Friday, October 25, 2013

North Austin Social Bicycling!

Austin is a pretty unique city in many ways. People like to compare it to a lot of other places (Portland springs to mind), but we definitely have our own vibe down here. One of the things I love most about this city is how easy it is to find like-minded people to do stuff with, ergo - Social Cycling (or social kickball, or ultimate frisbee, or underwater basket weaving. Whatever floats your boat, really). But that said, Social Cycling Austin's rides are usually focused around the downtown area, east side, and south side of town. Meanwhile, I live up in the north. There ain't much going on up here, not because there's not stuff to do, but because people from south of the river like to refer to north Austin as "South Dallas," among other equally unwelcome and snarky remarks.

Enter North Austin Social Bicycling, the most welcoming bunch of people I've had the pleasure of riding bikes with in a hot minute! Their rides meet within a few miles of my house, which is an intensely pleasurable sensation. As I've been in recovery recently, I'm really not as fast as I once was and it's nice to know that IF I have to bail, I'm not 25 miles across a shitload of hills from my house.

The NASB has a Tuesday Night Ride that meets at Balcones Park at 12017 Amherst Drive, 78727 around 7 o'clock. It is no-drop, and they really, genuinely mean it. The ride we did was a total of about 12 miles, and the whole ride periodically stops so that everyone can catch up.

Because these are smaller rides than the biggies done by Social Cycling Austin, there's a bit more of a local feel, but all are genuinely welcome. There's a lot of cross-pollination among social cyclists in Austin and even though my first time riding with them was a couple weeks ago, there were familiar faces.

Ready to roll out.
The rides themselves follow a familiar formula - meet at a park, hang out, bike to a park, hang out, then head to a local watering hole for some beers and camaraderie. It's a good time, everyone's nice, and the rides are fun. If you live in the north Austin area and like to bike, there's no reason NOT to come chill with the Hammerheads.

Gettin' some dranks at the Hideout

All photographs provided by the awesome folks of the NASB. If you want to come out and ride some bikes, more information can be found at their Facebook group, here.

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