Route Planning

 ‘The bicycle is a curious vehicle.  Its passenger is its engine.’  – John Howard


Bicycle Maps

New transportation cyclists may choose their bike route based on their car route, but this may not always be the safest choice and a common phenomena occurs where the newbie is subsequently scared away from riding based on a terrible experience on their first try. Give yourself a better understanding of available bike routes by reviewing the maps below (downloadable PDF’s).

Wait, are bike lanes really the best place to ride?
This is a good question. The best comprehensive answer can be found in this article by Phil Halmark, League Cycling Instructor.



Transit Connections

For newer riders, or those commuting from the suburbs, riding for the whole duration of a commute may not (yet) be a viable option. This is where transit comes in as a perfect complement to your bike commute.

  • MetroRail (North Communities to Downtown) The MetroRail runs all the way from Leander into the heart of Downtown. Bonus: Capitol Metro recently added an extended weekend schedule!
  • Capitol Metro Buses (Greater Central Austin, Downtown, Flyer Routes) Capitol Metro is consistently working hard to make transit accessible to all Austin citizens. Visit their website for an easy-to-use trip planner, interactive schedule and map of routes, and information on discounted fares for seniors and students. Bonus: Text your start and end location and desired time of departure to 512.981.6221 to receive a text with the stop time and route number of a bus near you. And if you find a station, text the station number to this same phone number to receive the arrival time of the next bus. Super handy for those without the ‘smart’ phones!
  • Intimidated by the thought of loading your bike onto the front bus rack? Check out this quick video tutorial:

  • Note: A common thread of emotion Austin cyclists have is the sinking feeling of watching a city bus pull up with both spots on the front-mounted bike rack full. If your commute time falls on a ‘rush hour’, keep this in mind. Capitol Metro will be phasing in racks that can hold 3 bicycles, but only as the current ones age from wear.



Handy Resources and FAQs

No matter how well you feel you’ve prepared, questions and obstacles will inevitably come up when transitioning to a new mode of transportation. The resources listed below are fantastic primers to look over before buying a bike, planning a route, or perusing a local bicycle shop.