This cycle (of cycling) has been about MINIMAL training, which means when I do hop on my bike, it’s werk werk werk, for the most part.
However, all work makes Jill a dull girl so on Sunday, we set out to go play bikes like it was 2017.
Around 11am, we decided to leave from the house and head south towards downtown via Shoal Creek. The first part of the ride is super fun because you’re whizzing down hills. It was just before noon and gorgeous and sunny and not too hot and life was grand, once we figured out which side of the path was actually open.
However, we got stopped right in front of this work of art we hadn’t seen before, so it was not all for naught.
We stopped for every single bridge we can find. Because we love bridges.
Once we got downtown it was super fun to play tourist and take pictures and enjoy the city. I always forget that we live here, even if it’s less than 10 miles away.
This was the actual destination of the day. We had yet to make it to the Forever Bikes art installation and we had to rectify that fact. We took lots of solo pictures and then a kind police officer on a bike offered to take one with us both. He then chatted with us about some routes around the area. As we rode off, Zliten noted that he was really nice. I said, “Hey, if you got paid to ride your bike all day, wouldn’t you be nice too?”. #goals
While I have my bones to pick with the city on some of the choices they’ve made for pedestrian and cycling access and transportation, there are some places that are pretty spectacular – Downtown Austin being one of them. It’s neat to go through areas that look like they are completely in the middle of nowhere, and then see them juxtaposed with tall building peeking out around them if you look at a different angle.
It was a lot of fun being a bike tourist that day! Austin’s skyline is a pretty spectacular backdrop for cycling. However, riding in traffic and crowds is definitely something that should be experienced in short doses, so we headed back north fairly quickly.
I’ve run past this statue every year at the 3M Half Marathon. However, it’s around mile 12 when you’re almost done and in a lot of pain, and I’ve never looked up and noticed it. It was kind of cool. While it’s optimistic to say I’ll be in any less pain at mile 12, I’ll try and look for it next year.
This is the bridge (that connects Shoal Creek to Burnet) on which I realized that I was cranky. And how do you solve cranky on the bike? You eat! Zliten and I enjoyed the view and split a salted caramel RX bar and it was life itself.
We had to pay a visit to the spider bunny tree on the way home. The backstory here: a tree fell down in their yard during a giant storm. It looked like a spider. Instead of having it removed, they just dress it up for holidays. <3 you, Austin, so much.
One more bridge crossing, after doing a few laps of Great Northern/Shoal Creek. It seemed fitting to do that on the one year anniversary of our completion of Ironman Texas, since we trained there a lot (to the tune of 33 loops on the TT bikes one day). Then, we set up Zliten’s 360 camera and rode circles around it in the cul-de-sac and a nice lady watched from her yard and offered to spray us with her garden hose.
And the ride ended where all cycling adventures should – Desano’s Pizza. Since I’ve been working on #projectraceweight I haven’t been there in a while, and they missed us. Believe me, we probably missed them more. This pizza with broccoli rabe, sausage, scamorza, mozzarella di bufala, pecorino, and romano is a little slice (haha) of heaven.
We couldn’t help but to spend some more time away from chores and adulting enjoying the rest of the day outside in the backyard reading and relaxing. Soon, summer will steal away the pleasant afternoons (at least, when not submerged in a body of water), so we made the most of a most perfect afternoon. Going on a micro-vacation in my own ‘hood was just what I needed last weekend!