I was in Austin this past weekend for work, but made an effort to giddy up on a rental bike on the local trails I have heard so much about. I thought, “Psshhh, Texas? How good can it be?” Boy, was I mistaken.
It was rocky and fun. It reminded me a little bit of Arkansas riding.
First of all, I rode a 29er for the first time. It was fun! You can definitely mow stuff down with the tractor wheels. The trick was the technical climbs with all the air pressure in the tires (rental bikes come with tubes which you have to run at pretty high PSI compared to tubeless). Verdict: bouncy, bouncy off those rocks. It’d be fun to have a 29er in my quiver of bikes. For racing, there are definitely some courses well-suited for 29ers (like the stage race I did in PA), and other courses that are better for 26 inch wheels (like twisty singletrack)
We rode at the Greenbelt which had over 50 miles of trail. Unfortunately we only had time for 2 hours, but I wanted to ride all day. The trails were NOT marked, so I was glad to have a friend showing me around. I believe there are GPS files you can find for most commonly ridden trails around the country, so if you’re flying solo – this would be a way to go!
More info here Austin’s top places to rent bikes are Bicycle Sport Shop, Mellow Johnnys, and Barton Springs Bike Rentals. It’s a little pricey, but affordable and rent in advance because they sell out. (and psssst, some of them even
come with Ergon grips!)
After that, there were a couple breweries to wet your whistle! I tried 512 and Uncle Billy’s.
I may have to start renting and riding more often!