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Thread: Austin Trip

  1. #1
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    Austin Trip

    Hi. Taking an Austin trip in Sept. I have a couple days to kill and would like to do some riding.

    I'm from NJ and ride technical trails but also love the flow. Not a beginner.

    Just let me know any riding trails worth the trip around Austin and any links you can plug in for trail maps/info. Top trail systems I should not miss? Any bike parks out there?

    Thank you!

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    Here's a link to the thread at the top of this forum. Here's a link to an Austin trail resource. Having ridden in Jersey before, your terrain is similar to here. Loads of rocks and a tendency for technical riding. There aren't a lot of flow trails around here nor is there a load of elevation change. Most places tend to have elevation gains listed in the hundreds not thousands. The closest we have to a flow trail is Walnut Creek. It's considered a beginner to low intermediate trail but can be a lot of fun if you ride it fast. There are some newer sections that are a blast. If you like a bit of flow and a lot of tech, get to Brushy Creek. The main trail there called Deception starts out as a more XC style flowish trail and then ramps up difficulty quickly after a mid way point (Swag Rock) about 3 or so miles in. Loads of rocks and the square edged limestone drops/climbs Austin is known for. There are loads of other trails around Brushy Creek worth looking into. A couple of jump zones, some seriously gnarly side trails and a close by bike shop (The Peddler) that is a great resource. Plus there is a brewery/coffee shop next door. City Park (Emma Long Motorcycle Trail) is a technical trail that's about 5.25 miles long that will make you feel like you did 20. One of the iconic Austin trails. It's shared with motorcycles, but you can hear them coming and get to the side easily. Very technical riding and not for beginners.

    I would be an ass if I didn't mention the Barton Creek Greenbelt considered the crown jewel of Austin trails. Close to 50 miles of trails in the middle of the city. Some tame, some very serious technical sections. The main trail from Zilker Park to The Hill Of Life is pretty tame and can get crowded on the weekends, but the side trails are where the magic is. There are no maps so don't bother looking. I would go here and ask for a guide to the good stuff.

    A heads up about riding here in September. It's still hot as hell with temps still getting into the 100's at times. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. A lot of us night ride or go out at the crack of dawn at that time of year. Throw ice in your hydration pack. Think about sodium pills and drink more than you think you will need to before hand. Look on the Austin Bikes link above to look for trails with good tree cover. Try not to ride hung over.

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    Thank you for all the great information!

    Yea, the only thing I am afraid of is the heat but I've been to vegas in the summer riding Bootleg and acclimated to humid NE summers. So I'm guessing I'll be alright?

    Are any of the trails your mentioned part of Goodwater Trails/Lake Georgetown Loop? or is it vice versa? What makes this listed as an IMBA epic?
    https://www.imba.com/epics/goodwater...eorgetown-loop

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMentallo View Post
    Try not to ride hung over
    I'll be sure not to This will be before the bachelor party weekend I am going to

  4. #4
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    If you get a day where you can ride outside of Austin you should definitely hit up Reveille Peak Ranch or Colorado Bend State park. Both offer miles of tech and great scenery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by THATmanMANNY View Post
    Thank you for all the great information!

    Yea, the only thing I am afraid of is the heat but I've been to vegas in the summer riding Bootleg and acclimated to humid NE summers. So I'm guessing I'll be alright?

    Are any of the trails your mentioned part of Goodwater Trails/Lake Georgetown Loop? or is it vice versa? What makes this listed as an IMBA epic?
    https://www.imba.com/epics/goodwater...eorgetown-loop


    I'll be sure not to This will be before the bachelor party weekend I am going to
    The Lake Georgetown Trail (Goodwater) is a great one. But be aware that a lot of the volcanic rock there is like a cheese grater for tires. Loads of sidewall gashes. It sucks when you are 15 miles from your car and are streaming sealant like a river. Great tech with not a lot of elevation change. What climbing there is tends to be steep and punchy. I've only ridden the whole loop once and it really gassed me. I would consider it if the temps and humidity isn't too high and not solo. You would need a local to show you where to top off on water as it isn't apparent at some of the parks around the lake. You might consider segments of it if the temps are high. There are miles of it without tree cover and that is a killer in the heat. But if you think you can handle it and go into it with some planning, you should hit it. Personally I like the Greenbelt and Brushy Creek more. YMMV.

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    Ping me when you get closer to your trip. I can give you a greenbelt tour, hard to ride without one. If you ride a large I might have a bike for you to borrow too.
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    Austin Trip

    Where are you staying while in town? How fast of a fella are ya?


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    Sorry I've been out of touch with the internet

    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    Ping me when you get closer to your trip. I can give you a greenbelt tour, hard to ride without one. If you ride a large I might have a bike for you to borrow too.
    That would be awesome. I definitely will PM you. The Greenbelt is on my list so I would definitely need a tour. I currently ride a large with short stem

    I've been using austinbike.com as one of my sources!

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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    Where are you staying while in town? How fast of a fella are ya?


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    I haven't confirmed place to stay yet but in the city area.
    I'm no Cat1 racer but I'm pretty fit and can ride for a while. Always down for whatever

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    My riding plans. Any locals for tours would be much appreciated!

    Day 1: Brushy Creek & Greenbelt same day
    Day 2: Reveille Peak Ranch
    Day 3: Goodwater

    I really want to hit up Emma Long too...

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    Quote Originally Posted by THATmanMANNY View Post
    My riding plans. Any locals for tours would be much appreciated!

    Day 1: Brushy Creek & Greenbelt same day
    Day 2: Reveille Peak Ranch
    Day 3: Goodwater

    I really want to hit up Emma Long too...
    You're aggressive. Instead of BCGB and Brushy I can give you 20+ on the GB in one day easily, then you don't have to transition. Rumor has it that Reveille Peak is getting ripped up and not worth the drive. You could do brushy on day 2.

    You'll be broken by the end of the 3rd day. Are you a highly technical rider? That will be important for all of those. Our trails are not like others, lots of rocks, ledges and quick ups and downs. Very little smooth singletrack compared to most places.
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    I say GB day one with AB. Then do the WHOLE goodwater loop day 2. And if you still want more do rpr day 3. All the black trails at rpr should still be gtg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike View Post
    Rumor has it that Reveille Peak is getting ripped up and not worth the drive.
    True that they tore up some trails to add a wide dirt road, but 95% of the existing trails are staying. Reveille is, in my opinion, the best trail system on the list - a must see in the area.

    For non-locals, I think the Greenbelt isn't a good option because it's mostly unmapped (but if you can get a tour, it's highly worth it), and the Goodwater loop isn't a good option because there are no bailout points, so you're committing to a 26 mile ride and it's full of tire-slashing karst limestone.

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    HELLO!

    So my friend and my flights are booked. I'm getting in Wed, 8/31 noonish. My friend a little later. I will probably proceed to rent a car and pick up bikes for us instead of waiting at the airport.

    If anyone in the community is willing to help and we could avoid renting cars and bikes that would be money! We are good with our gear.

    Any guides willing to lead Reiville Ranch?

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    I should be around. No dice on RPR, there has been a lot of work out there by the owner bulldozing single track to make it a destination for tough mudder events, so the biking is diminished. Not going to drive that far and pay money to someone like that. Especially when I can ride much closer to home for free.

    I have a large Niner if someone wants to ride that, but you can't have it for the full time that you are here, only if I am also there.
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    that's bogus on Reiville.
    I totally understand about the bike.

    Anyone on here want to lead Goodwagter then?

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    You don't need a leader for Goodwater at all. Its a loop and on MTB project. When you get to the NW end of the lake, cross the concrete bridge and proceed up the singletrack onto the Jeep road. You will fly on the jeep road for several miles before hitting chunk again.



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    If I happen to be free I could do a Goodwater ride as well. It's been a couple years. Would need to bring the squishy for that one so you can't borrow my bike for that ride.
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    What's a reasonable time I should allow to complete Goodwater?

    We will probably rent from Bicycle Sport Shop. 24 hr period. Since we will need a bikes the second morning for Goodwater and they aren't open early enough.

    Day 1) pickup rentals mid afternoon
    ride GB with you or any other local systems if we can't get tour

    Day 2) Goodwater

    Day 3) more loca trails maybe

  20. #20
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    Here's the thing: Texas is HOT. REALLY HOT. You will probably not be able to squeeze in 2 days out of a single day rental. Doing so will kill you. Right now it is close to 2PM and it is 96, will hit 98 in an hour or two. Sure, we can go ride it, but out of towners will die in that weather. Nobody wants to drag someone back to the car suffering from heatstroke.

    Plan on 2 day rentals. Call ahead so they have the bikes ready. Pick up on day 1. They open at 10AM, 9AM on Saturday. Be the first people in the door. If you are quick you can be out of there and at the BCGB trail head by 10:30 on a weekday, 9:30 on a Saturday. We ride for 2.5-3 hours or until your body gives out. Pizza and cold craft beer at the trailhead.

    The next morning you get up really early. Start the Goodwater trail at 8AM. Done by 11-12. Take the bikes back. They might be able to cut you a discount on a half day or something like that, but you can't expect to get the bikes back by a 9-10 opening for a 24-hour timeframe if you are going to ride goldwater. That is a 3-4 hour loop and it is ~45 minutes north of the shop if there is no traffic. Just can't be done.

    You want to ride the GB the first day because trying to do Goodwater on the first day is way more problematic. First, getting the bikes and getting to the trailhead puts your start at around 11-12 depending on the day. Then a 4 hour lap puts you right in the bullseye for really hot riding. Again, a local could pull it off, but if you aren't used to riding in 100F heat you really should not attempt that. It is a loop, which means that if you crap out at 14 miles in, your buddies still have to ride the 2 additional hours to get to the cars to come and get you.

    Logic says do that on the second day and you can start earlier and be better prepared.

    Bite the bullet and get the bikes for a day plus some hours. BSS will probably be cool and cut you a deal for 1.5 days.
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    Record highs for the end of August are 107 degrees. Average 95. I'm betting we will be closer to the record this year. Plan accordingly and take a lot of water.

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    Thanks for the tips. Pretty damn hot but in NJ we have our 95 degree heat waves and nearly 80% humidity with it.

    I'll have to look into some swimming holes to cool off after rides.

    Yes, the plan is Goodwater on Day 2 early AM.

    Day 1) Wednesday, I don't get in airport till 12pm so have no other option but to pick up bike asap and get a local ride in and suck it up. Maybe a shorter flow loop like Walnut Creek to kick it off.

    Day 2) Goodwater early AM

    Day 3) the bachelor and group is arriving a day early now so we most likely won't make it to Day 3 of riding

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    Where are you staying?

    Downtown pickups I would recommend bicycle sport shop or Mellow Johnnys if you are good with a trek fuel. From each of these you can ride out to the greenbelt.

    If you can follow a strava or GPX, I can share a ton of routes with you via Strava. There will most likely not be any water in the creek and less we have a bout of thunderstorms. This is good for riding but bad for swimming holes.

    However, if you ride out from downtown, you can take a swim at Barton Springs Pool which is at the trailhead. I think the cost is around three dollars. It's a springfed pool with a diving board and potentially topless sunbathing if you're into that kinda thing.

    You can get your epic ride in that day in the Greenbelt as there are enough trails to do over 40 miles of riding. The shade provided by the GB is a good escape from the sun.

    I'm not sure that I would make Goodwater my goal. 1. Its not in austin. 2. "technical riding" is so vague, I am not sure it explains the Labor involved in riding 6 mile stretches of volcanic limestone.

    You might ride "cheese grater" in the BCGB first to see if you have the appetite for Goodwater. Super strong riders will do the full loop in just under. 3 hours really getting after it. Add 15 minutes to that for September. I regularly see people who are good fit riders doing it in 4-4.5. There are some park campsites about 18-20 miles in where you can fill up with water. Its free to ride and you just park on the street parking outside the park entrance between the ranger station and the damn.

    I would be tempted to recommend a sampler the next day. Walnut, brushy creek, maybe Emma long.

    You could even ride Pace Bend and take a dip in the lake, though the water temp will be warm.




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    Quote Originally Posted by THATmanMANNY View Post
    Thanks for the tips. Pretty damn hot but in NJ we have our 95 degree heat waves and nearly 80% humidity with it.

    I'll have to look into some swimming holes to cool off after rides.

    Yes, the plan is Goodwater on Day 2 early AM.

    Day 1) Wednesday, I don't get in airport till 12pm so have no other option but to pick up bike asap and get a local ride in and suck it up. Maybe a shorter flow loop like Walnut Creek to kick it off.

    Day 2) Goodwater early AM

    Day 3) the bachelor and group is arriving a day early now so we most likely won't make it to Day 3 of riding
    Where are you staying?

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    Hey, when is your trip? I just found out that I have to go to Wisconsin and Europe in Sept.
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    Walnut is definitely lower on the list in terms of scenery. If you go there just be very careful as trail traffic can be very heavy and in many areas includes hikers, kids, dogs, etc.

  27. #27
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    My top picks for the immediate area are:




    Bicycle Sports Shop has a few location and offers a lot of rental choices. As others have mentioned, even in Sept the heat can be real. Make sure you pack warm weather gear and have a hydro pack.

    Have fun! This place is underrated for biking in my opinion.

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