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Houstonians know any temperature under 80 degrees should never be taken for granted. The first cool front of the season is always met with a mad scramble to throw open our windows and unpack our boots before it’s quickly replaced by another heat wave. This season, we think there is no better way to enjoy the fleeting fall weather than with a leisurely bike tour of Houston’s farmers markets.

Bayou City Outdoors is a local social club focused on outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and trail running. The addition of farmers market tours originally began as founder Kelly Howard’s personal shopping excursions. “Ten years ago, I put it on the calendar thinking it would be a fun event. [On] the first ride, one other person showed up”, she laughs. Her tours have since morphed into a popular monthly event that once drew 165 attendees on a single day. They now have to limit the number of riders for safety purposes.

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Bayou City Outdoors rides depart from Onion Creek and hit three farmer's markets in three hours.

Departing at 9 a.m. from Onion Creek Cafe, the tours cruise to three or more markets, varying if there are special festivals or events that warrant an extra side trip. Some favorites include the Urban Harvest Eastside Market and Canino Produce Co., which is the oldest market in the city. Each stop allows plenty of time to hang out, shop, and snack before moving on to the next destination. By the time the tour has circled back to Onion Creek around noon, riders have covered about 12 to 15 miles of trails, residential roads, and small side streets.

The next tour is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19—just in time to start hunting for holiday jams, sauces and organic meats. While free to attend, Bayou City Outdoors asks that everyone bring a backpack, plenty of water, and a helmet along with their bike. Don’t have a bike? It’s easy to rent one from the B-cycle stations located around the city—the built-in baskets are perfect for holding shopping bags.

For additional information or to RSVP, call 713-524-3567 or e-mail info@bayoucityoutdoors.com.

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