View Full Version : OT: Visiting Austin, TX mid Feb

11-21-2006, 05:13 PM
Hi all,

We are visiting family for a few days in mid-late Feb, and I haven't been there before. My husband and I would like to do some riding and/or running while we're out there. We'll be there less than a week though.

Any suggestions on places to rent decent bikes, routes or paths to take, or any events (rides or 5ks) during this time? Is there something to see at the LAF or is it just a building?

Also, any non-biking sights to see while we're there? Restaurants, etc? Can we get tickets to shows at Austin City Limits?

Of course our family will have ideas for things to do, but they aren't into cycling etc. So any suggestions you have would be great!


11-21-2006, 06:05 PM
Check out the ACA website for group rides. We are headed there for thanksgiving and plan to do some ACA rides. http://www.austincycling.org/rides.html

11-22-2006, 09:16 AM
You can high quality bikes at Bicycle Sport Shop (www.bicyclesportshop.com). They might have maps for you. If not ACA does, but you have to pay.

For running the Town Lake Trail (http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/trails.htm)is pretty popular.

For Austin City Limits, I am not sure when they do tapings. They have a website though. It is www.austincitylimits.com.

There are tons of resturants, www.austin360.com is a decent resource for reviews. I recommend Chuy's (www.chuys.com)on Barton Springs- Lance eats there. :)

11-22-2006, 10:28 AM
We'll be in Austin mid-Feb too. We'll actually be touring around Texas in our camper for a couple of weeks. DH plans to run the Austin Marathon on Feb. 18th. We're looking for good riding and running routes too.

Anyone have State Park recommendations as well?


11-22-2006, 10:19 PM
If you're here on a weekend, an ACA ride is a great way to see some country out away from the busy city. They *usually* give out maps at the ride start (I've gone to two in the last couple of months that were lacking maps). There are a few "training" routes closer in if you just have an hour or two to get away from the family ;) .

Town Lake Trail/Greenbelt are marvelous places to run. They're just blocks from my apartment, so I'm spoiled and haven't searched out any other places :D . There's some 5k/10k/fun run practically every weekend of the year, but I don't race and have no info. You could probably google "5k Austin February" and find something. Both road and mtb race seasons start in February.

ACL tickets are announced just a few days before a taping at a random time on the radio. They are usually gone within an hour or two.

The LAF is located in a non-descript office complex on a busy highway. Nothing to see.

There are literally hundreds of restaurants. Depends on what you're looking for, how far you want to drive, etc. Chuy's is a must-see, tho :D . I saw Lance riding down Barton Springs one day and he turned toward there. I slowed to see if he was going to stop, but he kept going down the side street. Darn, I was hoping to hit it off over some queso and a couple of Shiners :p :rolleyes: !

I've been hitting a lot of state parks lately. Pedernales Falls is about 40 minutes from town, with an awesome falls, a couple of trails you can mtb on and a couple of separate campgrounds. I also like Guadalupe River State Park, near Blanco. The country out there is awesome, and the park has a cool loop trail up above the river and a beautiful campground with lots of trees. Bastrop State Park is know for its "lost pines", an oddly placed pine forest out in the middle of the Texas Hill Country and funky stone cabins built by the CCC. The park roads there make for an awesome, rolling, quiet, rolling, ride full of rollers. Oh, did I mention it's kind of hilly :p ? If you buy an annual state park pass for $60 you get free admission to all state parks (usually about $4-8/per person over age 13) and they send you four 50% off one night of camping coupons ;) . The coupons take about 4-6 weeks to arrive, so order early. Check it out here. (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/)

It would be so cool to meet any and all of you while you're in the area. I should have my freelance Austin area booster check from the Chamber of Commerce by then :p ;) !

11-23-2006, 10:14 AM
We could always get together a mini-TE ride. I live about 20 miles north of Austin and will drive to ride. :D :D

If you want some history I have heard the Bob Bullock museum is really cool. There is also the LBJ library on the UT campus. One person who has been to the Bush, Reagan and Clinton Libraries said they felt the LBJ was the best.

Another great state park is Inks Lake. Although it will be too cold for swimming in February, Park Road 4 has some great riding. I wrote up about my adventure on Park Road 4 in the "Adventure Stories" section. It is often warm enough in late February for boating. My birthday is February 17 and I have worn shorts many times on my birthday. :p

11-27-2006, 05:33 PM
Just got back from my mini-weekend in Austin. It does bug me a little that ACA makes you join for the maps, but in fact its not that expensive and the maps are well worth it. I highly recommend doing the ride called the 'tour de austin' early in your visit. I thought it would be a boring city ride, but it goes both through and around the city, taking advantage of bike routes, and gives you a real understanding of the lay of the land, different neighborhoods, etc. It was also quite hilly and challenging, as much of the ride is on the west side of the city and goes high above the city with a beautiful view of the lake. SO, its both a great workout and informative. It lets you see where things are you might want to visit later. As for club rides, we much preferred the rides to the west which are hilly and interesting, rather than the rides to the east which are flattish farm land. Our favourite restaruant is a spanish tapas bar called Malaga on 4th street (warehouse district) which has great happy hour/early dinner deals on tapas and wine, and amazing food anytime. If you are willing to go a tad south towards san antonio, you must ride up river road. You can park in Gruene texas, which is also a quaint interesting hill country town. We did that ride on our way down on thanksgiving day, and ate a great thanksgiving dinner at a bed and breakfast in gruene. If you google tour de gruene you can download ride maps for free (or pm me). If you are really adventuresome, at the top of river road you can ride up the devils backbone and purgatory loop.

11-27-2006, 09:41 PM
Thanks for all the comments, this is exactly the type of information I was hoping for. It looks like we can have a very busy and productive trip. I love the restaurant suggestions. We are foodies too...

If anyone has other suggestions, feel free to add them.

11-28-2006, 07:31 AM
River Road is an awesome ride. It runs along the Guadalupe River outside of New Braunfels/Gruene. There are lots of campgrounds along the road, too.

I rode Devil's Backbone a few weeks ago and it had a fresh coat of Texas' notorious chip and seal on it. It was a rough ride to say the least :( , I had numb hands and arms for an hour afterward. And the road that connects from there to River Road had lots of traffic, even on a cold off-season Sunday morning.

I just camped at Buescher State Park. Lots of highway noise. All night long. Bastrop State Park is the same. I also learned that they don't accept the 50% off camping coupons on a holiday weekend :( .

01-02-2007, 09:46 AM
Sniff, you're making me remember all of the things that I miss so much about Austin. :(

For both trail riding and trail running, there's the Barton Creek Greenbelt right by downtown. It's lovely in february and the creek should be pretty low at crossings so you shouldn't have to go wading. There are rock cliffs there for rock climbing and all sorts of neat things to look at, right in the center of town! Afterwards, you can stop by Barton Springs pool right near the trailhead- it's a massive spring-fed (constant temperature) civic pool with a natural bottom and some salamanders that only live in the area right around the pool.

There's a hard-pack gravel surface trail that goes around the river in downtown for gentle riding and running, it's a real favorite of runners here. I do believe that the marathon uses it in the course. Say hi to the statue of Stevie Ray on the south side of the path for me!

Bicycle Sport Shop on Lamar rents bikes of just about any sort, I think they list all of the details on their website, bicyclesportshop.com . 360 Cycleworks runs an amazing Sunday morning ride out through west Austin and over the dam, it's one of the fastest ways to see the sights. The pack ranges all the way from pro riders to n00bs and splits apart accordingly. All of the bike shops should carry the Austin Bicycle map, which costs a few dollars and which is a great map for the purpose.

As for food, Austin has some of the best. Downtown near 10th and Red River, there's a mexican restaurant called Serrano's that's in a neat old house with a plaza outside where the symphony plays. They have superb salsa and margaritas and you should definitely have a meal there. You also have to get breakfast tacos- one of the good spots is Taco Shack, which has locations lots of places including downtown, near the convention center. The ones from the trailers are also usually excellent, you just have to know some spanglish ;)

I'll second Pedernales Falls as a park you should go to. The falls are beautiful and the primitive camping area is one of the best in the area to explore. It's about 30 miles west of the city and makes about a 40 mile each-way ride; email me if you want a route suggestion for a day on the bike.