South By South Fixed
The 4th annual South By South Fixed ride. 3 Days. 240 Miles. By far the best way to get to SXSW. A weekend of bike riding and beer drinking to kick off the week long festival.
Over the weekend I biked from Dallas to Austin. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I've done in my life. From Saturday to Monday, I spent 12 hours in the saddle riding 193 miles and climbing 5,296 feet.
I wouldn't have been able to do it without the support of five other riders and a support driver. And without them around, it would've been a lot more boring. We all had a great time on the rides and partied hard at the end of each day. Thanks to Charles, Cliff, Dave, Gabe, John, and Timmy for making my first SXSF an amazing experience!
Day 1: Dallas to Waco
The first day started off ominous and only got worse from there. Clouds loomed and the forecast called for thunderstorms. That's not the bad part, though. A strong wind came up from the south and fought us all day. And when I say strong, I mean 20 mph in your face constantly with gusts up to 30 mph.
After battling the elements for 70 miles, I couldn't take it any more and gave up. I wanted to go farther, especially since the planned route was 129 miles, but the wind took too much out of me. I'm happy that I made it through a metric century and more than half way, though.
Day 2: Waco to Taylor
Day two felt like a reward for even attempting to brave the previous day. The sun shined all day, keeping us warm and dry. The wind shifted and blew from the north, giving us a tailwind. With that at out backs, we made good time and covered 87 miles in five hours.
When you think of riding across the country on your bike, this is the kind of weather you imagine. It put all of us in a better mood as we rolled through some genuinely scenic parts of Texas.
Day 3: Taylor to Austin
Compared to the first two days, the last one felt like a joyride. It was even nicer than the day before and we had less than 40 miles to cover. We woke up late and enjoyed some authentic Texas BBQ before hitting the road.
Riding into Austin meant rolling up and down hills all day. Spinning out on the way down and panting on the way up felt great, but the best part was cresting a hill and seeing the Austin skyline. With the end of our trip literally in sight, we rode straight in to the Capitol for a photo op. After that we got some food and beers before heading our separate ways.
All in all, not a bad way to spend a weekend.