The expert cycle surgeons at Bike World—one of whom was voted best bike mechanic by the San Antonio Current in 2010—are masters at nursing sick duocycles back to an optimal state of road-worthiness. The thorough tune-up involves adjusting the front and rear derailleurs and brakes, truing the wheels, lubing the cables and chain, and wiping down the frame with fancy white gloves. Once your bike is as finely tuned as an instrument made of baseball cards and spokes, feel free to blaze down trails, tracks, and undiscovered shortcuts to celebrities' houses with a renewed sense of fearlessness.
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.
The Florida Running Company, a store completely staffed by runners, finds people the fittingest shoes using a process similar to the one speed daters use to find future mates—taking measurements, assessing stance, and playing back video of them running on a treadmill. The shop carries top running-shoe brands such as Asics Gel Kayano ($140) and Nike Air Pegasus ($85). Runners can complement their kicks with Nike Tempo track shorts ($28) or swaddle their feet in a pair of Balega socks ($10), as soft and comforting as group hug from every grandmother on the block.
A humble personal blog can start a movement. Take Kash Shaikh's blog, for example. When he started it, he was a business executive traveling around the world. He poured his passion for writing into a travel blog that he dubbed #Besomebody. Not only did people read it?they began sharing tales about their own passions on Twitter, under the #Besomebody hashtag.
Today, Shaikh is the CEO of the #Besomebody movement, headquartered in Austin. His team's mission? To encourage people to pursue what they love, whether they're artists, athletes, or adventurers. Shaikh and his associates go about this in numerous ways, sometimes with gorgeous graffiti murals in locales from Dallas to Amsterdam, and sometimes with epic events. Their weekend-long 2014 conference features inspirational speakers such as an Olympic gold medalist and an ultra runner, both of whom followed their dreams without getting lost in the Nether, the land where nightmares are born.
Spokefly strives to make biking the most efficient way to get around town. Created and maintained by community members, the self-sustaining bike-sharing program harnesses the power of smartphone technology to put idle bikes to work in cities across the U.S. Through the Spokefly app, bike owners can list their unused bikes and earn money based on how often their bike is ridden. Riders, meanwhile, can rent bikes on demand.
After choosing their two-wheeled steed?which will be locked up at a nearby rack?riders simply unlock it, pedal it wherever they'd like, and then re-lock it on another rack. To ensure the process goes smoothly, Spokefly's app also has check-in and check-out features, enabling owners and riders to keep track of which bikes are available and which decided to go AWOL and get a job with the postal service.
Situated 30 minutes southwest of Austin, Twin Parks stuffs its spacious grounds with myriad active pursuits, wilderness-seizing opportunities, and comfortable country-clubish amenities. Two sprawling championship-level disk-golf courses dotted with ponds and meadows challenge casual and experienced disk-floaters alike and local forest fairies invisibly guide each disk to its target. Mountain-bike trails proffer dynamic routes for thick-tired enthusiasts and the remainder of the sprawling elk-studded grounds beckons campers and hikers to infuse their souls with natural beauty. Amenities abound within the clubhouse, from showers, a lounge, and a pro shop to indoor pursuits such as ping-pong and pool for players seeking to dodge excessive sun.