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MLK Street in Austin turns into 969
(a meandering country road), and this one road takes you 30 of the 32
miles or so to Bastrop from the center of Austin (MLK &
Congress). After 30 miles you hit Highway 71, then ride another two
miles on the shoulder of 71 to Bastrop. Bastrop has a number of
motels, and you can camp in Bastrop State Park.
Though 969 is a country road,
there's often a fair amount of traffic, including big trucks, and
there's no shoulder. Your best bet for avoiding traffic is to ride
during on a weekday during working hours (8-5) while most folks (and
their vehicles) are at work, or to ride at night (after 10pm, Sunday
through Thursday), lit up like a Christmas tree. I've ridden this
route several times, day and night, and I've actually felt safer at
night, since the vehicle traffic is dramatically reduced, and
with proper lighting I feel MORE visible -- during the day it's very
easy to blend in with the scenery. Just don't ride on Friday or
Saturday night, when the drunks are out.
Some riders may prefer Highway 71
instead, because it has a very wide paved shoulder (see below).
There's lots more traffic, of course, but they don't have to dodge
you since you have your own lane, so you may feel safer.
If you choose MLK/969, here's what
- The first 10 miles or so has
four lanes, usually no shoulder, lots of city traffic, and
- After about 10 miles three
things happen almost at once: the road goes from four lanes to
just two, the traffic decreases considerably, and the hills
- After about 11 miles there's a
well-stocked convenience store along the road, in the middle of
- After about 14 miles you hit
the town of Webberville, which I think also has a convenience
- After about 18 miles there's a
restaurant, Mexican, I think.
- After about 25 miles you cross
the Colorado River. The bridge has a shoulder.
- After about 30 miles you hit
Highway 71. Take a left and it's just two miles to
Back to Routes
- Highway 71
is an alternative to 969. There's lots more traffic, but you have
a nice, wide paved shoulder, so you have a lane all to yourself
and traffic doesn't have to dodge you to avoid hitting you. An
added bonus is that it's also much flatter. The shoulder doesn't
begin until past the airport so you'll need to either brave
shoulderless traffic until you get to the airport, or join 71 from
some other road....
- Fred Meredith
- One way to get to 71 without
passing the front of the airport is to go around the back way:
come in from McKinney Falls and cross 183 where the old Speedorama
was and take a left toward Moya park. You can cross just south of
the airport and end up on 71 where there is a shoulder. The
shoulder is pretty much all the way to Bastrop. The cars are going
faster, but they are further from you. That's the way I go, but
then I live in Manchaca and I just take Slaughter to Knuckles
Crossing and Thaxton and up to McKinney Falls parkway and on
- Michael Cosper
- On 71 to Bastrop, the shoulders
totally go away on the bridges and overpasses. Good luck.
- Mike Librik
- Fred Meredith's posting
detailing how to reach US 71 while avoiding airport traffic got me
to pull out my "The Roads of Texas" atlas to look over the
suggestion. It revealed, interestingly, a denser network of small
country roads, most paved, reaching from McKinney Falls out to
south of Bastrop, all just south of US 71. Pearce Rd, Texas Hwy
21, Bastrop County 82, and Texas 304 all line up to take one into
Has anyone any experience on
these roads? I imagine there are even fewer serviced than FM 969,
but perhaps very little traffic. There a few oil fields out near
Texas 21 (according to this very detailed Texas map), but I don't
know how much truck traffic results from it.
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