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#1 Re: Equipment (Discussion, For sale) » Anyone suggest a good wheelbuilder? » 2010-08-28 11:33:07

Mike Librik at Easy Street Recumbents has extensive experience building small wheels. Recumbents, folding bikes, electric hub motors, internally geared hubs, even a string of pedicabs lately. He has a machine to cut custom length spokes, and can true laterally and radially to 0.1 mm. You can reach him at 512-453-0438.

#2 Re: Roadway hazards » Joggers » 2010-08-01 22:27:45

The sidewalks are often broken, poorly lit, blocked by obstacles. Those conditions can be dangerous for runners. People jogging out in the road aren't doing it because they like playing in traffic or because they want to annoy cyclists; they are probably in the middle of a longer route and trying to get where they are going in the safest way possible (sound familiar?)

If you ever feel like bicycling is hard, try being a pedestrian. Many more pedestrians die in Austin than bikers. Please give runners, joggers, walkers, and any other non-vehicle road users the same consideration, support, and reciprocal kindness you would like to receive from car drivers.

#3 Re: Commuting/Routes » Questions on Travis Country Circle to Barton Skyway route » 2010-07-20 10:40:02

Hi Phil,

Welcome to Austin.

1. I always get lost in the Greenbelt when I get that far south. In that area there is a wide network of trails that branch out from the main trail on the creek. If you keep moving downhill, toward water, you will eventually find the main trail that runs toward town. In general, the trail criss-crosses the creek several times, so you should plan on wading if you rely on this route to get somewhere.

2. The frontage roads are not flat, and the traffic is not very slow or friendly, but it is overall well maintained and there is plenty of road to share. You are correct, there is no frontage road for the bridge crossing over the creek. On this section, you need to get on Mopac for the bridge, then take the first exit to get off the highway. This can be stressful, with debris and broken down cars sometimes filling up the shoulders.

3. Sorry, can't help you with that, hopefully somebody who lives in the area can chime in with that specific stretch of trail.

Here's a map: http://www.txinfo.com/products/BartonCreek2005.pdf

Sam

#4 Re: Cars / Gas / Energy » Miles per gallon from bicycling » 2010-04-16 10:56:00

Electric bikes are a neat stop-gap solution to lower reliance on automobiles, and they are likely more efficient than other things we take for granted like refrigerators and water heating. However, I respectfully disagree with the contention that normal human-powered bikes are only good for trips less than 1 flat mile.

A pedestrian can walk at around 3 miles per hour, more or less, without breaking into a sweat or feeling uncomfortable. In fact, it's really pleasant to walk at a relaxed pace, without feeling rushed, without pushing your body or your heart rate very high. That same level of activity can comfortably propel a bicycle along at a rate at least double walking speed. Sure, other cyclists may pass you and secretly think you're some sort of noodle-legged weanie, but you'll get where you're going without looking like you stepped out of a sauna.

The problem with cars is not just that they use energy and emit noxious gases. They create an inhospitable landscape and marginalize non-motorized road users like cyclists and pedestrians. Driving an e-bike doesn't put you in the same class as the Humvee driver on I-35, but it's closer to driving than walking, and more appropriate for longer distances or special needs.

#5 Re: Bike Lanes / Facilities » Dean Keeton St. to get bike lanes » 2009-08-09 11:23:23

That's a great point Emil. South Congress, especially around Elizabeth, suffers from car hindquarters poking into the bike lane. Long vehicles, or  vehicles that are only partially pulled into a parking space, force cyclists out into the flow of automobile traffic. Angled parking spaces would benefit from a painted "lid" to limit intrusion into bike lanes. Would motorists would respect those markings? Would/could police give tickets for parking over such a line?

#6 Re: Other » Wendler: Bike plan will cause families and well-dressed to move away » 2009-07-13 12:16:16

This should probably be a new topic (MBJ?)

I like to take my bike to a bike shop to get it shipped. A good bike shop will use all the little packing pieces that come with new bikes to protect things like dropouts, derailers, wheels, shifters, etc, and choose a good shipping service as well. A safe and hassle-free option. I know you can also buy bike boxes that have insulation built in. I've heard horror stories about bikes arriving to their destination with mangled components and bent wheels, though it's never happened to me. It's not a bad idea to have it shipped to another bike shop, just in case something is broken when it arrives.

Sam

#7 Re: Commuting/Routes » Dell Round Rock from between Braker and Rundberg / Lamar and 35 » 2009-07-10 23:38:24

Excellent, I'm glad that worked out well for you Charles. Maybe more people will ride to Dell now that you've vetted this route. Thanks for reporting back.

#8 Re: Commuting/Routes » HWY 290 alternatives » 2009-07-08 03:21:44

I also live in Windsor Park and ride around Manor. I've traveled the first route Carmilla suggested and can recommend it. You might consider taking neighborhood roads, rather than the shoulder of Highway 183, in order to reach Loyola.

#9 Re: Commuting/Routes » Dell Round Rock from between Braker and Rundberg / Lamar and 35 » 2009-07-06 00:26:48

Howdy Charles,

I'm not sure where you're starting from in the morning. If you're starting west of Lamar, and pretty far south of Parmer, you may want to try taking Metric Blvd from Research up to Parmer. If you start south of Research, you could also take the #41 bike route, which goes from North Loop and Woodrow to just northeast of Research. From there you can follow a route starting at Parkfield, up to Metric. Those routes travel pretty closely parallel to Lamar and should have either a bike lane or light neighborhood traffic.

Once you get to Parmer, the Austin bike route map kind of ends. If you want a longer, more relaxing route, I would suggest trying to get east to Cameron, then take Weiss further north. That detour would add a lot of distance to your commute, but it will be through flat farmland.

Here's a route I marked up that goes from North Loop to Round Rock through Cameron. I haven't ridden some of these roads before, so take it with a grain of salt. You might want to check it out on a weekend first before relying on it to get you to work.
http://tinyurl.com/austintoroundrock

If you don't want such a long detour, you could also take Metric north past Parmer, then take Wells Port up to Grand Ave. I've never taken Metric north past Wells Parkway, but I would hope that Wells Port is better than the I-35 service road.
http://tinyurl.com/austintoroundrockalternate

Maybe somebody who lives around that area could give you some more detailed directions once you get way up north.

Hope this helps
Sam

#11 Re: Commuting/Routes » Arboretum to Driveway Crits? » 2009-04-22 15:16:44

If I was making this trip I would follow
Mesa -> Steck -> Shoal Creek -> Hancock -> North Loop -> 53 1/2 -> Harmon -> 51st -> Springdale -> Bolm -> Ed Bluestein -> Howard -> Shelton -> Delwau

This route is pretty direct, and avoids Lamar, Airport, and downtown.  Be careful when making the left onto 51st St. from Harmon.  The Bolm - Springdale intersection is easy to miss, look for a railroad crossing.

Hope this helps.
Sam

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