Social Cycling Austin – See The City, Meet Locals & Ride
Jason’s family is very outgoing and active (crazy fun), which is why I love them so much. The only thing is you never really know what you’re getting yourself into with this bunch.
So when Lauren (Jason’s sister who lives in Austin, Texas) invited us to join in on their Thursday Night Social Ride I should have known this wasn’t going to be a leisurely bike ride around town.
Plus, this is Austin; where nothing is average or normal.
We’ve been on social rides and bike pub crawls in the past that were all pretty leisurely. This was real city riding (probably more than 10 miles) with beautiful downtown Austin glimmering in the background against the night sky. We began the ride at Lady Bird Lake and rode all over the south-side of town, can’t tell you exactly where but the pace was swift (in a casual way, you don’t have to be Lance to keep up), the crew was full of energy and there were dozens of ‘leaders’ who helped with traffic and safety throughout the ride. It was cool seeing the city from a new perspective, stopping at random parks for “hydration” breaks, hitting up a few gourmet food trucks we wouldn’t have found otherwise and getting the chance to meet some interesting people.
Oh yeah, and FREE BEER!
The ride ended at the Break Point at the Boardwalk Food Truck area with several food vendors waiting to welcome us and a warm fire to hang out and swap stories by. We stopped at one cool food truck where the pizza is hand crafted to order and super yummy, but the best part is the FREE BEER! Can’t think of a better way to end a good ride.
Social Cycling Austin is a group that has been “Putting Butts on Bikes since 2009”. If you love riding your bike, hangin’ with locals, getting great deals from food trucks and pubs, and seeing a city by bike, then this is THE event to participate in! The best part is there is something fun to join in on no matter what day of the week it is.
Social Cycling Austin Rides
Here is a list of their rides which you can find information about and ask questions on their group Facebook Page.
Sundays: Bike Curious is an art-viewing social ride every Sunday night. We ride around, viewing art in public places, cruising along routes with great views of Austin’s night skyline, and stopping for a photo or two. The routes are typically 10-15 miles long, and occasionally contains a hill or two, but this is a no-drop ride, meaning everyone stays together and no one gets left behind. We like to conclude the ride with food and drinks and more hanging out.
Mondays: Bikin’ Betties is a ladies-only, beginner friendly bike ride that meets every Monday night for a fun cruise around town that ends with drinks and social time, karaoke, bike maintenance workshops, and more!
Lend Your Legs: We have partnered with the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired to take students on a social ride on tandem bicycle so they can experience something most of us take for granted.
Tuesdays: The Yoga Ride is yoga instructors donating their time to build a healthier and happier cycling community through the transmission of yoga. We achieve this mission by hosting a free, hour-long yoga class and no-drop bike ride every Tuesday evening. During the warm seasons we take a dip in Barton Springs to cool off.
Wednesdays: The Hump Day Nooner Ride meet on the Lamar pedestrian bridge every Wednesday and leaves around noon. The ride covers 10-15 miles over varied urban routes. It is a no-drop ride and concludes with lunch and coffee at a different establishment each week.
The Heavy Breather Ride meets Wednesday evenings. It’s a fairly quick-paced ride that typically covers a 25-mile route.
Thursdays: The Thursday Night Social Ride is a very casual cruise around town with around 300 cyclists attending every week! The pace is social (easy). Typically, we ride to various locations where we socialize, swim, play games or just hang out. We then ride some more before arriving at one of our many generous host bars that supply our riders with hospitality and good times.
Saturdays: The Saturday Caffeine Cruise meets at a coffee shop then we ride and stop at a few places for food, drinks, and swimming (during summer). We also ride to farmers’ markets, swap meets, parades, awesome Austin landmarks, and other cool things that make Saturdays more fun. The pace is social and the group size is fairly small, which makes this a great ride for beginners and for meeting people.
Stuff to Know
- Ride locations, destinations and routes vary. Check Social Cycling Austin’s Facebook page for details.
- The rides are lengthy and the destinations are geared towards adults but if you have kids willing to keep up the pace, we did see a few 10-16 year olds loving it.
- Helmets and lights are encouraged.
- Be prepared to invest about 3 hours for a Thursday Night Social Ride.
- Bring cash because you never know where the ride will stop and you definitely work up an appetite.
Have you been on a social ride we all need to know about? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!
I would love to be involved with a social focused bike ride to get to know more like minded people and get some exercise (along with my hubby) but I am not on FB, IG or any social media platform and no intention on going back (much happier without them). How can I be informed of rides (we favor Thursday nights or weekends)? Thank you kindly!
Hey, just to clarify, Bikin’ Betties is for female, female-identifying, and gender-nonconforming folks (taken straight from their Facebook)
I am working on a data base of organizations that would support bike/ped roads and trails. Please call me at 512-974-2748.
We used to have a Moon Towers ride here in Austin, but, alas, everything moves on. I think there is only one left.
We are lucky to have such an awesome family! So glad we were able to show you a different part of the city that we all love. Love you guys! Safe travels
We had so much fun with you guys, can’t wait to come back. Love you sis.
Next year you should try out the Portland ‘naked bike ride”. This year there were over 4000 participants.
4000 all naked? Sounds fun?!?
What a great idea! Your travel tales of things you have done in Texas make me want to add it to my list of places to go…and Texas has not ever been on my must visit list. Thanks for the inspiration!
You are correct, there is a wealth of diversity in TX…just make sure you’re not visiting in Summer 🙂
I LOVE this! I don’t own a bike yet, but am planning on getting one and I love the sound of this group! Totally love their Monday activity! What an awesome group of people! I think this is an absolutely amazing idea and praise Austin for having such a great group of cyclists!
We really enjoyed the ride, loads of fun.
Jeff and Deb
Sounds fun and a much easier pace than we did with Lance last week riding across Iowa. #RAGBRAI2014
yea, it was a very casual ride 🙂
These Austin bike rides sound wonderful! I hope they catch on in many other cities. Sure look forward to visiting Austin with our bikes.
Our most memorable bike ride was the moonlit bike ride at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. They only do this twice a year – spring and fall – on a full moon cycle. Reservations are required. The entire loop is 16-18 miles. It’s an awesome experience.
so awesome you were able to do the moonlight ride at White Sands! We would love to go on that ride, I can only imagine how magical that must have been!
Lauren and her boyfriend Gabe (1st picture with totally rad bike) definitely know how to have a great time and where to get awesome food in Austin, Great to see family get together.
Gabe and Lauren are just awesome.