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#1 2019-02-12 17:48:16

maupertius
Member
Registered: 2019-02-12
Posts: 3

Routes from Austin for road bike

Hi, I'm a keen cyclist (road bike) from the UK and I will be visiting Austin for work in March. I'm planning to hire a bike and do one or two rides over the weekend. I was looking at a place to hire a bike and the shop Mellow Johnny's seems quite a good one. Could anyone recommend me a place where I can look for some routes? Ideally something around 100-120km and possibly with some hills (if there are any). Thanks!

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#2 2019-02-12 18:34:34

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 251

Re: Routes from Austin for road bike

This route I have been using as a regular weekend ride for over a decade.  https://bicycleaustin.info/getaround/ro … tonio.html  It corresponds to the local part of the route "Bikecentennial" charted for the 1976 American Bicentennial celebration riding coast to coast.  I ride from south Austin to San Marcos that way most weekends unless I have an itch to ride some other route.  And that runs me 100 km. 

Bike Austin (you can find online), formerly the Austin Cycling Association, has regular weekend rides with varying routes. 

The Violet Crown cycling club also does regular weekend rides of several different routes -- if you are faster than I am, they are a great group to ride with.  Find them online too. 

We call the area "the hill country" but the many hills here tend not to go so high.  Some are steep, though.

Last edited by Jack (2019-02-12 18:35:15)

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#3 2019-02-13 07:18:04

maupertius
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Registered: 2019-02-12
Posts: 3

Re: Routes from Austin for road bike

Thanks for your reply Jack. I'll definitely consider looking at the club rides you suggested (assuming I can just turn up and join them for a ride).

The route you suggested looks good, I like the idea of riding to a different town. Another question: is it safe to ride to the countryside from downtown Austin? By this I mean not being forced to ride on main roads where bikes are not allowed. I'll likely be hiring a bike from a downtown shop, so I'll need a safe way to get out (will have a gps with me).

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#4 2019-02-13 12:25:03

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 548

Re: Routes from Austin for road bike

You can legally pretty much ride a bike almost anywhere in Austin -- the only exceptions that I'm aware of are the toll roads and parts of Mopac (and for the parts of Mopac, while there's some signs that say "no bikes" there's no longer an ordinance behind them, so they probably couldn't cite you for it anyways.  That said, you'd never want to ride on those sections anyways.)

That said, riding the countryside is as safe here as it is anywhere.

Don't trust your gps too much -- they'll find you a route, but they will sometimes do stupid things or try to take you on paths that are NOT bicycle friendly.  Even Google Maps screws this up pretty often.

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#5 2019-02-13 17:39:28

Jack
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Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 251

Re: Routes from Austin for road bike

maupertius wrote:

Thanks for your reply Jack. I'll definitely consider looking at the club rides you suggested (assuming I can just turn up and join them for a ride).

The route you suggested looks good, I like the idea of riding to a different town. Another question: is it safe to ride to the countryside from downtown Austin? By this I mean not being forced to ride on main roads where bikes are not allowed. I'll likely be hiring a bike from a downtown shop, so I'll need a safe way to get out (will have a gps with me).

The route is fine--as I mentioned it was laid out in 1976 for this portion of a cross-continental bike ride event.  The roads remain more than good enough.  And as dougmc notes, all roadways are legal for bicycles as for other vehicles except for some limited access highways. 

As for the Bike Austin and Violet Crown group rides, you can go just for the showing up and going and I believe their websites also include route maps (but I must say I can't be sure of that since I haven't looked at the sites in quite some time).
https://bikeaustin.org/rides/
https://violetcrown.org/  -- their Sunday "recovery pace" ride I find enjoyable.  I'm fast enough to hang on, usually, when they are keeping it cool.

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#6 2019-02-13 17:42:16

Jack
Member
Registered: 2013-03-27
Posts: 251

Re: Routes from Austin for road bike

This may help a bit too, maupertius:  https://austin.maps.arcgis.com/apps/web … 9%2C102739 (City of Austin bicycle route map)

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#7 2019-02-13 22:30:11

RedFalcon
Member
Registered: 2013-10-10
Posts: 186

Re: Routes from Austin for road bike

Take a look at the Adventure Cycling Association Hill Country Loop.  It passes right in front of Mellow Johnnies.  The ACA route maps are worth it!  They show exactly what you need, turn by turn.

https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes … ntry-loop/

This is a great ride.  It took me 4 or 5 days, but I could have spent longer.  You can also cut it short if you need to for time, and the ACA map shows you how to do that. 

I wrote up my trip on the crazy guy site when I did the ACA Hill Country loop a few weeks after the map first went on sale.  I have some suggestions for improvements.  I rode part of it again this year and posted that on crazy guy too.  I was trying to give some advice to anyone who wants to ride this great route.

Hill Country Loop:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o= … 17855&v=5f

Hill Country Loop, Revenge of the Hills:

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o= … 21516&v=3J


You could also look at the ACA Southern Tier route that passes through the Hill Country.  The ride from Vanderpool to Camp Wood is not to be missed.

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#8 2019-02-14 04:22:38

maupertius
Member
Registered: 2019-02-12
Posts: 3

Re: Routes from Austin for road bike

Jack wrote:

This may help a bit too, maupertius:  https://austin.maps.arcgis.com/apps/web … 9%2C102739 (City of Austin bicycle route map)

Thanks, this is very useful and should help me getting out of town safely!

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