Austin Visitors' GuideStrong cycling culture in the State Capital
The social cycling scene in Austin is incredibly rich. There are multiple rides every day and newcomers are never left without a chance to hop on two wheels and meet new faces. But what this city has going for it above all else is a diverse and friendly cycling population. Roadies, hipsters, commuters, tall bike hooligans, BMX riders and students share and litter the roads at every turn.
Austin hosts some fantastic weekly rides that are not to be missed. They are rated from easy (1) to more difficult (5). The Thursday Social Ride, Critical Mass and the Full Moon Cruise are great for all ages, but beware that they can get a bit lively.
- Heavy Metal Fitness Ride (Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge) Meets Mondays at 7pm. Difficulty Level – 5
- Yoga Ride (Fiesta Gardens) Meets Tuesdays at 7pm. Difficulty Level – 2
- Hump Day Nooner Ride (Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge) Meets Wednesdays at 11:45am. Difficulty Level – 2
- Thursday Night Social Ride (Festival Beach – north side of Lady Bird Lake just east of the I-35) Meets at 7:30 p.m. and the ride starts at 8 p.m. Difficulty Level – 1
- Critical Mass (University of Texas at Austin West Mall) Meets last Friday of the month at 5pm. Difficulty Level – 1
- Full Moon Cruise (Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge) Whenever the moon is full, this ride sets off at around 12:30 a.m. Check the atxbs.com calendar for event updates and information. Difficulty Level – 3
Refer to atxbs.com for detailed ride information and schedule changes.
In addition, local bike shops such as Bicycle Sport Shop, host regular scheduled rides, as well as ride series for riders of all ages.
Find out “where to ride” in the Austin area through the Bicycle Sport Shop's website or pick up a bicycle map with all of the streets and trails marked by level of difficulty from the City of Austin.
Austin’s downtown may be sleepy during the day, but after dark it’s a whole other animal. Here are a few of our favorite things to do, on and off the strip.
The Jackalope (404 East 6th St.) Amazing food, cheap Lonestar and metal; need we say more? Oh, you can bring your bike inside too.
Alamo Drafthouse (13729 Research Blvd. and other locations) Beer and food service while you watch awesome movies. Check out their Master Pancake Theater, Terror Tuesdays, Weird Wednesdays, Hecklevision, Quote-alongs, etc. Great for the whole family!
Elephant Room (315 Congress Ave.) Fantastic live jazz. Spend an evening listening to local talent in a relaxed atmosphere.
The food trailer movement in Austin has swept us off our feet, out of restaurants and into the streets. Find information about most trailers online at austinfoodtrailers.com.
East Side King (1618 East 6th St.) This is not your typical bar fare and absolutely not to be missed.
Torchy’s Tacos (1311 South 1st St.) Here you’ll find untraditional tacos that are so addictive, they could be why some people don’t leave Austin. torchystacos.com
Holy Cacao (1311 South 1st St.) Imagine a bite of cake so moist and rich you couldn’t care less about the rest of the slice. Have your cake and eat it too with these cake balls.
Odd Duck (1219 South Lamar Blvd.) The first farm-to-trailer food cart. They change their menu daily, depending on what’s fresh and in season. oddduckfarmtotrailer.com
Cool Hause (mobile location updated @CoolhausATX) Munch on customizable ice cream sandwiches wrapped in edible rice paper. Brilliant!
If you do find yourself wanting to eat indoors:
Spider House Coffee (2908 Fruth St.) Has the best atmosphere in town.
Bouldin Creek Coffeehouse (1501 South 1st St.) Not only amazing veggie food, but also a free bicycle repair shed in the back!
East Side Showroom (1100 East 6th St.) The perfect spot for a special and relaxing night out.
Gueros (1412 South Congress Ave.) Serving up quintessential Tex Mex.
Hotel San Jose (1316 South Congress Ave.) Free bike rentals are available for guests at this centrally-located hotel.
Hotel Saint Cecilia (112 Academy Dr.) Located on a secluded estate, the Saint Cecilia offers free bike rentals to its guests.
Barton Springs Bike Rentals (1529 Barton Springs Rd.) You’ll find cruiser rentals, as well as mountain bikes and electric bikes.
Mellow Johnny’s (400 Nueces St. at West 4th St.) Lance Armstrong’s shop also has a café, bike storage and showers.
Bicycle Sport Shop (517 S Lamar Blvd; 10947 Research Blvd.; 9900 W Parmer Ln.) Showers available on site, as well as a wide fleet of rental bikes for every type of rider, including tandems and electric bikes.
Tsunami Cycles (2114 1/2 South Congress Ave.) Repairs for bikes of all types.
East Side Pedal Pushers (1414 East 5th St.) Work and sell new, used and reconditioned pedal-powered things
The Peddler Bike Shop (5015 Duval St.) Full repair shop, new and used bicycles, parts, accesories, professional advice, and some of the friendliest service anywhere.
Clown Dog Bikes (2821 San Jacinto Blvd.) Offering free estimates and walk-ins welcome.
Fast Folks Cyclery (1105 E 6th St.) Full service bike shop geared towards supplying the needs of the Fixed & Single Speed community.
Tsunami Cycles (2114 1/2 South Congress Ave.) Offering new and used bicycles, quality repair work with quick turn-around, and professional service