Biking to Work

For me, as with many students, the daily trek to campus can be a pain. Waking up early, dealing with traffic or getting stuck on the bus can ruin your morning.

Getting to school can be a drag.

Austin’s public transportation can be useful, but is woefully inadequate at times, and with second mortgages required for most UT parking passes, your options are limited.

But as Doug mentioned in a previous post, getting to campus can be about more than transportation— it can also be a chance to relax, refresh and reset your mind. That’s why increasingly I choose to bike to campus. And if you’re also in the growing number of people switching from four wheels to two— or thinking about making the switch— this post is for you.

There’s something extremely liberating about riding a bike, perhaps in its nostalgic value. But, as anyone who’s scraped their knee or bumped their head while riding can tell you, it can also be dangerous— so you need to read up before you make the commitment to bike to campus.

A good place to start is with the City of Austin’s bicycle map (PDF). It shows almost all of the City’s roads that are “bike accessible” as well as the level of their accessibility (ranked via ease of use from “high” to “low”) so you’ll know how to get where you’re going.

Fair warning though, the roads marked in red for “low” ease of use are indeed tough to ride on. If you’ve ever tried to bike down Guadalupe between 38th and 24th, you know how scary using a “low” access road can be. Many times these roads do not have bike lanes at all but are simply deemed wide enough for a bike and a car to travel safely side-by-side.

Nonetheless, the map is pretty darn useful for getting a big-picture view of the City’s bike transit system. Using it I’ve been able to bike numerous times from my house near downtown to my parents’ in Northwest Austin.

Oh, and I recently bought a digital camera so that I could start adding more pictures to my posts. So, here’s a little something:

It’s my Centurion road bike,  mostly original parts. It’s not the prettiest but it rides real smooth.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Doug on March 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    It is great that you mention the places that are less than comfortable to bike on, such as the stretch on guad between 24th and 38th. I suggest bikers simply move a block east and take Whitis from 24 to 28ish, where Whitis runs into the Figi House and SRG. There is much less traffic and you’ll have the road virtually to yourself except at peak times. It is safer and easier for drivers and bikers.


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