Texas - Bicycle Friendly Vacation Spots
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06-22-08, 04:14 PM
I'd like to schedule a one week vacation to a destination that is no more than an 8 hour drive from San Antonio. I'll have family members of all ages with me. So it needs to be somewhere with different activities. I would like it to be somewhere that is bicycle friendly so I can get some time on the bike. Any recommendations?
06-22-08, 08:39 PM
Galveston is fairly decent for cruising up and down the seawall. If you're a serious roadie, you may run out of island before you run out of energy.
THere's a book at local bookstores about the "Best Bicycle Rides in Texas"- you might peruse through it. Your library may have it as well.
Of course, you can do all kinds of riding here in the Dallas area or the Houston area, but I'm not aware that any really has any advantage over San Antonio, either.
06-22-08, 11:35 PM
Thanks. I'll check it out. Do you ride anywhere near Irving TX? I think I'll be up there for work in August. I'd be interested to know if they have bike lanes/trails.
06-23-08, 12:27 AM
We just did a four day trip to Austin. Camped out in Emma Long Park, so I got to ride City Park road and the mountain bike/motorcycle trail every day. Had the bikes on the car the day we ventured into downtown and it was a good thing. Parked the car and then road around town all afternoon. Got to check out the capital, ride the trail by town lake and see the bats at the Congress avenue bridge. One afternoon we went to Austin's park and ate a bunch of pizza, rode go carts, climbed the wall, played mini golf...... We rented a kayak and paddled around town lake one afternoon. It was a good trip and I plan to go back, there are a lot more places to ride.
06-23-08, 07:04 AM
I'm not that familiar with bicycle riding in the Irving area. I've ridden the White Rock Creek/ Lake trails quite a bit. You might post a separate inquiry on Irving; I think we do have some forum members from there. I know there's some MUP's up north of Las Collinas, but haven't been on them.
There's the Fort and McDonald Observatory for sight seeing.
NIce swimming pool at the Indian Lodge in the State Park.
And I haven't ridden around there, but there's fabulous scenery and roads with not much traffic on them.
06-23-08, 06:40 PM
Thanks y'all. Good suggestions.
Roadie, MTB, either/both?
Family vacation in Texas says "San Antonio" to me, but since that's where you live, it isn't an option. Eight hours in a car doesn't get you too far out of state, and where it gets you isn't any place I'd consider a family vacation destination.
Some of my favorite memories as a kid were of West Texas, which has already been suggested. While sparse traffic is a plus, it can also be a negative, as people aren't accustomed to looking out for cyclists. The parents of one of our daughter's friends go to Alpine every year. He is an avid cyclist and always takes his bike. To my knowledge, he always comes back in one piece. Thus at least parts of West Texas are doable.
Austin actually has a lot to do for the entire family, and it is by far the most bike friendly city in the state. It has several designated bike lanes throughout the city, and many undesignated roads that get a lot of cycisits, so drivers know to be on the lookout. There are many places to ride offroad as well if that's an option for you. It also isn't going to cost you a fortune in gas in order to get there.
We typically take the family to Port Aransas. It's only a couple of hours away by car. While I've seen many a crusty local on a cruiser, I can't say that I've seen many serious riders. I've seen a few brave the stretch of 361 between Corpus and Port Aransas, but I'm not sure I'd do it. While the shoulders are ample, the traffic whizzing by at 70+ doesn't exactly make for a relaxing spin. If you frequently ride along 1604 or 10, you are probably acclimated to riding along side fast moving vehicles, so it may not bother you. There are also a lot of smaller highways that would get you out into the coatal plains toward Sinton, Taft, etc.
I would imagine that South Padre would be an option as well, but I haven't been in ages, and I have no idea how safe it would be for cycling.
If you end up going to one of the coast options, you'll want to clean your bike after every ride and keep it inside. The salt air can toast your components very quickly.
06-24-08, 02:50 AM
I have been seriously considering Marble Falls for a few days get away.
It gives you the hill country to ride in, and the lake to play in and on. It's also a great town, and it's not that far out of Austin, so you save some fuel costs getting there.
I taught a scuba class in Balmorhea this past November and it was a fantastic place.
Roads are not heavily traveled, scenery is gorgeous (Davis Mountains) and its not all that expensive.
I imagine there are good MTB trails there too.
I ride in the Irving area at least 2 or 3 times a week since I work there.
06-24-08, 12:25 PM
Southeastern Oklahoma - look into Broken Bow / Beaver's Bend state park and the area. Hills but not huge, trees, a pretty lake, cabins, etc. Take an mtb or CX bike and explore the forest roads. Kids and non-riders can play at the lake.
06-24-08, 12:42 PM
San Antonio is hot enough. When you get out to the west, you get hotter if anything, and that would be something to consider if heading in that direction. That's one reason I thought of the coast first.
Beavers Bend is nice. I don't know about the riding. You've got maybe a couple of miles or more of riding in the park. Once you get out of the park, it's pretty much straight asphalt roads as I recall. There are lots of rental cabins, check into them.
That "best cycle routes" book has one route listed on Padre Island and one in Corpus Christi, as I recall- neither is terribly long, but a good morning outing.
I was down in Falfurrias a while back, and that looked like some great riding to me. Not sure what there is to do in the area (check in Kingsville, they had a big visitor center there), but the roads in that area tended to have very little traffic, and different scenery from Dallas- basically flat. I drove the loop around Benavides, Realitos, and Concepcion- just very little out there (meaning, take water).
I've been in Balmorhea twice, I think. One time was right after a tornado had gone through Saragosa. There were irrigated cantaloupe fields in the area, and off accross the fields, you could see several dust devils whirling away. I kept wondering if one of them would make the next tornado. But it's hot out there, too, and shade trees are few and far between. It's pretty in a desert sort-of-way. I wouldn't mind riding out there myself, but would try to pick cooler weather in fall or spring.
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