triman (triman) wrote,

Ride from Round Rock

 I did my first ride home from the office this evening, and will be riding back in the morning. It took me longer to find the gym, get changed and get going than I expected, so it was already starting to cool off and the sun was starting to set when I left Round Rock at 4:54pm

I'd mapped the route out using Google maps, but really I should have driven it first. I got a bit lost on Wells Branch Parkway and went the wrong way. In my rush to get back on schedule and on route I missed the turn to Thermal Drive and ended up cutting through an apartment complex.

Once I was on North Lamar it was plain sailing and pretty quick. Lamar isn't a great ride during the car commute, in fact if I just looked down at the road, it reminded me a lot of coming north out of central London on the A41/A1/A6, lots of cracks and holes in the pavement, lots of cars passing too close, lots of waiting at lights, but actually, if you are so inclined a very intense interval session. Stop at a light, sprint for the next light, if you make it keep going at 90% and then recover at the first light you don't make. So the general idea is to sit in the middle of the lane except when going up hill. That way you force the drivers to do a proper pass in the next lane, rather than squeezing by in your lane.

Once I got down to around the strip and UT on Gaudalupe, I decided that I could go fast enough on my bike in the traffic, and it was safer to travel in the left lane. Not sure what the motorists were making of me sprinting flat out in the left lane, but I was pretty much keeping up with the truck in front, certainly not dropping back more than 30ft. The problem with this is you really have to stay alert, mostly becuase if the truck driver doesn't and slams on his brakes at the last minute, a 10-ton truck stops a lot quicker with power assisted, fluid brakes than I can, really don't fancy face planting the back of a truck. So 20-30ft is the optimal distance and pay attention. 

Much better that, than on the right lane, where people are turning out of side roads and can't see you, don't look, pedestrians step off the kirb not leaving enough time to safely stop, and worst of all, drivers on their mobile/cell phones turning right across in front of you without either looking or thinking. I wouldn't suggest riding in the middle of the left lane unless you can do 23-30 MPH otherwise you'll incur the wrath of the car drivers.

Total distance for the ride, including wrong turns: 22-miles. Actual time: 85-mins, Ride Time: 68-mins, AMPH:19.4

Of course, its mostly downhill. The most fun part was trying to beat all the lights down Gaudalupe from the Drag across onto the South 1st Bridge. I never made the 1st light, narrowly missing it, but made all the others all the way to Chavez.

Going to do the same course in reverse in the morning. It will be MUCH colder, but I'm sure I'll be ok once I get a shower at the office gym. Next time I bike home, I'm going to try Metric from Howard Lane to 183 and then Burnet to 38th and then decide  if I'm going down Lamar to Barton Springs, or via Gaudalupe. Fun commuting ahead. I plan to ride to the office and back twice per week through at least May if I can.

Tags: austin, commute, cycling, training
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