Apr 21

Spring Break Austin

by in Austin

No flood todayIt’s been a great week in Austin. We rode 7 consecutive days, just shy of 400 miles including our first century of the season. We experienced tiny country roads with low bridges subject to flooding, and many massive highways. We spent more time on 6-lane roads than ever before. The drivers and the people have all been very friendly. We have a fuller understanding of the expression “southern hospitality”. Folks offered to help us find our way; gave us water; visited with us; and gave us space on the roads. For that we are thankful.

Spouts staff shirtIt’s been sunny, warm and windy all week with two brief but intense lightening storms. The winds do appear to be pretty omnipresent and INTENSE Our hotel location in the Arboretum area turned out to be perfect for us. We were close to good bike routes, REI and two natural foods stores as well as several suitable restaurants. There was often the fragrance of Star Jasmine wafting in the air as we rode through the neighborhoods to get to downtown where we visited Mellow Johnny’s and the Willie Nelson statue unveiling. The Frost Bank Tower’s distinctive architecture adds to the famous “Austin Weirdness”.

Each day has its own story and photos:

      1. Finding our Way in Austin
      2. Lost in Austin
      3. Long ride, short entry
      4. Hill country
      5. 102 miles! H, H, H
      6. Best laid plans

Krispy KremesSpecial thanks to Joe Cahill and Andi Snow-Weaver from TXCATS – Texas Capital Area Tandem Society. They were very welcoming and helpful in developing our routes. We wish we could’ve been here next weekend for their tandem rally, but alas, Spencer must return to teaching on Monday. Our week drew to a close today with a short City Park loop. It was 35 miles with 1948 feet of elevation gain! There were 4 Cat5 climbs, several over 15% and one at 19%!  Spencer has already packed the bike for our 4 am airport shuttle tomorrow. Pictured to the right…Krispy Kremes…the perfect end to the perfect week and payback for all of today’s hills!

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5 Responses to “Spring Break Austin”

  1. From Andi Snow-Weaver:

    Sheila & Spencer,

    Glad you had a good week in Austin. Sorry we didn’t get to meet in person and sorry you can’t be here for the rally. Let me know when you leave on your cross-country trek. I’d like to follow your adventures.

    Posted on Apr 21, 2012 at 7:45 am #
  2. From S2Cycle:

    Andi…The best thing would be to subscribe. There won’t be many posts between now and then. We leave mid-June and anticipate blogging nearly daily, wifi permitting once on the tour. Thanks again. An AMAZING ride today. I just edited the post above to include what we did today…. the City Park Loop was 35 miles with nearly 2000 feet of elevation gain. Dang that Garmin “misery meter”! Couldn’t believe how steep they were, 15-19% grades!

    Posted on Apr 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm #
    • From Joe Cahill:

      There’s lots of simply paving straight up the hillsides here, not too much interest in switchbacks.

      But Sheila, what is the grade coming up James Way from downtown? Or do you find other roads rather than that one? It has always been crammed when we’ve driven it.

      Posted on Apr 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm #
  3. From S2Cycle:

    We’ve never taken the tandem up James, but Spencer’s inner inclinometer says James is probably 8%. He doesn’t stand on his single to go up it.
    Lovely to get a chance to visit with you, Sue, and Andi tonight. Hope we see you again sometime.

    Posted on Apr 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm #
  4. From Stephan:

    You guys rock. Such an inspiration. Personally, I like to relax by a pool with a margarita when I am on vacation, but to each his own.

    Posted on Apr 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm #