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June Bug

Urban/Commute/Paths/About Town

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Posted (edited)

Thread for ride reports and this and that on urban/commuting/path rides.

I've been getting out early some mornings,  combining a ride with an errand, using some different routes than usual, usually from 15 to 20 miles. Nice way to start the day.

Edited by June Bug

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I live in central Austin and have several general loops that I cycle through. These are the general routes, if people want specific connections I can elaborate:

  • 51st to South Walnut Creek Trail, 5th street to Shoal Creek greenbelt back home
  • Hancock to Highland Park, Mt. Bonnell down to Lake Austin Blvd, through downtown then back up Nueces/Rio Grande through campus
  • Shoal Creek north, through Narnia, through the Pickle, through the domain, to North Walnut Creek Trial, down MoPac frontage to Shoal creek
  • Shoal Creek to Far West, up Mesa to Jollyville, ride that to the end, back south, through neighborhoods to Hancock and home
  • Shoal Creek Greenbelt south, over the lake, MoPac frontage, loop over to southbound side, loop under Mopac then back up, through downtown and home
  • 51st street to Mueller, ride the hell out of it, every street, catching the sights, then back via Manor and through campus

All errands are bike errands first, and I have a pretty decent backpack for carrying things. I generally do 120-150 miles a week when I am in good shape. And I drive ~10-20 miles a week.

 

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Nice ride from Braker/Parkfield down Shoal Creek this morning to the main library to drop off some books that were checked out at the end of Feb; before the libraries closed. 

One is Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of how Humans Navigate the World.  Noteworthy: the use of GPS to navigate allows the part of the brain activated in wayfinding and navigation to atrophy.  Anyway, recommended read. 

For any City of Austin library users, one can put a book on hold and pick it up curbside at some locations. 

Also hit up Trader Joe's, which is about a block away from the downtown library, so weight of cargo increased slightly on the return trip.  The sun stayed behind a nice cloud bank to the east until almost the end of the ride.  Got home about 11 am and had a nice collapse. 

 

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What's the status of the Walnut Creek South Trail as it passes u see 183? I've heard Bart ng reports on it's closure times and days.

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Everything's open now under 183. The new bridges at 51st and Loyola leading to WC bike paths are awesome. I've heard that theres gonna be new paved path up North from WC Metro Park to the southern WC bike path at some point.

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yes, the yellow part is near my office (which I have not visited in several months) but it will make it possible to do a huge loop around the north half of Austin with minimal roads.

https://data.austintexas.gov/stories/s/Walnut-Creek-Trail-System/v3dz-djp9/

think: Townlake to Govalle Park, WC trail around to WC Metro, then over to MOPAC and take the Shoal Creek route back into town.

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1 hour ago, Bart said:

The new bridges at 51st and Loyola leading to WC bike paths are awesome. 

Obviously over the new construction on 183... are they separate from vehicle traffic? Or just awesome to have the option again?

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I rode this route a few months ago. on the left is 51st street, on the other side is the east side YMCA. you can easily ride from 51st to the YMCA on the ped/bike bridge using the switchbacked sidewalk. that connects you directly to the paved WC South trail. this image is a bit dated and the bridge is even easier to access than it looks here.

Screen Shot 2020-07-23 at 8.55.47 AM.png

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Also the area west of 183 and 51st is a pretty good sizable piece of forested undeveloped land that has old dirtbike trails on it that we've been riding mtb's on lately. The whole area has great potential for trail development added as it has lots of creeks and elevation changes on it. We cleared out a lot of old trail during cooler Spring months. 

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9 minutes ago, Bart said:

Also the area west of 183 and 51st is a pretty good sizable piece of forested undeveloped land that has old dirtbike trails on it that we've been riding mtb's on lately. The whole area has great potential for trail development added as it has lots of creeks and elevation changes on it. We cleared out a lot of old trail during cooler Spring months. 

shhhhhh!

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Posted (edited)

Mr. JB was out on a r**die ride this morning with a riding buddy and had a serious mechanical (derailleur fell off) so I got a rescue call to pick him up on Howard Ln. From N. Lamar, I went over Yaeger for a block, crossed I 35 and headed east on Tech Ridge, which turns into Harris Ridge Blvd at Parmer, continued on and turned right on  E. Howard Ln. They were almost all the way to 130 on Howard Lane. The point being that crossing I 35 and onto Tech Ridge, there is sidewalk (which is wide enough for at least one bike) and/or bike lanes all the way to and along Howard Ln.  There was one spot where I think the sidewalk along Harris Ridge Blvd was only on the east side of the street.  Also, Harris Branch Parkway crosses Howard and I'm thinking that a big loop could be done from the end of the Southern WC Path, over on Harris Branch Parkway, and then back on Howard. 

The downside is that this is in no way scenic and it is not shady, but if you want to get in some miles, the infrastructure, for the most part is there.  Parts of the sidewalk along Howard Ln. are not being mowed, but there is a bike lane. 

Also, surprisingly little traffic. 

 

Edited by June Bug

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13 minutes ago, June Bug said:

 I'm thinking that a big loop could be done from the end of the Southern WC Path, over on Harris Branch Parkway, and then back on Howard. 

The downside is that this is in no way scenic and it is not shady, but if you want to get in some miles, the infrastructure, for the most part is there.  Parts of the sidewalk along Howard Ln. are not being mowed, but there is a bike lane. 

Also, surprisingly little traffic. 

 

This is included when I do big roadie rides.  I generally take the EB route down to the lake and then the hike and bike path around to Longhorn dam.  From there I head to Govalle park and pick up the WC path and take that all the way Decker lake.  At this point you can get on Harris Branch (I think that's what it's called, it goes by the dump and AMD) and take it all the way to Howard.  I then truck up Howard in the bike lane and end up back home.  It's 50 miles and 90% of it is protected or well marked bike lanes with little traffic.  Great ride in the winter (not too cold) but there are long stretches with no shade.

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Also of note, the Montopolis bridge over the river is closed while they restore and renovate it. It makes connecting to Govalle and South WC trail from Lady Bird via Guerrero, less pleasant

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, attaboy said:

Also of note, the Montopolis bridge over the river is closed while they restore and renovate it. It makes connecting to Govalle and South WC trail from Lady Bird via Guerrero, less pleasant

the last time I went through there, which was several months back, the bridge had a narrow walkway for peds and bikes. is it totally closed now? what's the nearest alternative?

 

just looking at the map, I noticed the next place to cross the river seems to be all the way at FM973! I suppose the river is quite shallow and could make the route into an ADVENTURE if you chose to cross someplace where there is no bridge.

Edited by mack_turtle

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Yes the bridge is totally closed. I used to ride that way all the time and have been checking periodically, still not open as of about a week ago.

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I rode past the closed sign on the bridge last night on my cx loop. I think they're painting it during the day but shut down around 5.

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this should be a pretty useful bit of information for you: https://www.183south.com/

here's the update on the top of the page right now, dated July 20 "MON (7/20) - SUN (7/26): The Walnut Creek Trail where it crosses under US 183 south of FM 969/MLK Blvd. is OPEN.
Weekday trail closures are expected intermittently in the coming months. Click Here for a recommended detour route."

I read elsewhere that access to the old Montopolis bridge is open most of the time. I emailed the folks at the website above to clarification.

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Posted (edited)

quick response from Steve from the the 183 South folks:

Thank you for your interest in the 183 South project and the historic Montopolis steel truss bridge. It would be my pleasure to answer your questions about this important community resource. The bridge was closed to motorized vehicles (regular traffic) nearly two years ago and converted to a bicycle and pedestrian facility. Over the past two years we have been working to restore the bridge by making some structural repairs and encapsulating it in a new coat of paint.

For the most part, the bridge has remained open to cyclists and pedestrians throughout. But, there was about a six week period earlier this spring when it was closed so it could be jacked up to replace its aging bearing pads. It has since reopened. However, we will be replacing the asphalt deck on the bridge at some point in the next 6 to 9 months and making some other aesthetic improvements. Some of this work will require the bridge to be closed at times. The exact schedule for those closures is unknown at this time. Other than when that work is taking place, the bridge should remain open to cyclists and pedestrians moving forward. If I can be of any additional assistance in this matter, please let me know.

that's awesome service! I'll ask him if there is a place where we cyclists can go to confirm when the bridge will be closed so we don't find out the hard way.

edit: Steve assured me that they update their website and a few social media outlets get their updates. so if you plan a long route around Ladybird Lake and want to use the Montopolis bridge, it should not be hard to find out if the bridge is accessible or not. plan accordingly.

Edited by mack_turtle
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Another spot that's a chronic issue is the north end of the Southern Walnut Creek Multi-use Path where Daffan Lane Ts into Decker Lane (1377), and the path continues on the other side of Decker Lane.  

 Decker Lane sounds innocuous, but it's a four-lane highway, and traffic from the south comes over a hill at 60-70 mph -- so your basic death trap for cyclists and pedestrians trying to cross. 

A crossing light has been promised at some point, but I haven't been on the multi-use path since March.  Any updates on that?

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Brushy Creek Regional Trail Phase V (virtual) Ribbon Cutting 

I was ready for this video to be over about halfway through and *somebody* does not hit her note at the end, but whatevs.  Apparently, it adds on a mile near Round Rock. 

 

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Brushy Creek Regional Trail Phase V (virtual) Ribbon Cutting 
I was ready for this video to be over about halfway through and *somebody* does not hit her note at the end, but whatevs.  Apparently, it adds on a mile near Round Rock. 
 

That is painful to watch but I’m happy to see the new trail getting opened.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'm glad they're having fun with it.  It was neat.

Was Chasco the same company that did the sidewalk through Peddlers?

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2 hours ago, AntonioGG said:

I liked it! I'm only halfway thru it so I guess it gets worse?

It just keeps going on. Also, when you think you're halfway through, you're really only maybe a third or a quarter through.  

Fun way to do a virtual opening, though. 

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