The mechanics at Lake Travis Cyclery tune bipedal transports in a well-stocked shop that supplies competitive road cyclists, mountain bikers, and casual riders with apparel and accessories. During each tune-up, technicians ensure the safe and effective stopping power of brakes using tool-equipped hands and intimidating crossing guards. The cycle physicians then adjust shifters and derailleurs and outfit chains with fresh layers of grease to create smooth gear transitions. After cleansing drive trains of gunk and grime, mechanics true all wheels as needed and expel any loitering dirt particles or hitchhiking chipmunks to reveal pristine frames.
Led by cofounders Dave Appel and Trey Steele, Cycle Camp USA's dedicated community helps riders navigate Austin's paved trails and push one another to extend personal limits and cover new ground. While working with students, Steele shares techniques that placed him among the top five in his age group at the North Carolina Triathlon Series. Avid racer and enthusiastic instructor Allison Atkinson also works with cyclists through CycleFit classes. The comprehensive training curriculum developed by Appel and his staff integrates a balance of core fitness pillars, such as heart rate, endurance, and maintaining speed when being pursued by coyotes on rocket skates. The community also encourages cyclists to test newfound abilities on destination trips, which pit packs of riders against picturesque ribbons of open road.
Barton Springs Bike Rental outfits fun seekers for bike rides across Austin's historic pathways and scenic landscapes. The shop dispenses single-speed beach cruisers to riders along with lights, baskets, locks, and access to roadside assistance in the event of a flat tire or never-ending parade of ducklings crossing the road. The crew's routes include the 90-minute Peace, Love & Zilker Tour—an easy jaunt past sights such as the Auditorium Shores, the old railroad bridge, and Barton Springs Pool—and the Congress Avenue Bat Tour, an evening trek to witness the world's largest colony of urban bats. Guides narrate the history and significance of local sights, giving guests plenty of opportunities to stop and snap pictures or refill their bicycle’s feedbag.
Since 1971, Freewheeling Bicycles has furnished cyclists with bikes from such notable names as Gary Fisher, Trek, and Electra as well as complementary parts and accessories. Before hopping on their two-wheeled transport and riding off into the sunset or silhouetting against the moon, riders can take advantage of a free tune-up offered with every purchase of a new bike and slide into apparel such as jerseys, shorts, and outerwear. The staff also lets customers test-ride bikes in their sizable parking lot.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
From Ironman athletes to recreational riders, owner Jack Murray and the team at Jack & Adam's Bicycles have the expertise to help customers meet their needs. Staff members go above and beyond to make sure that each customer is satisfied with his or her bike. The shop also allows customers to take their new bike on a two- to three-day test ride to ensure compatibility, and it stocks a wide variety of bike components and accessories to enhance the journey.
For a city so far from the coast, Austin has a lot of waterways. Austin Paddle Sports takes advantage of this, setting up shop on Lady Bird Lake in Downtown Austin. There, they offer sales and rentals of stand-up paddleboards from the likes of Riviera Paddlesurf and Quickblade Paddles.
For those new to the quickly growing sport, Austin Paddle Sports uses entry-level equipment stable enough for a beginner, yet challenging enough for an experienced paddler. Staff is always available for a few tips to keep students from forgetting which muscles are needed for standing.