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South Austin Trail Network, The SATN

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Just for clarity, I'm not saying that any of the hills out by Slaughter Creek are horrible or worthy of an e-bike assist or shuttle or something.  I'm just saying that exposed climbing (any climbing) next to a road sucks in my opinion.  There is no barrier there and you're often times less than 10' away from a car going 60+ mph heading straight at you.  Not fun IMO and if Slaughter Creek was an awesome trail, I'd totally do it and not think twice.  As it stands, of all the trail on SATN, I'd say that the Slaughter Creek trail is some of my least favorite.  The North social tour had some amazing trail on it but that whole section to and from Slaughter was just a grind FOR ME.

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I'll weigh in as well. I live right by the Hielscher greenbelt and have 5-6 (maybe more) routes that I rotate through regularly on the SATN (which is just freaking awesome!). One of these is from my house to Slaughter Creek via the north route, one or two laps there, and then back via either the north route or, more often, the south route to the median on 45 and then home. The climbs on both return routes annoy me because they're not very interesting, and both are steady, mostly wide open climbs. I can do both, but I often end up walking a bit just for a brief respite between laps at Slaughter Creek and the more interesting parts after the respective climbs. That's more common in the heat vs. when it's 20+ degrees cooler.

Not complaining at all because I feel incredibly fortunate to have this wealth of trails right outside my front door, but I can certainly understand folks not liking those small stretches of trail.

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18 hours ago, AntonioGG said:

This one?  Just West of the driveway.  Right next to a barbed wire fence on the south side, and the trees and a drop on the north side toward 1826 right?

image.thumb.png.3c6512673260896beb5e2d68abfe2a3d.png

Start of the climb from the road view:

image.thumb.png.cbe9801b5115c55a30956dd1489e54f8.png

Is there a tougher climb?  This one is really short.  There's a longer one farther South by the water tower that's tougher IMO, but still not too bad.

That is the one. I have had four (I think) different conversations about adding a "B-Line" there.

Yes - it is rideable as is. It is even easier now that someone has created a gentler line around the ledge. How hard/easy it is to ride is your personal opinion. That may include how tired you are or how hot it is when you ride it.

No - there will never be a "B-Line" around it unless -->YOU<-- get TxDOT to move the road. If you don't like that spot - don't ride it. Walk it. Or ride a different trail. This trail is NOT the only way to get to other trails.

 

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58 minutes ago, cxagent said:

If you don't like that spot - don't ride it. Walk it. Or ride a different trail. This trail is NOT the only way to get to other trails.

 

^^^^ This ^^^^

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12 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

One more time: stop being wussies.


Not really seeing anyone making a comment that would make them "...wussies...", mack_turtle. To me it seems they're just saying what they like and don't like.

When we park at Circle C soccer field and ride to Slaughter Creek trail, because of the cars going fast my wife hates crossing the flat bridge section... And she's no wuss.

After flying a fighter in WW2, my father was a commercial pilot for 35 years... Yet he could't walk out on to the balcony of hotels he was staying at if the room was above three or four stories... As he had a kind of vertigo thing going on. And he was certainly not a wuss.

Perhaps you should try and not be so quick to pull the "...wussies..." trigger.

 

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4 hours ago, cxagent said:

No - there will never be a "B-Line" around it unless -->YOU<-- get TxDOT to move the road. If you don't like that spot - don't ride it. Walk it. Or ride a different trail. This trail is NOT the only way to get to other trails.

 


Looks like there's some flat rideable area next to the road... Maybe space to make a trail on it. It's closer to the road than the current trail, but doesn't have the drop off factor.

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I've contacted TxDOT for a quote for moving the road over. Once I have that, I'll be starting a Gofundme so all of you can take some financial responsibility for this.

I'm a do'r!!

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1 hour ago, RidingAgain said:


Looks like there's some flat rideable area next to the road... Maybe space to make a trail on it. It's closer to the road than the current trail, but doesn't have the drop off factor.

 

What the actual f@ck are you talking about?

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Not only are we going to have hero dirt because of the rain, but we are going to have another good citizen sponsoring post ride dining for Tuesday's Crank and Drank.

Our fellow riders Curtis Storm and Janie Glos have convinced their company, Commerce Bank, to sponsor a PIZZA PARTY for us after tomorrow's ride.

Commerce National Bank is a Texas Community Bank that has had a presence in Austin for the past 20 years, providing commercial and consumer loans, along with deposit services. They were recently acquired by Amarillo National Bank which is a 127-year-old family-owned Bank and huge supporter of the of the communities in which they operate. Sponsoring this ride is one way they are giving back to this community and saying “thank you.” 
 
A rider of our trails needs to give back to the community. There are several ways to do this. Trail maintenance is a big one. Being a ride leader or sweep is an easy one. But if you, or your company, gives us free stuff, that's a GREAT one!  So thanks Curtis.
 
Bring a chair, bring a beverage, and bring an appetite. 6 pm behind ATX Bikes. About 15 miles this week. Combination of SATN Social's south beginning and north's ending.
Edited by The Tip
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Mack Turtle responded with some questions about Crank and Drank rides in the "Group Ride" advice thread. I will answer his questions here as they are SATN specific and I don't want that thread about generic group rides to get off topic.

He wrote, "Easier said than done, I know! how do you create these routes, by the way? do you just ride them and then share the map, or can you create them in Strava using an online tool?"

I try to ride them first then post my Strava rides. I hope that people will zoom into the map and try to visualize each turn. Yes, I know most folks are not as into it as I am, but a fella can hope, right?

These latest C&D rides are designed to educate about routes for the upcoming SATN Social. Last night's routing was a blend of the "difficult' start of the south route, together with the also convoluted end of the north route. If we can get several people educated to these routes it should go well the day of the event.

The SATN Social routes were designed to maximize mileage on non-gray areas of the network. A side benefit to that routing is that it is educating folks to some lesser traveled trails. Using those trails enable some more creative routes when people are riding on their own. For example Koopa Trooper. Several people have mentioned, "I didn't even know this was here." Using that route, together with Drip Drop, makes a very nice loop from Dick Nichols. The Latta Out and Back Loop, a 2.5 mile ride from The Log to Log.

Another consideration for the routing was to avoid head on confrontations during the event. This "one way" routing has been accomplished.

So the routes for The Social are not so logical for a one rider ride. But there is a method to the madness. Yes, I know everyone could have come up with "better" routing. But hopefully folks can strive to learn these.

Other, non-practice for the Social Crank and Drank routes, are designed to be not confusing, and simple to lead, but still interesting for everyone. Showing new stuff is high priority. Showing a trail that someone has done some maintenance on is also taken into consideration. Having the right mileage. 12-15 miles, with a logical add on option for 5 more for the fast group to do is another factor. Having a shake out portion so that people can find their appropriate group is yet another consideration. Another one is using the herd to run through a trail that needs to be beaten back. Easier than weedeating! Also taking requests from people to see specific trails or areas. So there is a lot involved in the planning.

And speaking of The Social routes. I ran into a couple of guys in the ATX Bikes' parking lot Saturday that had just finished riding the north route. I saw later on their Strava that they had ridden it perfectly. They did it all from using the posted GPX routing. I thought that was great.

 

 

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I'll make an effort to ride these routes on my own, or with a tiny group. I can stop frequently and check my phone to make sure I am making the correct turns. It will be a "slow" ride in the end, but an educational one.

I am not a Strava expert- what's the best way to use Strava to follow a specific path?

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4 minutes ago, mack_turtle said:

I am not a Strava expert- what's the best way to use Strava to follow a specific path?

Good question. Like I said, the way I would do it is to pull up a ride on my computer (on a phone is very difficult) and follow along visualizing the ride. Someone last night said it works better to use the satellite image to identify where turns are. "Oh, next to the carwash." etc.

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24 minutes ago, mack_turtle said:

I'll make an effort to ride these routes on my own, or with a tiny group. I can stop frequently and check my phone to make sure I am making the correct turns. It will be a "slow" ride in the end, but an educational one.

I am not a Strava expert- what's the best way to use Strava to follow a specific path?

On a desktop, find the ride you want to follow and click on "..." on the left side, then select "Create Route."  The next part is intuitive. Later on your device after you start your activity, go to the small point to point trail logo, generally on the bottom left. Load the route. Now it work similar to MTB Project. 

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14 minutes ago, Barry said:

On a desktop, find the ride you want to follow and click on "..." on the left side, then select "Create Route."  The next part is intuitive. Later on your device after you start your activity, go to the small point to point trail logo, generally on the bottom left. Load the route. Now it work similar to MTB Project. 

I need to try this, as I'd like to follow some of the SATN Strava tracks.  There are so many trail intersections out there that without a good route you can access on the fly it's pretty much hopeless in areas!

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2 minutes ago, Albert said:

I need to try this, as I'd like to follow some of the SATN Strava tracks. 

This is indeed how I put together my All the Southie ride earlier this year. I had 5 or 6 different routes saved for the different areas, and I just kept loading new routes all day. And since then so much has already been added!

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1 minute ago, Barry said:

This is indeed how I put together my All the Southie ride earlier this year. I had 5 or 6 different routes saved for the different areas, and I just kept loading new routes all day. And since then so much has already been added!

I'm currently using a Garmin Edge 520+, and I've never tried loading maps into it.  About time to learn and see how well it does, and if it'll nag you if you go off course.

 ..Al

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Barry's ride was a good one indeed. I love those "do it all" ride attempts. There was repeating of trail but it definitely reaffirms my believe that there is easily over 90 miles of single track in the SATN now. 

Now we just need to figure out how to easily educate the newbies to it. Maybe we could have some event to do that...

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1 hour ago, Barry said:

This is indeed how I put together my All the Southie ride earlier this year. I had 5 or 6 different routes saved for the different areas, and I just kept loading new routes all day. And since then so much has already been added!


Barry... Did you encounter any horse fly swarms in the Wildwood trail section? Last time I rode there it was not pleasant.

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4 hours ago, Albert said:

I'm currently using a Garmin Edge 520+, and I've never tried loading maps into it.  About time to learn and see how well it does, and if it'll nag you if you go off course.

Loading maps, or loading courses?

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8 minutes ago, TAF said:

Loading maps, or loading courses?

Well, courses.  I haven't tried loading maps into it, either, but I care less about those.

 ..Al

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I use the Trailforks features on my Garmin 530 to load courses and it's pretty slick.  I was able to load them without that app but it's less intuitive.  There is much to be desired with the Garmin courses but it beats looking at your phone all the time.  I did successfully manage to use it to navigate the SATN social North route with very little problems.  Having a good GPX file is key.

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