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!

 

Biking Kentucky

Biking Kentucky

Biking in Kentucky is something that at first did not come to my mind.  Then I went to visit a good friend of mine – someone I have known since I was 14!  Yes, indeed, it is great to have the ability to stay connected with your classmates from high school and be able to visit and spend time together…But enough of the touch and feely stuff – let’s get back to the topic…

I have always associated Kentucky with horses, horse races of course, and tons of beautiful farms with endless bluegrass covered meadows.  Well, since my visit earlier this week, I now know that this state also offers great opportunities for enjoying the rolling hills, horse farms, and yes, biking!

Kentucky Biking

 

Here are a bunch of photos I took during the week of Thanksgiving to help you see the opportunities to have some great rides – in this particular case in the Lexington area.

Kentucky Lexington Biking

Kentucky Horse Country biking road

Kentucky Lexington Biking

Just outside Lexington

Kentucky Lexington Biking

Lexington bike road view

Kentucky Lexington Biking

Near by Lexington Horse Farms

Kentucky Lexington Biking

Biking road – near Lexington

 

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

 

Hong Kong Mountain Biking – The Peak to Shek O

The Peak Hong KongThe Peak Hong KongHong Kong mountain biking – something to consider as a leisure time activity even in this overcrowded and bustling city.

The Peak to Shek O ride is a long one – approximately 25km route and is a combination of road biking and mountain biking – primarily along the Dragon’s Back trail, a trail along a ridge in Southeastern Hong Kong island between Wam Cham Shan and Shek O Peak;

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The map above will hopefully provide you with a visual indication of what is the actual path we have selected for this bike ride. It is not very challenging so relax – you will like the feel of the open road and wind while biking;

The Peak Hong KongAs I stated this ride will be a mid of mostly road biking and about 4-5km of real mountain bike ride. That ride starts at The Peak and pretty soon gets you to the challenges of Wanchai and Repulse Bay and then you will go along Stanley Road (Stanley itself is a relatively well known for its bits of history as well as Saturday markets), then you will get along Tai Tam Rd and pretty close to the Tai Tam gap you will have the opportunity after biking for about 100-meters along Shek O Road to get on the actual mountain bike trail.  If you do not find it – it may be challenging to spot – you can just stay on Shek O road.

This will get you to the Shek O village itself where you will have to decide if you are done or would like to proceed to Cape D’Aguilar Marine reserve at the very extreme Southern end of the Shek O / D’Aguilar peninsula.

 

Maryland Bike Trails – Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

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Maryland bike trails can be found in many places across the state – both in the city as well as outside in various parks.  Just recently I posted a slideshow and a brief description of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge – a park we discovered only after having visited Maryland and the Annapolis area for more than 20-years.  This time around we decided to use the time after Christmas for exploring areas on Maryland’s Eastern Shore as well as later on during our stay – areas in West Virginia in the Shenandoah valley.

So back to the Eastern shore – after driving for a couple of hours east and then south of the Bay Bridge we came upon the Blackwater park.
Here is a map of the park and surrounding area:

 

The park and surrounding area offer several bike routes for both novices as well as experienced cyclists. The different routes are anywhere from a 4-mile or 7-mile loop route along the paved Wildlife Drive – where you will be able to see a great number of birds (see the slideshow below). There are also the 20-mile and 25-mile routes along the surrounding roads.

Here is also a link to the slideshow I posted on YouTube:

And finally a link to the park itself.  Enjoy your visit!

Biking in Bulgaria – part 1 – Central Balkan Region

Over the previous 2 years I added summary write ups on biking trails and pleasant areas to bike in several corners of Bulgaria.  Today, having just returned from yet another trip to Bulgaria (and a brief London visit), it is time to add more to the list of potential areas for biking in this country.

As stated, previously I provided write ups and photos on:

This time around I want to add commentary and photos on a few more locations, starting with the area known as the Valley of the Thracian Kings (around Kazanlak), high up in the Central Balkan mountains between the peaks where Shipka and Buzludzha are — then in a follow up installment I will cover areas in North-east Bulgaria around Kavarna, Balchik and the Zlatni Piasaci (Golden Sands) resort.

So about the area around small towns (more like villages) outside of Kazanlak there are plenty of dirt roads for you to explore between Kran, Enina, Shipka — you can see on this map:

And these photos:

near-Kazanlak    near-Kazanlak  BikingDirtRoadOutsideKran-1   

And next a few photos from the road from Shipka to Buzludha (a near by peak of the Balkan mountain range) — the road itself is not heavily traveled and allows for a good bike ride of about 6-8km and if you continue back down to the valley you will come out on the main road that links Shipka, Kran and Kazanlak.

near-Buzludzha biking-Buzludzha

If you get a chance you should definitely consider biking in this region.  Then of course sample some of the great food and see the historic Thracian Tombs.

Travel Notes in Photos

Today I am going to digress from my bike related postings and put together a photos only based summary of my recent trip to Agra, India.  Probably many of you are familiar with Agra as the location of the famous Taj Mahal. There are many writeups about the Taj Mahal, so I decided to focus on giving you a view of the place via a set of photos….After all 'a picture is worth a thousand words…'

Agra, Taj Mahal Agra Taj Mahal Agra, Taj Mahal Courtyard Agra, the Taj Mahal Agra Taj Mahal Entrance Agra Taj Mahal