Best Austin Ride for Visitor?

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Old 09-26-07, 03:32 PM
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TSUTexan93
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Best Austin Ride for Visitor?

I'll be in Austin for business next week and would like to get a good ride in. If you had to suggest one "must do" road ride for a visitor, what would it be? I'm trying to carve out about 3 hours total of free time. That would include a drive to the area, the ride itself, and the return trip. I'll be staying in the N35/183 area. I'm looking for scenery, good shouldered roads, and of course some Austin hills. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-26-07, 06:37 PM
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CardiacKid
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I would have to say Loop 360. Start just south of the intersection of 183 and Loop 360. This is probably 5 miles northwest of where you are staying. It is an out and back. You can just ride as long as you want or can and turn around and go back. This is probably not the prettiest ride or the safest, but it is a good combination of the 2, with some kickin' hills. There are always a lot of cyclists to keep you company. Be careful of the exit ramp at Bee Caves Rd. I always just exit and get back on after the stoplight. There is a store at the corner, which is a good place to take a break after going up the hill to Bee Caves.
The other alternative is the Dam Loop. You can start near the bridge on 360 take a right on Bee Caves, right on Hwy 71, right on RM 620, right on FM 2222, back to 360. The problem with that route is there is a lot of construction by the lake, so you tend to get flats from the road debris.
If you want to go a little further out, you can take the route for the Livestrong Challenge, which can be found at WWW.laf.org. But that will probably require too much driving.

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Old 09-26-07, 07:24 PM
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Naw, do the real man thing and go out and ride with the Austin Tri-Cyclist group. That's what I did on my first visit.




(and lasted about 5mi before they climbed right out of sight)
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Old 09-26-07, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by TSUTexan93 View Post
I'll be in Austin for business next week and would like to get a good ride in. If you had to suggest one "must do" road ride for a visitor, what would it be? I'm trying to carve out about 3 hours total of free time. That would include a drive to the area, the ride itself, and the return trip. I'll be staying in the N35/183 area. I'm looking for scenery, good shouldered roads, and of course some Austin hills. Thanks in advance.
When you gonna be around to ride and what time are you looking at. I might be able to set up a group ride for you to join. What kind of pace do you ride at?
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Old 09-26-07, 10:21 PM
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I'll second the Dam Loop except for two things: You no longer have to go all the way to 71 to get over to 620. They've opened the road that runs behind the new mall going in and it makes for a nice cut-over (although I'll never understand why they didn't put a shoulder/bike lane on it). Second, 2222 scares me to death, so I'd either continue all the way up to Balcones(?) and get back over to 360, or, I understand there's a way to get through River Place so you don't have go down 2222.
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Old 09-27-07, 08:27 AM
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Sorry, I forgot about that new road. The problem wih both alternative routs are they are pretty complicated. He could be roaming around in some subdivision for hours.
You will need to print out a map, but basically the River place route involves taking a right off 2222 onto River place Blvd and roaming around the golf course to City Park Rd. back to 2222.
The Balcones route involves going further up 620 to Anderson Mill Rd, then to Spicewood Parkway, with a few turns to Spicewood Springs, which connects with 360.
There is mile or so of 2222 that is scary if there is a lot of traffic, but going down Tumbleweed hill at 45 mph is an Austin tradition. Each of the alternative routes adds several miles to the route that might make it difficult to get finished in 3 hours with drive time.
All of these things combine to make an out and back on 360 a better alternative. The hills make the out totally different from the back. Though I have never made it over 40 mph on the descent from Bee Caves.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:24 PM
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Cardiac, do they still use a triangle course comprised of...think it was 360, Bee Caves Rd, and maybe Camp Craft or Westbank Dr for racing anymore? Been over 30 yrs since I raced there but that sweep from 360 to Bee Caves was always fun.
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Old 09-28-07, 04:53 AM
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CardiacKid
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Bee Cave Rd thru West Lake has changed a bit in the last 30 years. I remember driving out to the Soap Creek Saloon, on this little country road. I can't even figure out where the Soap Creek Saloon was anymore. That part of Bee Caves is one of the busiest roads in town now. People would rather run over you and risk putting a scratch on their Hummer than slow down. So no, I don't think they do that anymore.
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Old 09-28-07, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
Sorry, I forgot about that new road. The problem wih both alternative routs are they are pretty complicated. He could be roaming around in some subdivision for hours.
You will need to print out a map, but basically the River place route involves taking a right off 2222 onto River place Blvd and roaming around the golf course to City Park Rd. back to 2222.
The Balcones route involves going further up 620 to Anderson Mill Rd, then to Spicewood Parkway, with a few turns to Spicewood Springs, which connects with 360.
There is mile or so of 2222 that is scary if there is a lot of traffic, but going down Tumbleweed hill at 45 mph is an Austin tradition. Each of the alternative routes adds several miles to the route that might make it difficult to get finished in 3 hours with drive time.
All of these things combine to make an out and back on 360 a better alternative. The hills make the out totally different from the back. Though I have never made it over 40 mph on the descent from Bee Caves.
Gosh, I would stay away from 2222. I have heard of way too many fatal accidents on that road.
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