No-No Austin Roads

Old 03-27-11, 08:43 AM
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No-No Austin Roads

I'll be moving up to the North Austin area (between Austin and Round Rock) in a few weeks and wanted to know which roads/highways are NOT cycling friendly. Are there certain areas that should be avoided? I plan on exploring most of the roads but figured I'd try and get a heads-up before I get into a nasty situation. I'm considering riding along with the ACA to help me get to know the area and probably some awesome people. Any help would great and if there are any clubs ya'll can recommend, please let me know!
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Old 03-27-11, 09:42 AM
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ACA is definitely a great resource for rides and they run plenty of 'em out of the north side of Austin...I think both Saturdays and Sundays.

Parmer Lane is probably one of the more popular rides up north...it has a super-wide breakdown/bike lane and you can do 70 mile out-and-backs if you're so inclined. A new Bicycle Sport Shop opened a location on Parmer last year, so they might be a good resource for you too. The Liberty Hill area also has a lot of nice cycling...a couple of the popular organized rides each year begin out of there.

There are plenty of country roads to explore...which usually have low traffic...but a lot of 'em don't have bike lines or any space to the right of the white line...and sometimes they are 55 mph speed limits so it can get a little hairy.

I live just west of downtown and spend a lot of time on 360/Bee Caves Road/620...and while traffic is fairly heavy and fast, the 12 foot shoulders provide me a level of comfort.

I've ridden Parmer several times and it's a good workout...the further away from town you get, the fewer options for water (important on those 95-degree days).

Bennie222 is from RR and probably has some suggestions also...if he doesn't find this you might want to PM him.
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Old 03-27-11, 12:15 PM
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Thanks a lot! I will definitely be doing the weekend ACA rides and hopefully get to do a race or two. I'll probably be spending most of my riding time on Parmer Ln since I'll be staying in Oak Ridge, and the 620 seems like it will offer some incredible views and terrain. I can't wait to get out there.
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Old 03-28-11, 06:52 AM
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Stay away from 2222 and in town Lamar and Burnet roads. Out East of Pfluegerville there are great rides through Coupland and New Sweden. I'm including a Gmaps link for a little 50 miler I've ridden a few times: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3893179
Also, if you Google the last Rosedale ride (last weekend and a hoot), they have a similar 60+ laid out.

Have fun!
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Old 03-28-11, 11:37 AM
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Here's the City of Austin biking map --

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/publicwor...map_121409.pdf

It's not clear if this is the 2010 version (people say it is) or the 2008 version (like it says) ... but it is what it is.
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Old 03-29-11, 07:49 AM
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Where is Oak Ridge? When I google "Oak Ridge Austin" I get a place just off Mopac, south of Far West. Am I close?
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Old 03-29-11, 10:32 AM
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It's real close to the Lamar/Parmer intersection (south east). Right by the Walnut Creek Park. I just zoomed out a bit in Google Maps and figured Oak Ridge is the name of the area.
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Old 03-29-11, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by SillyRabbit View Post
It's real close to the Lamar/Parmer intersection (south east). Right by the Walnut Creek Park. I just zoomed out a bit in Google Maps and figured Oak Ridge is the name of the area.
If you are near Parmer/Lamar, get a mountain bike if you don't already have one. Walnut Creek park is a great place for riding. As far as riding Parmer, between Lamar and Loop 1 is very busy, but beyond that, it is a good ride.
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Old 03-29-11, 11:44 AM
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OK...I see where that is. I've always started my Parmer rides just to the west of Mopac, but looking at Google Streetview, it looks like there's a nice wide bike/breakdown lane all the way to Lamar...so yeah...Parmer looks like a great choice for you if you don't want to drive your bike to another start location.
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Old 03-29-11, 01:40 PM
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Is Highway 1 and Mopac one and the same? Crazydad, I assume Loop 1 is HWY 1? Unfortunately, I won't be having a car for a while when I get there so I would have to ride to start locations. Any significance as to why a bunch of the roads are labeled "Farm to Market"? Just curious.
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Old 03-29-11, 03:53 PM
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Mopac and Loop/Hwy 1 are the same. I've lived here all my life and I still don't understand why the same road can have 2-4 names. Farm to Market is just what they call the roads that used to (some still do) go from Austin to the rural areas (even though some of those areas are not rural anymore).
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Old 03-29-11, 04:14 PM
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Ah, thanks for clearing that up!
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Old 03-29-11, 07:07 PM
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Sounds like you are going to be moving to the Pflugerville area. When you get into town and get settled drop me a note. I generally ride all over the P'ville area with a friend of mine. No 20mph rides, but not a crawl either.
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Old 03-30-11, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by SillyRabbit View Post
Ah, thanks for clearing that up!
Hardly!

Pronunciation of certain words in Austin can be confounding. Coming from SoCal (or SFV if you prefer), you'll immediately be struck by the lack of any attempt to properly pronounce Spanish words. Guadalupe, for instance, is Guad-a-loop. Manchaca is Man-Shack. Pedernales (a river) is Perden-Alice. Bexar (a county to the south), which should be pronounced Bay-Har, is pronounced "Bear". And it's not just limited to Spanish words...Burnet (a street) is Burn-it and Buda (a city to the south), is Byoo-da. Name changes and multi-name streets are common. One of the worst is RM 2222, which becomes Anderson Ln, which becomes Allendale, which becomes Koenig (kay-nig), which becomes Hwy 290...all within a span of about 6 miles.

And by the way...the "P" in Pflugerville is silent. When we first got here, we were looking around the area and were given a "Pfly" swatter at the Chamber of Commerce.
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Old 03-30-11, 10:24 AM
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Z, I may take you up on your offer! What time of day you get started? I kinda figured the P would be silent...almost seems like a typo. My Spanish pronunciation is not the best, and it doesn't seem like it will get any better. I can already predict I will be getting lost a few times until I get used to the name changes and numbers.

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Old 03-30-11, 11:01 AM
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Welcome to Texas!

The Farm-to-Market road system is all over Texas, and sometimes localities will re-name sections of these roads, but they will retain the FM designation, too. In some areas, cattlemen used their influence to use the term "Ranch" instead of "Farm" in this road system, as Texas ranchers do NOT like to be called farmers. Notably, these rural FM roads do not always have any paved shoulders, and may have 70 MPH speed limits, so are not universally good for cycling, though some are great for cycling; local knowledge is important.

To be clear, I am not in the Austin area, but farther east, and looked in this thread to pick up pointers for myself.
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Old 03-30-11, 02:25 PM
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I definitely need to get some local knowledge....which will hopefully be gained through a bunch of club rides and hanging out at the LBS. I'll be sure to share what I learn!
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Old 04-05-11, 10:32 PM
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One way to avoid ridicule and possibly assault is to avoid complaining about the pronunciation of street names and the quality of our Mexican food. You will immediately be identified as a California carpetbagger. Oh yeah, never say how cheap our real estate is. It was a lot cheaper before everyone moved here from California
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