Hot Summer Morning on the Texas Trail

Hot Summer Morning

Today I decided to beat the heat and get on the bike trail early in the morning. I was on my bike by 8am and actually enjoyed relatively cooler weather even though by the time I was reaching my house – at 9:40 – the temperature had risen significantly 

lesson learned – in the Texas summer – head out as early as possible – I know this is no rocket science but still needed to be reiterated

on the positive side – while on the trail I encountered plenty of wild life – a coyote and a roadrunner 

the coyote did not spend but a minute looking at me, turned around and ran back into the woods…I was too large for his liking.  

The roadrunner as usually just walked importantly along the trail until it decided to chase something in the brush and disappeared 

unfortunately I could not take pictures of any of them – too short of a encounter, but here is a pic from the trail anyway.

Texas hill country

Texas Hill Country Trail

 

Biking in Texas – Spring Views

Biking in Texas

The mountain biking season in Texas goes through its ups and downs.  There are months when it is cold and wet, I know somewhat counterintuitive statement about this state where draughts are more common than rains, but trust me it does rain here and it does get cold….The same temperature that causes New Englanders to break out the shorts and flip-flops, makes folks in Texas claim a cold spell is upon us.  

While our weekends lately have been very busy with family related happenings – we were able to sneak in a bike ride here and there (late on Sunday – almost evening – after coming back to town).  The weather and scenery of the Texas bike trails were beautiful.  

The photos below make me feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to get on a mountain bike and cruise through the wilderness, calm and nature of the bike trails in the Hill Country…. What a great experience….!

Winter: Mountain Biking in January

Winter

I enjoy living in Austin – why?  Because we can go mountain biking pretty much year round, even in the winter.  I know Colorado, Utah among several states offer really spectacular rides….BUT just in the late spring, summer and early fall.  The rest of the time, the weather is so cold that mountain biking becomes a difficult task.

This weekend, we took advantage of the bright sunshine and had a great ride in the green belt in our neighborhood.

Here are some photos to show you what winter bike ride should be 🙂  Enjoy!

Texas Austin Barton Creek Greenbelt

Austin Texas Barton Creek Greenbelt

And then there was the sunset – as we biked home…. Beautiful – isn’t it…

Texas Austin Sunset

Christmas Bike Ride in the Texas Hill Country

Christmas Bike Ride

Austin continues to amaze me…!  Why?  Well, today is the day after Christmas, it is December 26th, however the weather was beautiful – warm, sunny, a perfect day for a great bike ride in the Texas Hill Country.

Texas Austin Warm Weather As you can see from my iPhone Weather App, today was a very warm, sunny, and overall a great day, unusual even for Austin in December….!

Having said that, we are not complaining 🙂

Instead, we put on the biking gear, pumped up the mountain bike tires and off we went into the green belt in West Austin.

It was almost too warm….

You can see some great pics from the bike ride below.  I took photos of the winter landscape, the Barton Creek, the trails in the Green Belt and the dormant trees which even in this state are quite something… Well, enough said – take a look at the photos and let us know how you like them… Happy Holidays!

 

Beijing – Running but not Biking

I have lived a large number of years in China and Beijing specifically.  Beijing is a huge metropolis with now very cosmopolitan population – as a result (I think) the city has largely moved away from using bikes to any significant degree.

Years ago, the streets of the city were clogged with bikes – as those provided the main means of transportation.  Today, everyone has jumped in a car or in the subway and the bikes are few and far in between on the city streets.

After a recent outing to the Beijing Olympic park though, I have some hopes that the situation may change.  Why do I say that?   Because both the city as well as its residents are starting to pay increasing attention to exercising and enjoying ecologically clean means of doing so.  The city is also spending large sums of money for maintaining the park and as a result I have hopes that they will start investing also in bicycle friendly streets and areas of the city.

Here are some photos from the Beijing Olympic park on a recent Sunday afternoon….

Beijing-Olympic-Park Olympic-park-Running

The park itself I can use also some paths for biking – there is certainly enough space based on the loading of runners I see – i.e.not that many, and given its large size can offer good opportunity for at least some exercise and learning to navigate a bike in the outdoors.

China-Beijing-Runners-World-Olympic-Park

Beijing-China-Olympic park

 

 

 

 

 

At any rate, I do think Beijing can benefit hugely from large usage of bicycles so any steps in encouraging that will be helping the city reduce pollution and congestion.

Texas Bike Trails in April – Continued

Last weekend I posted a bunch of photos from the great trails in Texas – if you like mountain biking, the spring in and around Austin, Texas is a great time to experience nature from the bike seat… You get to see great colors, may be even encounter some wild life on the trails.

This April has been wet – tons of rains in the area – resulted in greenery everywhere and of course tons of wild flowers.

As a result of the rains, the local creeks are also running wild – so you may need to be careful on some of the trails.  Lucky for me – by this Saturday the trails along Barton Creek (photos below) were almost dry with only some areas that were still under water – but easy to bike through on your bike.

I think the photos speak for themselves – April is a great time to go out and ride the trails.

Austin-Texas-Mountain-Bike Austin-Texas-Mountain-Bikes Texas Austin Mountain Bike Austin-Texas

 

Bicycle Riders Behavior on the Road

There is tons of writing on the web from bicycle riders who feel wronged by car drivers while on the various roads in cities.  While this may be a real situation – I have been on my mountain bike while a car had driven by with a passenger or the driver screaming for me to get off the road or at the least making gestures of various kinds …

Today, though I saw the opposite – while driving on one of the busy roads in Austin, a road bicycle rider decided to do a stupid thing.  The road I am talking about is a divided one (with a grassy median) and posted speed of 60miles per hour.   The road is busy and especially so at its various exits to street in the city.   On one of those exits, the rider I am talking about here stayed on the shoulder of the road for a long enough time to make me (and I think other drivers) think that he will be taking the exit.   Furthermore the exit was to a street which is also frequented by bicycle riders – I know – I ride there as well.

Then in the last minute without any signal he decided to swerve and dash for the main road – i.e. cross the exit lanes to get back on the main highway.   Fine, he wanted to be on the main highway and fine, he stayed too long on the exit lane, bud DUDE, signal!!!   That is one of the reasons you have arms and hands.  You would expect a car driver to signal that he/she is changing his mind and changing lanes… So should a bicycle – especially on a busy road!

But then again, may be he is one of the drivers who does the same maneuver in his car as well without signaling driving others to react with urgency….

Oh, well, hopefully not to many do this stupid action so all of us – bike riders and car drivers are safe on the road!

Happy biking!

Bicycles and Crazy Uses of Bicycles

Bicycles – Crazy Uses

Have you thought about the various uses of a bicycle…?  All of us think a mountain bike is a mountain bike, you have your trails or neighborhood pathways and you go for the exercise and the excitement of downhill rushing by you….a 29er screaming downhill at 30-40miles an hour…what a rush!

Then there are a few other uses of a bicycle – take a look below… Have you thought of any of them?  I bet not….or ?

Bicycles-Lorries-Beijing

Here are the pickup bicycles. Who said you cannot move 100-pounds of shrimp or chicken from the warehouse to the market 🙂

 

These bikes will certainly do the job well…

 

Bicycles-as-trucks-in-BeijingAnd then there are also the heavy weight moving machines.  These are almost pulling as much weight as a mid-size truck in the US.

Hey, at least they are not polluting and are on top of the energy efficiency list, right?

 

Did we see enough?  I bet not…

Beijing-Bike-Truck

 

Here is another contraption – a bike on the streets of Beijing

This baby can haul some stuff…You agree, right..?

 

 

Sleeping on a bike

Sleeping on your bike…anyone?  Why not – this bike especially…I am surprised there is no mattress on it

 

 

 

 

But seriously, it is obvious that bicycles continue to be a dominant force in China…