Contributed by Peter Mallett
In a community as tuned to its' athletic mindset as it is to its' music and food, Austin offers visitors a cycling experience rivaling any serious U.S. cycling destination. The hype is real when it's rated among the top bicycling cities in America by Forbes Traveler, top 10 fittest cities by Forbes Magazine and top 20 most bike-friendly cities in America by Bicycling Magazine. And with nationally recognized events such as the annual Ironman 70.3 Austin Triathlon and the 2015 USA Cycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships, Austin commits itself as the place to visit for anyone looking to get the most out of pedaling on two wheels.
For a cyclist visiting the area, you should quickly recognize that Austin is not quite like the rest of Texas. Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, Austin features diverse topography including rolling hills, stunning vistas and challenging open-road courses for hard-core athletes and athletes at heart.
Visitors can easily get in on the action with plenty of options to anyone desiring a good ride. Whether taking a mountain bike out to the Barton Creek Green Belt or straying a bit further to Rocky Hill or Pace Bend, there's room for the fat tire. Maybe hop in on the Saturday morning ride from Austin Tri-Cyclist at 8:30 a.m. sharp and join the roadies along the dam route. Looking for something more recreational? Check out the Veloway - a three-mile course located in South Austin for cyclists, bladers and skaters. Afterwards, grab a cup of coffee at Juan Pelota Cafe and browse through Mellow Johnny's, Lance Armstrong's bike shop - a local favorite and must-see for any cycling aficionado.
Need a bike rental? Mellow Johnny's also offers road, mountain or city bike rentals- and even showers and lockers for commuters. Or visit Bicycle Sports Shop off South Lamar for gear, signature events and more. Down the road, check out Barton Springs Bike Rentals located near Austin's 360-acre Zilker Park for beach cruisers, tandems and even bike tours. For information on coordinated rides and maps of Austin bike routes, visit austincycling.org. For more on Austin's cycling culture, including upcoming events, visit cyclingatx.com.
See the listings below for trails and bike rental locations.