Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    My Bikes
    '84 Centurion Accordo RS, '06 Gary Fisher Marlin, '06 Schwinn Fastback 27, '06 Litespeed Teramo
    Posts
    1,952
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Commuting in Austin, TX

    I'm on vacation visiting the inlaws right now. As we drove around the city so far I have only seen one, not two, but ONE street with a bike lane. I am really surprised to see how wide the lanes are, for cars, here but I don't think I will survive a week if I ever have to commute in this city. Most people drive like madmen/women and full sized pickup trucks and SUV's abound in addition to my sister in law and mother in law who cuts corners frequently. There is this one stretch of 6 lane road, 3 both ways, that would be a hoot to ride, rolling hills. But I seriously believe I will go home in a body bag if I ever took that chance. 35mph limit but since its mostly straight cars are going 45 to 55 mph.

    Another observation is I've only seen a total of maybe 6 cyclists in the 4 days we've spent here. 1 roadie and the rest are mtb's. I've gone throught the city and the suburbs and cyclists are very rare, no make that impossible to find. In contrast there are 3 LBS's in one street I've gone to, Anderson Ln, that are within a 1 mile distance. And just 3 miles away are 3 more LBS's. How can that be? In Silicon Valley all the LBS's are so far from one another it was frustrating to go from one to the other. Yet there are very few cyclists here. I'm dumbfounded.

  2. #2
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Houston we have a problem
    Posts
    2,913
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As long as there is more than one lane or the lanes are wide enough, you really don't need a bike lane.
    I see cyclists all over the place when I go to Austin on weekends.
    They even have those cool buses with the bike carriers on the front.
    2008 Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen
    Pics and Specs Here!

    2010 Specialized Rockhopper 29er

  3. #3
    Dare to be weird!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin TX
    My Bikes
    Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
    Posts
    1,990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We're in the middle of a week of unusually heavy rain. Steamy between the rain, too. Definitely discourages commuters who have other options.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    My Bikes
    '84 Centurion Accordo RS, '06 Gary Fisher Marlin, '06 Schwinn Fastback 27, '06 Litespeed Teramo
    Posts
    1,952
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Platy
    We're in the middle of a week of unusually heavy rain. Steamy between the rain, too. Definitely discourages commuters who have other options.
    That could be it too. Its been raining like crazy lately since Saturday. But man, I would love to ride in this rain. Downpouring, the sun is behind the clouds and its still mid 80's. Thats like perfect rain weather. California rain is always so cold it sucks. The humidity is pretty high too so I guess even if its not raining you will still be wet from sweat. I took a walk this morning and my shirt was semi-wet.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    153
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm an Austinite and a bicycle commuter (75-90% of my travel, depending on time of year), and there are plenty of people here who bike to work or as transportation. Heck, I passed over half a dozen this morning and about the same on the way home. You did pick a bad week as the weather has been very uncharacteristically wet, which has scared off many of my co-worker bike commuters from riding in. You're dead on about the humidity, too. I bike in a wife beater and keep my real shirt in the pannier. Luckly we have showers at work, or otherwise I'd be a mess after my 16mile commute (north to south austin).

    You're also 100% correct about the traffic. Austin drivers are insane and they love driving big bulky vehicles and not paying attention. I've had to signal with my U-Lock several times when an SUV decided it wanted to take my lane from me and I didn't want to let them. I've been hit or brushed more times than I can remember and though none of them have been really bad (nothing broken yet) I've walked away with scratches and been shaken up more times that I'd like to admit. I take the lane most places I ride due to people not knowing how much space to give a cyclist and the big, wide mirrors local trucks like to sport. I also bike very aggressively and don't take **** from drivers, which will get them to back down if you show some backbone and pull a U-Lock if you have to. Very strange town to bike for as much as they claim to be "bike friendly".

    I live very near the LBSes you're talking about (Discovery Cycle is my home base) and you're very near the one of the nicest rides in Austin. Check out Shoal Creek if you get the chance, it has a nice, wide bike lane and plenty of shade to keep you cool.

    Here's a link to the city bike and pedestrian program site. It includes a pdf bike route map that shows you where our trouble spots are and where we actually have lanes and trails: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/bicycle/default.htm

    If you aren't doing anything this weekend, you've picked a good one for local bike events. Friday is our Critical Mass which meets at 5pm on UT Campus on the west side of the tower (near the big crosswalk across Guadalupe in front of the Union). Saturday is our Frankenbike swap meet, which starts at 11am at Red7 down at 7th and Red River. Enter by way of the alley. At 7pm a pubcrawl departs there and goes until whenever. Saturday is also the night of the full moon, and there's a monthly full moon cruise that also goes on that evening. I believe it starts at midnight, but it may be 10pm. They keep changing the time. They meet on the Lamar pedestrian bridge. There's also some World Naked Bike Ride thing going on, but that tends to be a sausage-fest from the looks of previous pics. Shoot me a private msg if you want to get together and check out some decent places to ride in Austin.

  6. #6
    Dare to be weird!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin TX
    My Bikes
    Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
    Posts
    1,990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think there are bike rentals at Bicycle Sport Shop (two locations), and maybe also at Waterloo Cycle (just north of the university). For rolling hills in a residential area with wide streets and low traffic, cross Loop 1/Mo-Pac at Far West using the pedestrian bridge (goes from Shoal Creek Blvd through a dog park up to the intersection of Far West & Mo-Pac) and ride in the neighborhoods on either side of Mesa.
    Last edited by Platy; 06-26-07 at 04:30 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    53
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    On a recent visit to the city, I noticed that most of the bikers I saw rode on the sidewalks - especially outside of downtown. Which was understandable, given the amount of traffic and narrow/non-existent shoulders, but still... I hate biking on sidewalks. Is this common?

  8. #8
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    AZ
    My Bikes
    Jamis Sputnik, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
    Posts
    13,881
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've spent time in Austin, most recently for a week with some cycling. I found it very enjoyable, mainly as the speeds were quite moderate, when 35/40 is posted, thats close to what folks drive and every driver was courteous. It was also nice riding weather, warm and humid enough to get the sweat going, but not enough to fatigue. Most of the riding was between south Austin and downtown - Lamar was my main route between the two. I did note that many cyclist were using the sidewalk, which I found very surprising given the very sorry state of the sidewalks along may streets - some just ended or had stuff in them. I wasn't commuting but rode on some workday mornings.
    Al

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •