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Austin’s Top 10 Summer Rides

June 3, 2010

Summer may not officially begin until June 21, but for many, Memorial Day Weekend marked the unofficial start.  And the start of Summer typically means bike riding time!  We’ve put together, in no particular order, a top ten list of places to ride and spots to ride to, that will get you going on your own two-wheeled Summer!  It’s time to ride!

1.  Lady Bird Lake:  Austin’s crown jewel, the 10 mile crushed granite hike and bike trail boasts numerous shorter loop options, water fountains, plenty of shade spots, and people watching galore.  The path is perfect for your hybrid or city bike, or for an Electra Townie from Bicycle Sport Shop’s Rental Department.  The riding surface is a soft, crushed granite and has only one moderate hill located on the East Side on the full 10 mile loop option.  Expect larger crowds—bikers and walkers/runners—on weekends in exploring Austin’s central recreation spot.

2.  Barton Creek Greenbelt:  Looking to get off the beaten path of Lady Bird Lake?  Take a short spin over the Barton Creek Greenbelt.  True mountain bikes are highly recommended, as the trail is rough and rocky—very rocky—in some places and boasts water crossings that this year have plenty of water flowing!  Cool off in the water near Twin Falls and enjoy the canopy of trees isolating you from the bustling city around you.

3.  Barton Springs:  Situated between the Barton Creek Greenbelt and the hike and bike trail at Lady Bird Lake, the Barton Springs Pool is arguably THE riding destination during a hot Austin Summer!  The pool is spring fed and maintains a chilling and refreshing 68 degree temp year around.  Ride to the pool, lock up the bike, and hit the water!  People watching nearly as good as the hike and bike trail and nearby treats at the snack bar.  Nothing beats hopping out of the pool and enjoying the breeze as you ride home from a refreshing dip!

4.  The Mansfield Dam Loop:  Are you a roadie?  Then you have to test your mettle against the heat and hills on this venerable road ride.  The traditional Mansfield Dam Loop comprises 360, Bee Cave (2244), 620, 2222, and then heads back to 360, but there are numerous route variations abound (the mapped hyperlink skips Tumbleweed Hill on 2222).  Starting at Bicycle Sport Shop’s Central store you’ve got a short jaunt through Rollingwood to get you to 360.  Or from our North store a quick spin down 360 to Bee Cave.  Head out to these roads on any Saturday or Sunday morning and you will see numerous riders—from hard charging triathletes to folks training for their first century ride to local pros out on a “recovery” ride from the previous day’s or week’s racing.  The traditional loop runs about 35-40 miles with plentiful options to ride shorter—or longer!  One rider’s take can be found here.

5.  Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park:  Located near Parmer and Lamar, “The Nut” boasts beginner friendly trails and tons of shade.  The Nut is the perfect place to hone burgeoning mountain bike skills and get new riders used to the weight-shifting and obstacle clearing demands of off road riding.

6.  The Driveway:  Find the road racer in you!  Each Thursday road racers can enjoy USA Cycling sanctioned races for riders of all categories, or “cats.”  Held at Austin Motorsports Academy, the Driveway boasts convenient, big time racing on safe, closed loops without curbs and with various routes and courses.  Particularly useful for those wanting to get started in racing, Bicycle Sport Shop’s own Super Squadra pro men’s team hosts a beginner’s clinic to teach the ins and outs of both basic race technique, strategy, and safety as well as the particulars of the Driveway.  Pin a number on this Summer and get after it!

7.  The Veloway:  Located in Southwest Austin, the Veloway is a paved dedicated bike and skate loop that provides 3.1 miles of serene riding.  The perfect place to learn a new bike’s handling characteristics, teach young ones the art of two wheeled transportation, or take a leisurely spin with friends and family.  Be sure to pack a little extra sun screen as shade is not as plentiful as, say, Lady Bird Lake, and take one of the numerous bike routes and paths into the Circle C area to find local spots for food and drink.

8.  Andice General Store:  Are you in the Cedar Park area?  Then you likely know about this treasure.  Start at Bicycle Sport Shop’s new Parmer location (9900 W Parmer) and head out down Parmer to Andice General Store, a favorite stop to refill bottles and a perfect place to turn around on an out-and-back ride!  This is sure to be THE ride for the folks at our new location!

9.  Shammies and Koozies:  THE ride of the summer!  This puts the two best things about Summer together: riding and floating a river!  2010 marks the first Shammies and Koozies ride, so you won’t want to miss it!

10.  EVERYWHERE!  Did you get the riding bug during the recent Austin Commuter Challenge?  Are you looking to squeeze a workout into a busy day?  Ride to work! Ride to the store!  Help yourself, your pocketbook, and the environment by riding anytime you might otherwise take a car!  Short trips to YOUR favorite spots are the BEST places to ride to!  Get out there and have fun!

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 19, 2014 4:41 am

    Aro Palace Brasov

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