Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour 2017

Cycling Austin Hill Country

  Texas Bike Trip  - 52
This October, I undertook a 5 day ride from Austin through Hill Country. There were three of us, carrying our gear and staying in hotels and AirBnB rentals. We cycled 80-110k per day and the weather was excellent; dry with temperatures primarily in the 60s and 70s F. Although there were some hills, nothing crazy and I finally talked the guys into abandoning the practice of carrying fully loaded panniers. So we traveled much lighter than in past years. Winds and traffic were modest, except for the last day coming back into Austin. Our itinerary was based somewhat on the tours offered by Adventure Cycling Association: Austin / Blanco / Luckenbach /Fredericksburg / Johnson City.

Texas Bike Trip  - 22One great thing about Austin is it's a tremendous cycling town. So it was easy to rent high-quality road bikes without spending an arm and a leg. We chose to rent from Mellow Johnny's located downtown. Austin is also a fun place with more live music than anywhere I've ever been. Your average Tuesday night has more live music than a month of Saturdays anywhere else. Hotel prices in Austin can be a bit high if there's a conference or big event going on, so we ended up a towards the University of Texas at Austin.

Texas Bike Trip  - 33While the weather was very good (especially compared to the heat that Austin can have at other times), about 30% of the roads were fairly rough, ranging from crushed gravel to gravel and tar.

While I don't mind the occasional stretch of gravel, this was a bit of a detraction compared to the smooth roads I've become used to in California, Michigan and BC. That said, Texas drivers were always very respectful, giving us a wide berth. This was very much appreciated on those rare occasions where we ended up on 60mph two-lane highways with no shoulder.

Texas Bike Trip  - 37We definitely got our fill of good quality Texas BBQ on this trip. However, small-town Texas doesn't offer much variety when it comes to food. After a while, we yearned for any kind of pasta or vegetables that weren't deep fried. However, I would say that the quality of the beer made up for the quality of food on a few occasions.

Accommodations on the trip were good, sometimes a good deal and sometimes not --I'm looking at you Blanco! 

Overall, it was a good trip. If you choose to cycle Austin Hill Country, the Adventure Cycling route is a good one. But I would not want to be doing this kind of riding in 90F or higher temperatures. 

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