Interesting from Pedernales Falls State Park

Mountain biking has multiple positive effects — you get to exercise and do that in beautiful setting almost all the time…But one of the more interesting and exciting aspects of the activity is the opportunity to see wild life in many cases in close proximity.

On our last bike ride – while in Pedernales Falls State park we got to see a really big wild turkey – unfortunately did not get a chance to take a photo.  However, there was another interesting creature – something I saw for the first time — a FIRE ENGINE RED caterpillar.   It was so shockingly red and noticeable that I was able to see if from a moving bike…So we stopped and were able  to take a few photos of it. 

Here you go — and if you know what it is — please do drop me a note:

Red Caterpillar  red caterpillar


Pedernales Falls State Park Biking Experience

Today had a great bike ride in one of the great parks within easy reach of Austin.  That was Pedernales Falls State Park.  The weather was nice eventough there was a mix of drizzle and rain through some of the time.  But the sporadik rain made for cooler weather and of course somewhat messy trails.  Now, first a view of the map — where in the world is this park:

Next, let's take a look at some photos — the bike trails end up in some pretty scenic areas both on the trails and near by — i.e the Pedernales river falls.   Take a look:

The Pedernales river

Horse trail and Bike trail

Then, I was also able to use again my newly acquired Runtastic Pro bike application on my iPhone.  Here is the output from what the application captured of our bike ride:

Runtastik    and of course some great Cactus photos: Cactus 

Overall the park offers very good doubletrack trails with some pretty steep spots where you can surely pick up great speed or have to walk them due to lose gravel.  Most of the trails at least in the spring are covered with nice soft red dirt and in some places you have to deal with the usual crushed stone.  Overall a good set of trails.

States Ranking for Being Bicycle Friendly

The League of American Bicyclists is an organization promoting the use of bicycles in everyday life.  It has been in existence since 1880 — WOW!  I was not aware of it until I came across their ranking and rating of the US States for Bike Friendliness.  The 2014 ranking is out and after reading it, I was actually somewhat surprised.  Why?  Because of the results that I saw — Minnesotta ranking as #2 !  The state is frozen large part of the year — how can it rank so well for being bike friendly…The same comment about the #3 Wisconsin….Yes, sure, these states may have great bike lanes in various cities but the biking crowd must be on the couch away from the snow multiple months of the year!!!

Here is the ranking — I would recomment — take it with the grain of salt, a Rather Large grain of salt mind you…

bicycle friendly state ranking

The source of this table of course is


Biking Perks – A Good Example from Austin, Texas

Interesting article about incentives for those who bike to work…!  About time…!  I wish this was in place years ago when I lived in Phoenix and used to bike to work there… My only perk at the time was that I could hit the showers at work once I biked into the office — I was able to use our gym to take a shower and get ready for work / office.

Now Austin companies are providing further incentives — take a look at the article below:

by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and Photojournalist ERIN COKER

Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Updated today at 2:15 PM


AUSTIN — Oh the joy when you see someone finally leaving a parking spot in downtown Austin.Though once you get in, you have to figure out how to pay. Sometimes even check the signs to see if it’s legal. For those who work downtown, parking can be an everyday nightmare.

"It was especially difficult during SXSW,” said one driver.

Some companies are rolling out incentives. Tevis Paxton works at Sparefoot in downtown Austin, an online market place for self storage units around the country.


"I don’t know anyone else who gets paid to bike to work,” said Paxton. As part of the new company  program, those who don’t take a parking pass, get $100 a month.

"I never have to worry about where I am going to park or getting a ticket after I do park there, said Paxton."

Sparefoot offers around seven incentives, including money and reimbursement for those who take Cap Metro or carpool.

John Egan is an editor of blogs at Sparefoot. He says since joining the company a year ago the workforce has doubled to 145 employees.

"That means more people need to find parking. Which has been a big problem downtown because all of these other companies need parking,” said Egan.

He still takes the company paid for parking spot,  but says he would opt out if a transportation solution fit his needs.

"If there were an option to have a train that went east west which would benefit me, That would help a lot,” said Egan.

Sparefoot hopes to set an example for others that Austin can deal with the parking crunch in inventive ways.

According to The Austin Transportation Department there are 3,000 parking spots on the street downtown, plus 4,000 more in city garages. There are around 10,000 spots in private lots and garages, though that number has dropped from 10 years ago as buildings have gone up on those lots.

How about this, ah?  It is a big step forward to encourage bicycle use in Austin and to make sure people see that mode of transportation as real option and real way to get to work and be efficient. Good job Sparefoot!