Central Austin Bike Route

Great weather in Austin today and Tony and I did a ride from just south of Rollingwood all the way up to the Arboretum and back. You can actually get a pretty decent ride through the central city and steer clear of most busy roads – not without a few hills though. I hate riding Highway 360 through town despite how popular it is with cyclists. Way too much traffic going at high speeds. Instead, aside from a few busy intersections, our route took us on mostly residential streets.

Going north, we went up to the west of Mopac and through some of the hillier parts of west Austin. Scenia Drive goes up along the river and as the name implies is definitely scenic. Then you catch Balcones Dr and head up toward Mt Bonnell. We didn’t go by way of Mt Bonnell though. The route behind Camp Mabry on Edgemont Drive is much nicer in my opinion and less heavily traveled.

Surprisingly enough, we found Texas Mountain Laurel already starting to bloom in a few places. It seems a little early for that. And in one strategically placed flowerbed along Rollingwood, a good sized bed of Bluebonnets was already in bloom too. Spring is definitely in the air.

Eventually we wound our way up to Mesa and from there, a fun downhill to cross Hwy 360 and over to the Arboretum. From there, we could have extended the ride up Rain Creek Pkwy but time was short today so we made that the apex of the ride and headed back. We crossed over east of Mopac on Steck and made our way south on Shoal Creek. As usual, LOTS of riders on Shoal Creek.

The ride wasn’t complete without a good coffee stop, so we pulled in at Cafe Medici on West Lynn on the way back.

All in all, a pretty nice ride of 33 miles. Click through the map for all the details.