the tip money from the driver ahead of time and gives it to the driver at some point before the end of the tour because it gets hectic when the tour ends. Riders tip at least $5 per person.
Does rain/inclement weather prevent our tour from going out?
The answer is NO. With a large awning overhead it helps keep everyone dry, combined with dropping you as close to the entrance as possible so rain will not ruin your tour. Do not worry about thunder or lightning it is the same as you being in your car. While wish every day was 70 and sunny do not let the rain get you down, you will have an amazing time regardless of rain or shine. The only things that can cancel tours is wind of 35+ mph, snow and ice. For our entire 2016 and 17 season we didn’t cancel 1 tour! The cold doesn’t affect anyone because between the pedaling and drinking you will be more then warm enough. You just need to dress appropriately which means to make sure you wear gloves and something covering your ears. We have plenty of storage space on the bike for extra clothing, food and snacks, decorations etc.
Cycle Boat Tours are different because of Coast Guard regulations due to waves and lightning. No one watches the weather forecast harder then we do (we pay for a special weather service app) and we are in constant communication with the organizer to let you know what the plan is. If a lightning storm is in the area when your tour is about to start and it looks like it will pass shortly we will have the group wait it out in the bar then when it stops we will start your tour and you will get the full 90 minutes on the tour. If the tour before you gets delayed due to a storm we will be sure to contact the organizer of the later groups to let them know what time to arrive. If your tour does get cancelled by a storm we will offer you a pedal BIKE tour and refund the difference or you can get a raincheck that is valid for 1 year
What if the tour before us overruns their time slot?
We have never had a tour come back so late that it caused a following group to be late. We have had many groups start late because they were waiting for one of the riders to show up (anyone late can just meet you at the first bar and join the group after they sign the waiver) We have never in both our years of tours been so late with one group that it caused the tour behind it to start late. If that was ever to happen your group would still get the full 2 hours on the bike, the time would start from when the pre tour speech ended. Guests are given specific times to be out of the bars. A standard, “hey guys it’s 2 o’clock now & we need you back at the pub crawler at 2:30” has sufficed. Give your group a 5 minute warning from this time to use the bathroom, finish their drink, close their tab. That is the time for everyone to be back on the bike, not the first person walking out of the bar. Make sure your group has the waivers which are available below signed and ready to go before the tour because that speeds up the boarding process considerably. Don’t panic if you don’t see the bike when you arrive at Marshall Street Bar and Grill. It is somewhere making its way back, traffic is unpredictable and we pride ourselves on not causing major traffic back ups. It will be back soon enough
Who is in charge of the pub crawler?
B.) The renter- the person who paid, calls all the shots. They organized the group, collected the money, and did all the hard work to get your group out so we answer to them. It is their job to let us know ahead of time what route the group wants to do.
I have to sign the Passenger Release of Liability Waiver and Behavior Agreement?
We have never had anyone fall, get hurt, had an accident or the bike tip over (for some reason people always ask us this). Do what we say and you have nothing to worry about. The waiver is a precautionary measure that if you follow and respect will lead to a safe and fun trip. Your driver will go over all the basics before your tour and check your id’s to make sure everyone is 21. We take safety seriously and plan on keeping our safety streak intact.
What routes do you offer?
We offer 6 different routes; East End, Park Ave, South Wedge, St Paul Corridor, Hybrid Route of (Half Pint-> Strath rooftop bar->East and Alexander Bars) and a Beer Route of (East and Alexander bars->3 Heads Brewery->ROC Brewing). When organizing your group and deciding on what route to do with your friends they will most likely tell you “the funnest route”. We are in a referral based business and all of our routes are awesome. Each route entails different amounts of pedaling. Please read the blog about routes or on the private pub crawl page under the book a tour button on the top scroll bar to see a detailed list of all your options and the drink specials.
What should I do if I have any questions I have not found on this page?
Please read the blog entires which are detailed write ups about every facet of a pedal tour .If you have booked a tour and are wondering when you will get the pre tour phone call, expect a phone call from us the Sunday or Monday before your tour. We will walk you fully through the day of your tour and find out what route you want to do. This is important because with 4 bikes we need to stagger tours, flip routes or let bars know in case all 4 bikes are doing the same route (we dont want to have our groups fighting for attention) If your tour is on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday you will get a call the earlier Monday (so 9 days ish before your tour) Do not hesitate to reach out to us via call/text or email at anytime (we don’t have bankers hours) If you reach out to us via email or leave a voicemail you can expect a timely response. Feel free to text our number as well and as soon as we see it we will respond. Our website features an up to the minute calendar of all the dates and times you have to pick between and when the time comes that is where you will book.
Is there a refund policy?
Tours go on rain or shine, the large awning will keep you dry in the event of rain. Do not fear lighting it is safe just like if you were in a car. Tours are only cancelled due to high wind (35 mph+) ice or snow. Our cancellation/refund policy is 30+ days – you get to reschedule once but it must be rescheduled for a date within 30 days of the date you cancelled on or you can get a 50% refund, 16-30 days before your tour you can reschedule but the reschedule must be used within 14 dates from the date you cancelled on, no refund. 15 days or less from your trip the date and time is yours and no refunds.
The Rochester Pedal Tours Team