Route Planning

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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