Author Topic: Texas Hill Country - A few questions  (Read 1349 times)

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Offline shirlee

Texas Hill Country - A few questions
« on: March 22, 2019, 01:22:05 am »
Hi everybody!

My husband and I are planning a TX Hill Country ride in late April (25-27). We have only 3 days to ride - starting and ending in Austin. My questions:

1. What's the best route for 3 days? I am thinking:
Day 1: Austin to Fredricksberg - 75 miles;
Day 2: Willow City Loop / Enchanted Rock (Stay in Fredricksberg) - 44 miles
Day 3: Fredricksberg to Austin - 75 miles

2. Best route for Day 2?

3. I heard that getting in and out of Austin can be tough with jerk-y suburban drivers and that it's good to take the commuter train out and back into the city. Thoughts?

4. OK to use a skinny tire road bike? Or are there significant gravel-y soft shoulders to consider?

5. Things to do in Fredricksburg? Places to stay?

5. Anyone else going who wants to meet up? :-)

Offline TCS

Re: Texas Hill Country - A few questions
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 10:32:39 am »
Hi everybody!

Howdy right back at ya'll!

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3. I heard that getting in and out of Austin can be tough with jerk-y suburban drivers and that it's good to take the commuter train out and back into the city. Thoughts?

Doc, it hurts when I do this...Well, don't do that!

Seems like you're spending two of your three days of touring kinda just getting out of and back into Austin.  I know, it probably important for some as yet unknown to me reason, but what if you just spend three days star touring around Fredericksburg?  Better scenery, 90% quiet country lanes, all around higher quality cycle touring.

Three suggested loops out of Fredericksburg of 47, 60 and 56 miles:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29536909

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4. OK to use a skinny tire road bike? Or are there significant gravel-y soft shoulders to consider?

Skinny is fine, but, and it's a big but:  the Hill Country's heart-achingly fabulous country lanes are paved with chip seal.  It can be sort of buzzy at high pressures.

Quote
5. Things to do in Fredricksburg?

The Museum of the Pacific War is quite good.  Bakeries, wineries, German+TexMex food.

I understand the wild flowers are quite good this year.
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline shirlee

Re: Texas Hill Country - A few questions
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 11:04:59 am »
Thank you!

How long does it take to get out of Austin and into the good scenery (i.e. where does the good riding start, heading west from Austin)?

Interesting thought on the idea to start in Fredricksburg. I found a shuttle service that will take us straight to Fredericksburg from the Austin airport for $125, so maybe that's a better way to go. (We're flying from Chicago.)

Knowing now that this shuttle option exists out of Austin, should I do a different itinerary entirely, or is the Fredericksburg area a good idea?

Offline shirlee

Re: Texas Hill Country - A few questions
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 11:17:10 am »
Also, thanks TCS, for the link to the routes!

Offline TCS

Re: Texas Hill Country - A few questions
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2019, 11:57:09 am »
With three days to ride in the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is a fine choice.  Quirky, German-America town (if quirky and German can be put in the same description of a place!), lotsa pretty country & little roads, more adorable B&Bs than you can shake a frame pump at, good local beer, good local wine, good regional food.

The scenery in & around Austin (a cool city with some fun urban riding) is just fine - it's all the cars that bum out the cycling!  Adventure Cycling's Southern Tier Section 4 has arguably the best route from Austin to Fredericksburg (a.k.a. the Pedernales Cutoff of Adventure Cycling's Texas Hill Country Loop).
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline fahrrad

Re: Texas Hill Country - A few questions
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2019, 11:39:47 am »
  I agree with TCS- Austin's outskirts are a miserable sprawl you'd have to plow through. A shuttle sounds like a fine idea given your short time frame, putting you right in the heart of the hills. Don't forget Luckenbach- it's just outside Fredericksburg and fun if you land on a weekend. Good luck!

Offline shirlee

Re: Texas Hill Country - A few questions
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2019, 10:03:59 pm »
Thanks again to all!  My plan is to do the shuttle from Austin to Fredericksburg, spend 2.5 days riding in the area (including Luckenbach).

On the day I need to get back to Austin (actually Bee Cave where I'm staying), I am planning to meet some friends for lunch in Blanco en route. So, I plan to ride ~30 miles from Fredericksburg to Blanco along the ACA route, and then after lunch (at Old 300 BBQ) in Blanco, ride ~45 miles to get to Bee Cave. Since Blanco to Bee Cave isn't on the ACA route, does anyone have route suggestions? The route Google suggests is 281 N out of Blanco to 215 E to 202 N up to the ACA route, and then peeling off on 169 N to Hamilton Pool Rd E into Bee Cave. Anyone know this area and have opinions on the route?

Offline oldguybiker

Re: Texas Hill Country - A few questions
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2019, 09:23:48 am »
One of my favorite rides is starting from either Fredericksburg or LBJ State Park on Hwy 290 to Cave Creek and surrounding areas. (more bucolic and less traffic than Enchanted Rock). The Willow City Loop is also nice.  A great LBS in Fredericksburg is Hill Country Bicycle Works. Owner Lisa Nye-Salladin is probably the most knowledgeable person on earth on cycling that area.  http://www.hillcountrybicycle.com/Welcome.html

` ` `spins, grins, and tailwinds!
   

Offline shirlee

Re: Texas Hill Country - A few questions
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2019, 11:12:04 pm »
You really bike on 290? It's safe?