riding vacation around SXSWi (austin)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    riding vacation around SXSWi (austin)

    I am an Australian looking at attending SXSWi. (a few thousand web geeks descend on Austin from 9 to 13 March) Seeing I will be flying halfway round the world, I might as well have a holiday. My intention is to either arrive a couple of weeks early or leave a couple of weeks later, hire a car, buy a mountain bike (probably a 29er steel hardtail, the 2007 KHS range looks nice and unlikely to make it to Oz except when I take it home) and go riding.

    What I would like is any advice/recommendations/suggestions on:
    Accommodation for SXSWi that is still available; http://2007.sxsw.com/register_to_attend/hotels/
    Best way to do the road trip, fly to LAX or SF and drive to Austin stopping on the way to ride, do the reverse, or fly to Austin and do a loop from there;
    Place I should ride (see below for my riding ability);
    Anything else, good bike shop is Austin, a pay as go mobile provider, etc.

    I am not concerned about distances in the US. The nearest city to Perth is over a 1000 miles away and that is Adelaide, civilization is another 500 miles further on. My last US visit involved an 8000 mile road trip in seven weeks from SF, to Seattle, Cleveland and back to SF, via most of the national parks in between. I thought about LAX/SF to Austin and then return, but that may take more time than I have and still be enjoyable, also I have to worry keeping a car in Austin. Though if it is the best option I can always make a little extra time available.

    My limited riding ability
    I avoid riding the real technical stuff, two broken collarbones in the past few years have definitely stop that.
    Amongst the guys I ride with, I am usually the slowest and most conservative.
    So I am looking for rides that will wow me with scenery, make me work and not terrify me.
    I know I can ride for 3 or 4 hours at a reasonable pace, backup and do it again the next day but not a third time.
    Climbing, is not one of my strong points, I do not get much practice, the biggest hills here are less than 1000 feet above sea level and are a good distance from my place.
    Weather, more concerned about the cold weather. In February/March here the temperatures hit 100F regularly, and I have been known to do the commute 25 miles home in 85F heat and that is a good day, bad days are 75F and 20MPH headwinds.

    So advice, suggestions, recommendations. Am I crazy? Anybody want to join me for part or all of the trip?

  2. #2
    Builder of Trails
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by nickobec
    I am an Australian looking at attending SXSWi. <snip>
    So advice, suggestions, recommendations. Am I crazy? Anybody want to join me for part or all of the trip?
    Hey there,

    Sounds like a great trip and an ambitious plan. Though I haven't driven from CA to Austin before, I have heard from friends that it takes at least 24 hours of driving to do it. From Austin to Tucson is a little over 12 hours. There is riding along the way, too. Tucson has The FIfty Year Trail, Fantasy Island, Chiva Falls, Star Pass, etc.

    Mountain bike riding in Austin is mostly technical. The only non-technical trail we have is at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park and is a maze of 13 miles of trail with about 90 intersections. You really need to ride with someone who knows the trails or find a great map of the trails. The other trails in Austin, City Park Motocross Trail and the Barton Creek Greenbelt, for the most part are intermediate to advance level technical trails. I think the BCGB is worthy of a ride even though you're wanting to avoid technical stuff.

    I recommend Bicycle Sport Shop on S. Lamar Blvd. for a good selection of bikes and good service. I believe they just started carrying a new 29er called a Willets.

    If you want to hook up for rides with locals, check Bike MoJo's Austin VooDoo forum.
    Good luck!


  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    If you want to learn about the trails around austin, just check out: http://www.austinbike.com

    I have to travel all around the world for work and lots of people have taken me out on their trails, so from a bike karma perspective, I owe big time.

    when you are ready to come to austin, shoot me a message: jfruehe at hotmail dot com and I will arrange some rides for you. There is always an extra spot on my car's bike rack and you are welcome to ride with us.

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