Austin or San Antonio?- Mtbr.com

View Poll Results: Austin or San Antonio?

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8. This poll is closed
  • Austin

    7 87.50%
  • San Antonio

    1 12.50%
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    Austin or San Antonio?

    I'm part of an organization that puts on an industry trade show every year. We're planning way ahead for 2010 right now.

    Just a couple of weeks ago I attended this year's event in Reno... and got to ride at TAHOE! It was great

    So, which city would be a better choice for riding? I need to cast my vote to the organization (many of us are voting, so don't think this whole thing is based on my own personal selection. I don't posess quite that much power and influence

    I recall seeing some really nice trail pics from one of those places, but I can't remember which. I also hear that Austin is a really cool place too, but how's the riding?

    And can you mention the "must ride" and epic trails near the city you suggest?

    Thanks!

    p.s. - I'm trying to set up a poll... we'll see if it works.
    I read that on the internet.

  2. #2
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    Thanks for the feedback... I'll vote for Austin.
    I read that on the internet.

  3. #3
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    you can find info on both at http://www.austinbike.com

    based on the url you can assume that it is a bit biased, but very accurate

  4. #4
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    I voted for Austin

    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike
    you can find info on both at http://www.austinbike.com

    based on the url you can assume that it is a bit biased, but very accurate
    Yes, thanks... I found that site about the same time I posted my survey. I did vote for Austin for the trade show site. Unfortunately, IIRC, this is still a couple years away... who knows if I'll even be involved anymore by then. It was a fun survey anyway
    I read that on the internet.

  5. #5
    Sweep the leg!
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    austin
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  6. #6
    Rohloff
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    Sorry I didnt see the post earlier. I've lived in Austin and San Antonio. I currently live between Austin and San Antonio. For mountain biking, it's Austin, hands down.

  7. #7
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    I think either is a good choice. Austin is kinda getting overdone though. SA is still raw, but don't just take my word for it.....

    Dirt Rag Article Archive

    Places to Ride: Government Canyon, TX
    By Alan Sansome
    (Issue #119)

    So you know some mountain bike destinations, do you? Like Colorado or Vermont, maybe California or North Carolina. But Texas? And at that, San Antonio? Remember the Alamo, my friend. After Colorado and California, Texas has the third largest population of NORBA racers, and they have to ride somewhere. Unfortunately, of the nearly quarter million square miles of Texas land, only two percent is considered public lands. So, while the short answer is, "yes, there is mountain biking in Texas," you may want to pay attention to the long answer.

    There's Trails in Them Thar Hills
    In the heart of Texas Hill Country is a community known as San Antonio Ranch (SAR)—a 9000-acre planned community that started in the 1970s. SAR, along with sister communities Flower Mound in Dallas and The Woodlands of Houston, was designed to be more than just another subdivision; it was designed on paper to be a mini city, with industry, a job training center, even subsidized housing. SAR was planned for a population of up to 100,000 people. Like Flower Mound and The Woodlands, SAR was federally funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Included in the San Antonio Ranch property was an area known as Government Canyon. The community went bankrupt after being caught up in the Savings and Loan Crisis, and in 1991, was foreclosed on by the Resolution Trust Corporation of HUD.

    Also in 1991, locals got together and formed the Government Canyon Coalition with the intent to preserve the parcel of land. Since Government Canyon lies in the recharge zone for the Edwards Aquifer, the source of San Antonio's drinking water, the coalition sought assistance from the Trust for Public Land, and by 1993 they were able to negotiate with the Edwards Aquifer Authority and the San Antonio Water System to secure 6000 acres for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

    Between 1991 and 1993, cyclists and trail runners began to explore some of the former subdivision's bulldozer cuts and jeep roads, as well as the adjacent San Antonio Ranch (SAR or "The Ranch," for short). Miles and miles of clandestine trail appeared, much of it focused around Black Hill (elevation 1,550ft.), the highest point in Bexar County, situated nicely between The Ranch and Government Canyon. Other trail dropped down into Government Canyon and along what was once a stage coach road between Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and another military installation to the west.

    A Very Long Wait
    Fast forward to 2005: many of The Ranch's trails are destroyed by urban sprawl. To the resounding applause of mountain bikers statewide, Government Canyon finally opens to mountain biking.

    The first official opening date was set for 2001. Spearheaded by the South Texas Off-Road Mountain (STORM) bike club, trail work days were facilitated. Yet, Government Canyon did not open on schedule. Opening dates were set and postponed, set and postponed. Details as to what was causing the delay were scarce. Calls to the park would go unanswered, messages left unreturned. Many people considered the park to be another Area 51. The only way to ride there legally was to join the trail patrol. Who the trail patrol was patrolling for was unclear. But it was a free ticket to ride.

    Government Canyon finally opened in October of 2005. The past four years of delay had created much interest in the park. Many San Antonians (or Fat Antonians) were anxious to see what the wait was for, and only a few had any idea as to the terrain.

    Opening Day
    It's mid-November, the fifth weekend of the park's opening, and someone called a STORM ride. The weather is ideal, clear and warm. The temperatures are in the 70s. About a dozen folks show for the ride. The trail system is well mapped, but Trail Patrol leaders are present to lead the large group.

    After some milling about in the parking lot, we're finally ready to head out. I look down—I have a flat. The main group starts to ride off toward the trailhead, and I quietly call out, "Wait up." I have ridden many of these trails, and riding in a large group is probably not the best way to enjoy them. Knowing this, Charlie, Carlos, and Fat Bob wait for me. After quickly changing my flat, four of us take off, just a few minutes behind the main group. Fortunately for us, we never catch them...

    The four of us make an interesting group; Charlie is the only one with suspension, full suspension. Carlos and I ride rigid bikes, and Fat Bob is pulling up the rear with his single-speed. While I would not describe these trails as singlespeed-friendly, Fat Bob pushes hard and has no complaints.

    Charlie takes us from the parking lot to the Backcountry trailhead. To get to the trailhead, we ride across a new bridge that spans the Government Canyon creek, possibly part of the park's opening delay. The bridge over the dry creek bed cost about 2 million bucks. It is a big bridge, in the middle of nowhere. It actually stands out like a sore thumb in this natural environment.

    On to the trails we go. The delineation between Back Country and Front Country is more than just a line on a map. The terrain changes from flat scrubland to Hill Country within a few feet, and Hill Country is very rocky. Not baby head rocky, but angular and ledgy rocky. The rocks vary from small gravel to the size of a VW bus. And limestone is very unforgiving.

    We ride out the Sendero Balcones trail. The trail began as a bulldozer cut through the wilderness to allow access into the back of the San Antonio Ranch development. In the 30 years since being cut, it has grown in and is now four and a half miles of roughly climbing singletrack. Sendero Balcones runs along the eastern rim of Government Canyon, and parallels the Joe Johnson Route down in the valley to the west. In the 1850s, the Joe Johnson Route was the military supply route from San Antonio to forts further west, and probably where Government Canyon got its name. Today it is doubletrack, and rough in spots.

    We ride all the way into the back of the property toward Black Hill, back to where all the good stuff is. Unfortunately these have been designated as hiking trails only, and I've been meaning to ask the park manager about this. But today is a special day. At the end of Sendero Balcones we keep to the outside and take Caroline's Loop, then pop out onto the Joe Johnson Route. About a quarter mile into the Joe Johnson route, we quietly spin out our legs. We are getting ready to head back up out of the valley on Twin Oaks, a fall-line trail with much exposed rock. Part way up, it levels out for a short stretch, just enough to catch my breath and pick up the pace again, heading to a small clearing. When it rains, this section tends to hold water. This next 70 or 80 yards is called the Xylophone Trail. At the top of the climb are the Twin Oaks and a small bench the breathless can use to enjoy their shade.

    We backtrack less than a mile on Sendero Bacones to pick up Far Reaches and sweep around the eastern aspect of the park. Along this route are beautiful views looking out of Government Canyon: Sotol Overlook and Chula Vista.

    Far Reaches is a fast trail, a gentle downslope that brings us home. The route we chose was a figure eight, averaging about 7.5 mph without pushing too hard. Unfortunately, our route skipped over Wildcat Canyon trail, another fall line that parallels the Twin Oaks trail up to the top. It is a short but intense climb that will leave all but the best anaerobic. Charlie, Carlos, Fat Bob and I ride back to the parking lot. We arrive just minutes after the main group. Apparently we were just behind them the whole ride. My friend Scott used a GPS to map the ride: total elevation gain of 1,989ft. over 12.04 miles.

    Government Canyon is aptly named. From its incorporation and its slow development to its status as a State Natural Area and current restrictions on recreational activities, Government Canyon is bureaucracy at its finest. While six years of waiting has left a bad impression with many mountain bikers, I'm happy to have a place to ride where my mind is removed from my body and from the mundane realities of the world. When all is said and done, it's just a great thing to have another place to ride in this great state of private land.

  8. #8
    Got Mojo?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob
    I think either is a good choice. Austin is kinda getting overdone though. SA is still raw, but don't just take my word for it.....

    Dirt Rag Article Archive
    Link to online article...

    http://www.dirtragmag.com/print/arti...egory=features

    Besides Gov't Canyon, we have Hill Country SNA, Flat Rock Ranch, Madrone, Tapatio.... All inside an hour drive of SA.



    We have some great trails, but it is very difficult to compete with Austin and its BCGB, and others within the city limits.
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

  9. #9
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    Alan, why don't you come up to austin on sunday

  10. #10
    Got Mojo?
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    Quote Originally Posted by austin_bike
    Alan, why don't you come up to austin on sunday

    mmmm perhaps....
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

  11. #11

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    Or Rocky Hill on Saturday?

  12. #12
    Got Mojo?
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    Quote Originally Posted by grungePoodle
    Or Rocky Hill on Saturday?

    RHR will be busy this weekend with racers pre-riding for the TMBRA race next weekend.
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeMojo
    RHR will be busy this weekend with racers pre-riding for the TMBRA race next weekend.
    ...and the Fat Tire Lyme Festival, 'twas an excellent day of riding.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob
    I think either is a good choice. Austin is kinda getting overdone though. SA is still raw, but don't just take my word for it.....

    Dirt Rag Article Archive

    Places to Ride: Government Canyon, TX
    By Alan Sansome
    (Issue #119)
    ......
    OK Bob, is Austn really "overdone"? You seemed to be smiling through the blood this afternoon

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