Now living in different areas of the U.S., these cyclists have been friends since elementary school. They challenged one another to finish a century gravel ride as motivation to improve their cycling. This was a first century for two of the friends and a first gravel century for the third.
Texas Bike Tours’ guide is experienced with gravel and has a personality blending well with the guests. Custom route created, SAG wagon outfitted including nutrition and beverages they preferred, and transport provided to the start in a small town outside of Austin.
The ride began.
Gravel rides include different types of roads to connect one gravel road to another.
Gravel rides give cyclists bucolic views with almost no traffic.
SAG wagon always close by and there when needed.
These friends cycled fast and caused a mini stampede of calves and their mother cows.
Century Gravel Ride finished! Read more here about our gravel rides.
This solo cycling experience began with a short email asking for SAG support on a one-day Austin to Houston bike ride.
From this beginning to the successful ride to Houston: together we created a plan, Joey the cyclist trained for the long ride, TXBT organized and prepared, and then the day came.
We met at 3 a.m. to begin the ride which meant hours of night cycling for Joey at the beginning.
And finally – more traffic on highways and city streets. No time for photography. We were both focused on cycling into and through Houston safely.
The happiest moment was seeing Joey cycling onto the driveway of his parent’s home where his family cheered him as he rolled in successfully achieving his goal.
It was a precious moment after a full 16+hour day. I savored the looks of joy on the faces of everyone rather than capturing the moment on film. Joey did the work. He was strong, smart and tenacious on the ride. Joey earned his victory and our forever-respect. An impressive guest.
Jodi wanted to give her finance, Steve, a memorable experience for his birthday. Steve introduced Jodi to road cycling and they often cycled together in a large metropolitan city. She wanted to surprise Steve with hill country road cycling; cronuts as a part of their nutrition in the SAG wagon as Steve missed ready access to this French-American pastry; and a romantic overnight stay in Wimberly.
TXBT created a cycling experience with a custom route. TXBT’s culinary director prepared cronuts and other delights for mid-ride breaks. TXBT SAG picked up Steve and Jodi in Wimberly and transported their personal bikes and gear to the start of the ride in Dripping Springs.
The ride began near a field of flowers.
A break mid-way surprised Steve with cronuts.
The ride continued to meander along hill country roads with local signage along the way.
Photography, SAG guidance and full-support while hill country road cycling, surprises from TXBT and transportation to and from the hotel in Wimberly were included in the experience.
Jodie texted later in the afternoon. “We had a wonderful ride…loved the scenery and rolling hills! Steve is still talking about it. “ Her happiness made us happy.
She began our conversation with “my husband and I have a trip planned to Fredericksburg, May 8-10 we are celebrating 13 years of marriage. He loves to cycle, me, well, I don’t even own a bike, that should tell you. Wanted to plan this for him so we can both cycle and since it’s our anniversary the romantic dinner sounds perfect.. we both love nature, so a nice ride would be perfect.” The most important component was them riding bikes together.
With Rubi’s input, we created a route that provided a small bit of interest for Pedro and was also peaceful enough to help Rubi feel safe. The route ended at a picnic spot that was private in a shaded area. Bikes were transported from Austin to Fredericksburg. We met at the local bike shop and Pedro was surprised when he realized this was a cycling and culinary experience created by Rubi for him.
Bike riding was a new thing for Rubi…and Pedro rode slowly to be by her side . Stops to rest a moment were needed; then Rubi was ready to go again. Towards the end of the route, Rubi hopped into the SAG wagon to give Pedro an opportunity to ride faster and be more daring. The picnic at the end was a love-fest rest for those two. Frankly, there was such a good feeling in the air that TXBT forgot to take photos of the picnic but do have a videos of them riding bikes together.
As TXBT was driving back to Austin after the ride, she texted “Thank you again for this beautiful experience. We enjoyed every minute of it, even the bad because it made for a good story to tell. Be safe on your way home.” The bad..well, Rubi was sick at one of the rest stops and didn’t let that stop her from getting right back on the bike to ride with Pedro. Impressive.
The brothers were having a first-time reunion since the pandemic 2020 began. The host brother in Austin wanted the week-end to be special for Eric. With David, we created a unique experience including “firsts” for the two of them. The guide chosen for the brothers provided the right yin/yang balance of support and challenge though-out the flow of the trails. After the ride, beers & sandwiches beside the water under the trees enhanced the camaraderie of the day together. Eric told David the mountain biking was A+.
Julie wanted personalized cycling and culinary experiences with John to celebrate his birthday. Over time we learned they were also celebrating his good health and that he was alive. Their love, faith and MD Anderson ensured John is with us today having survived a rare and deadly cancer diagnosed in 2018. Two years later, this couple is laughing and riding fast! His 5th check-up was an all-clear and they embraced adventure.
Day one included overnight storage of hired carbon, full-suspension mountain bikes with transportation to a MTB park outside Austin. The Texas Bike Tours (TXBT) guide created an easier route for the first two hours to include Julie and then the last two hours were fast-paced on technical challenges for John. TXBT SAG picked up picnic-table lunches for all and the experience ended with conversation and a good lunch in the park. Then, transportation back to their hotel in time to rest before their evening fun.
Day two began at a local bike shop for a custom-fit on carbon road bikes. For a more intimate cycling experience, we decided on self-guided. Turn-by-turn directions as well as a link to download the route to their personal devices were created for them. While cycling through the hill country just outside Austin, the culinary experience director (CED) for TXBT created an intimate picnic setting in the park. The menu was created based on John and Julie’s preferences. A personal chef prepared the edibles and the CED selected the drinkables. The cycling and culinary experience ended with just the two of them secluded under a tree observing the locals playing in our city park with the city skyline in view. They were happy and so we were happy.
Starla plans a BIG celebration for each new-decade birthday and for her 50th, she wanted a bike trip with her husband and friends. We settled on a bike ride to The Klenk Family Vineyard, tour of the vineyard with the owners and then lunch at the vineyard prepared by an Italian chef and served by his crew. TXBT provided transport back to the start so they could relax and enjoy a lazy afternoon off the bike.
The vineyard owners’ who are cyclists guided the bike ride through the countryside to the vineyard and there shared their stories of raising grapes, partnering with William Chris winery, and why they chose the hill country. Bottles of the wine produced by William Chris from the grapes grown in the vineyard were taken home by Starla & Shaun and their friends.
The terrain over which they cycled, being in the Texas Hill Country AVA terroir where the grapes are grown, and a scrumptious Italian lunch gave Starla the special celebration she desired and deserved for her birthday.
Eight cyclists wanted to explore Austin and road bike in the hill country outside of Austin and Fredericksburg. We rented high-end road bikes similar to their personal bikes, arranged for a custom-fit and practice ride of 20 miles to ensure the bikes were a perfect fit. The next day we rode 65 miles in the hill country outside of Austin and then moved to Frederickburg for five days of riding in the hill country for 55 – 65 miles per day. The TXBT guide for each ride was local to the area and high-speed experienced cyclist.
The routes included 65 miles outside of Austin ending at the Jester King Brewery. In Fredericksburg, routes included the Comfort Loop of 56 miles, Hill Top Cafe Loop of 50 miles, Enchanted Rock Loop of 50 miles, LBJ Ranch Loop of 56 miles, and Willow City Loop of 55 miles.
Castell in Llano County is located on the Edwards Plateau as a part of the Texas Hill Country. The Colorado and Llano Rivers flow over and through limestone. The Llano Uplift combined with erosional Paleozoic strata form prominent hills. Enchanted Rock is a part of the scenery as gravel roads meander through these sparsely populated old ranch lands. Jenna & Nick asked for 50 miles of gravel riding in the quiet countryside on flat to rolling roads that allowed them to enjoy nature with moments of adventure and impressive vistas. The TXBT culinary experience director prepared a picnic meal to enjoy at the end of the ride. Fun, fun for all. A gravel ride in the Lockhart area can be found at this link.
Frank requested a guided gravel & road ride for him and his wife with culinary stops and a beer at the end. We also found out they like BBQ and donuts as well as beer with a preference for less-traveled roads. As they are strong riders, they also requested 50 miles.
After a custom-fit at a local bike shop, the TXBT culinary experience director delivered handmade donuts, banana nut bread with a picnic set-up. We then took off to start the ride in the little town of Lockhart. With frequent connections with SAG for a break of good food and relaxation, the ride rolled through bucolic countryside where we were alone with cows, birds, prairie dogs, buzzards, song birds and peace prevailed. Maybe one pick-up truck each hour. Casual & carefree.
We ended the ride at a well-known BBQ spot in Lockhart with cold beer and reminisced about the day. Then, back to Austin with forever memories of a gravel day.
The family wanted to enjoy each others’ company as they became reacquainted by cycling together around Austin. As we know, the family that dines together, stays together. So a culinary experience at the end of the ride was requested.
We began with a custom bike-fit for guests with rented bikes. Then departed Hyde Park to reach the Walnut Creek Hike & Bike trail. Cycling through quiet neighborhoods to reach the prairie side of our city.
Off the streets and onto the Walnut Creek Hike & Bike Trail, we traveled on a rural ride via concrete paths through the flatland prairie on the east side of Austin. This trail runs through neighborhoods, followed by riding through “meadows” and then into the southern part of east Austin to Govalle Park. Meandering through east Austin neighborhoods, we saw where the creatives work and play. Riding past murals, art galleries, urban farms, traditional Mexican homes and businesses, historic buildings, and construction…this is a part of Austin that is evolving right before our eyes as Clarksville and South Austin have in years past.
Crossing the Colorado, we reached the Butler Hike & Bike trail on the south side of Lady Bird Lake. This trail turns into the recently built Boardwalk. A beautiful view of the city while traveling on an artistic boardwalk with art celebrating Austin music embedded in the rails.
As the sun began to set, the guides lead the family to a historic park in the center of the city. There the TXBT personal chef awaited to serve a light early evening menu. The family toasted the good life and being together.
A custom 57-mile route to include the Willow City Loop. In creating the route, we took into consideration the group’s level of cycling experience, comfort with climbing hills and the desired duration of the ride. A local pathfinder aka guide rides with the group and SAG support is available. The two more casual cyclists were picked up at mid-point and driven back to the start with their bikes. The experienced pathfinder provides historical information, is prepared to change the route enroute if need be and is a good photographer. An interesting, charming, competent guide.Next Page »