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Cyclocross in Austin

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in Activities |

  A  zigzagging course is taped off in a local park. Pop-up canopies displaying the names of bike shops and teams and brands are clustered in one area, and–even though it’s mid-morning–some folks are drinking beer. Spectators of all ages are scattered along the course, with a large crowd up under the trees and canopies, seeking shade on another hot Austin day. An announcer says something about a “pineapple hand-up,” compliments a racer on a less-than-smooth negotiation of a pair of barriers, thanks a local bike shop for their contribution to the event, and reminds those in attendance that the “Under 10” race is coming up. The sense of camaraderie is...

Team Mighty Fine Cycling

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Local Clubs |

Riding a bicycle on the road means many things to many people. It’s a lovely way to experience both the countryside and the cityscape. It’s a form of exercise that ranges from easy spins to competitive races. It’s a great way to get around if you don’t have (or don’t want to use) a car. And, believe it or not, it can be a fun way to combine group exercise and fundraising for charities. Fundraising rides are more common than you might think. The list of charity rides in central Texas on the Austin Cycling Association’s website includes 64 events in 2014, falling in every month of the year...

Tough Cookie Fitness

Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Local Businesses |

Women are different from men. About 40 years ago, that statement might have drawn quite a bit of fire, for there was a time when gender differences were believed to be socially constructed, and thus essentially fabricated. But as research has continued over the last few decades, we have come to understand that the biological distinctions between men and women are at the base of social and cultural behaviors. Sports have a long tradition of separating males and females for competition, probably because, in the setting of physical endeavors, it is impossible to ignore the biological basis for performance differences between the genders. While some sports, such as gymnastics,...

Brian Riley

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Everyday, Recreationalists |

  For the last several years, major news organizations have placed Austin somewhere towards the top in their lists of bike-friendly cities in the United States. While Austin cyclists might add a word of caution regarding safety on Austin roadways, in general they feel a lot of pride for the local cycling culture. The stalwart commuters, the intense roadies, the activist critical-massers, the fixie hipsters, the earnest triathletes, the waggish cyclocrossers, the easy-going mountain bikers, the gravity-defying BMXers—all these cyclists and more make up an eclectic community of people who pedal. Even so, Austin’s cycling culture cannot hope to rival that found in certain areas of the globe. For...

Tejas Trails

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Local Businesses |

  The Sami people of northern Scandinavia and Russia have 180 words for snow and ice. After all, in that climate, there are many important distinctions to be made, tied to the day-to-day experience of and survival in a wintry realm. The word “running” may not conjure up 180 possible meanings, but that activity certainly contains quite a number of differentiations, unified in their shared characteristic of ambulation. To be accurate, the term “run” does have a specific definition: moving fast enough that you never have both feet on the ground at the same time. But in the real world, a “run” is going to include things like speed-walking...

Slaughter Creek Trail

Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Locations |

THE ORIGIN OF THE TRAIL Remember learning about the water cycle in grade school? We were amazed to find out that the water we drink today is the same water that the dinosaurs drank. The self-recycling water cycle—as long as it doesn’t get screwed up by external factors like us humans—is a perpetual, closed, almost magical system for a resource that no living creature can do without. Here in Austin, the effectiveness of our local water cycle is constrained by our geology. The same limestone base loved by quarry and semiconductor-chip companies alike makes for a less-than-ideal natural filtering system for rain water. All that limestone is difficult for...