Spring Fling

From the bike rental place we were headed out to Bike Austin’s Spring Fling ride. This was a slightly more organized social ride than the ones I’d done in Charlotte; a $10 entry fee got you a beer at the start, coffee at the midpoint, and beer at the finish, all from local businesses who support cycling. (Pretty good deal!) Like the social rides in Charlotte, the idea was to have a non-lycra, low speed, fun group ride with a focus on seeing different parts of the city.

Bike Austin Spring Fling ride

Bike Austin Spring Fling ride

It was quite fun, and Mercedes Feris, Bike Austin’s director, was a great ride leader. Most of the participants seemed to be casual cyclists, some appearing utility oriented, others more from the lyrcra crowd, and a few who probably didn’t ride much other than this sort of social ride. The group, about 50 strong, did about 30km, with a bit of climbing, with two stops along the way (At a bar and a cafe. It is interesting how integrated social cycling seems to be with beer and coffee. Not that I am complaining.)

Riding in a group meant that the road conditions were not as noticeable, but some of the pathway conditions became more obvious–for example, the difficulty of getting up and down from the river-level bikepaths to the Highway 35 bridge. The pathways are moderately steep and have narrow turns, a real problem with 50 bikes trying to get through at the same time.

I had some good conversations on the road and at the stops, and made some good contacts for later in the trip. On the way back to our place we rode by the weekly bike polo game, where I talked with Daud, the owner of the pedicab operation. There’s a lot of bike stuff going on in East Austin.

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