Choosing A Bicycle
- Bicycling.com offers a great guide for you using questions about where and how you will ride.
- Shop locally for you bike. Your nearby bike shop can help you choose the bicycle(s) that is right for you. Go prepared with a budget range and an idea of what you’ll be using your new bike for.
- The Ghisallo Cycling Initiative curated a list of bike shops that are currently open here.
- B-cycle, Austin’s bike share program is a great option.
Choosing Your Route
- The City of Austin has curated an incredible map for cyclists. Use this map to plan a trip and find the best bikeways. You can choose routes based on biking comfort levels.
- Central Texas has hundreds of trails for mountain biking that can be explored through REI’s Austin Mountain Bike Project site here.
- The Austin Parks Foundation allows you to search for parks with biking trails on their website here.
- Google Maps has built-in functionality to provide you with custom directions by bicycle.
- Ride The City also provides custom directions by bicycle, but with flexibility to specify route comfort.
- CAMPO provides a five-country Austin metro map, using a format similar to the City of Austin map. They also distribute a printed version.
- Commute Solutions has several links to other Austin-area bicycle maps.
Combining Bicycling with Transit
Cap Metro‘s options for bringing your bike with you puts more destinations within your reach and helps overcome final-destination challenges. The League of American Bicyclists has rated Capital Metro as a Gold-Level Bike Friendly Business.
Cap Metro buses and trains are equipped for carrying bikes, and combining options is easy. Learn how it works on CapMetro’s website.
Last year, Austin City Council approved the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP). This set an ambitious mode shift goal of having 50% of Austinites commuting without a single occupancy vehicle by 2039. This goal will require Austin to make major investments in transit, trails, bike lanes and sidewalks.
Bicycle Maintenance and Repairs
The Ghisallo Cycling Initiative curated a list of bike shops that are currently open and available for bike maintenance here.
Bicycling.com has a page with 101 Bike Maintence Tips Every Cyclist Should Know, and a few big ones are:
- You can’t properly adjust a bicycle that is dirty and not lubricated.
- Perfect the art of changing a flat. No excuses.
- Check tire pressure before every ride, especially if you’re running tubeless.
- The three most important tools to have on a ride: a multitool with a chain breaker, a pump or CO2, and a patch kit or tube.
- Never roll your bike into the shop and expect an on-the-spot repair. You don’t know what your mechanic is up against on any given day.
- Bike Maintenance Tips from the League of American Bicyclists.
- Your nearby bike shop offers bicycle maintenance and repairs. Consider patronizing one of our sponsors.
- Austin’s Yellow Bike Project provides a free community bike shop where volunteers assist you with bicycle maintenance and repairs during their “Open Shops”.
- UT Austin’s Orange Bike Project also provides a community bike shop, but is targeted toward the University of Texas at Austin community.
- Bicycle Sport Shop offers free bicycle maintenance classes.
Basic Guidelines on Safe Biking Now
Many of us are sheltering-in-place or working from home and are turning to cycling (plus walking, jogging, and other forms of outdoor recreation) as a way to get some much-needed outside exercise. While Bike Austin enthusiastically endorses this trend, here are just a couple of things to keep in mind to help ensure your safety.
- Ride, but not in groups. For now, USA Cycling has recommended races and other gatherings, such as races and group rides be canceled or postponed. In general, it’s much easier to keep your distance from fellow riders if you ride alone or limit the size of your group to your immediate household.
- Increase your following distance. The faster you ride, the farther you should be from other cyclists (ahead or behind). The ‘6-feet’ social distance guideline is for when you are on foot, but on a bike, you should give even more space. Play it safe; give yourself and everyone else plenty of room ahead of and behind you.
- If you know you are sick, please don’t ride outside. If you have any symptoms, including a fever and a cough, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should not be going for a ride, as you risk spreading it to others.
- Ride to stay fit but don’t overdo it. Try avoid long, intense rides or workouts right now…in the hours following a hard ride or race your body’s immune defenses may be down.
- Sanitize your bike, equipment and clothing after you ride. And of course, wash your hands!
Knowing the Laws
- A person operating a bicycle has generally the same rights and responsibilities as when he/she operates a motor vehicle. More information is available via the City of Austin, which has compiled several links to Austin ordinances and Texas statutes.
- General Smart Cycling Tips from the League of American Bicyclists.
- In the unfortunate incident that you are involved in a crash, have this crash card on hand to collect the appropriate information.
- Download this Crash Card here
- The Center for Cycling Education Ticket Dismissal online traffic skills course.
Finding Ride Partners and Group Rides
We’re temporarily suspending our group rides page due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 virus. We want to protect the good health of our members, their friends & families and the community at large. All expert advice suggests that “social distancing” is a critical component of controlling the pandemic, and Bike Austin fully supports these measures.