by Alex Lewis
on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 at 8:55am.
Strap on your helmets, everyone. Austin is a city made for cyclists.
You don't have to spend much time in Austin to notice the city’s vibrant bicycle culture. The bike-designated lanes and numerous riders paint a clear picture of our city’s love for two-wheeled transportation.
Cycling is how many enjoy exercise, exploration, and a more cost- and energy-efficient way to get around town. For many Austinites, their bike equips them for the errands of their day. It is their reliable, year-round vehicle for getting to work, school, and across town.
And then there are Austin’s mountain bikers: these enthusiasts love to explore the city’s winding streams and forest paths. They can meander peacefully through local Texas wildlife, even through some of their own backyards.
It takes a lot to make a city as safe and ride-friendly as Austin. Here are some of the ways the city and its residents empower the local biking community, and a few excuses for you to give the routes a try for yourself:
Terrain for every biker
Austin’s cycling paths satisfy the off-roader and street-commuter alike. Trail enthusiasts can meander their way alongside the flora-rich paths of the Greenbelt, which offers many entrances to diverse paths. These trail-blazers love the rush of off-roading. Austin’s backwoods offers them quiet, winding paths beside picture-perfect creeks, cliffs, and rolling hills.
Many cyclists prefer cement beneath their tires. Austin’s major roads are often equipped with designated bike lanes to make rider’s commutes easier. The lanes provide greater safety for riders and make car drivers more attentive by reminding them that they share the road.
Robert Boler is an avid rider in Austin who says, "I love bicycling. Mostly for the feeling of gliding along the ground, being outside, and passing traffic. It's also a free workout twice a day, and so much cheaper to buy and maintain than a car. It's a more personal and independent vehicle, compared to cars."
Texas weather is on your side
Austin’s riders have little to worry about when it comes to weather getting in the way of their daily travel. Beside the occasional thunderstorm, cyclists can usually bike undisturbed to work, school, or on their destination-free ride. Seasonal weather challenges that most other U.S. cities experience, like snow, just aren’t as much of an annual problem around here.
The most severe weather to consistently be mindful of in Austin is our Texas heat. Mid-day rides, especially in the summer, can be very hot. Stay hydrated!
Wide paths like those around Lady Bird Lake are ideal for families who want a simple afternoon ride. The sidewalks are relatively flat compared to some of the Greenbelt paths, and beyond the tall trailside trees, riders can catch stunning views of the Austin towers.
Benches and the soft grass of parks also give ample opportunity for weekend picnics and short breaks for the little ones who can’t seem to stay on their bike saddles for long periods of time.
A large and welcoming cycling community
Cyclists in Austin are never alone. Perhaps the biggest reason for the many bike lanes, nature paths, and parks is the huge population of riders who call Austin their home. Competitive cyclists can tell you all about the upcoming races around town, and those who take their bike to work are usually happy to clue you in on the safest routes to and from different parts of Austin.
Thanks to the bikers who openly advocate for new ways to improve the city's cycling community, the safety, diversity, and fun of riding in Austin only looks to grow better in the future. Robert says, “Austin's bike infrastructure has a ways to go, but it's well on its way. I definitely chose where I live specifically to be able to bike and bus to work and downtown easier, and there are many neighborhoods where it's not so easy. But the biggest safety benefit for cyclists is just living in a city where cars are used to expecting them.”
At JB Goodwin, we like to be the first to welcome new people to the Austin community. If living in a city as bike friendly as ours sounds as irresistible to you as it has for us, let our team help you find a home that fits your lifestyle and budget. Reach out to a JB Goodwin real estate agent today to find the apartment rental or home purchase that is best for you. In the mean time, ride safely!