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Surprise 13th Anniversary Gift for Cyclist Husband

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.

Continuing the LoveBird Roll Cycling together

Cycling 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.

 

 

Wolfish Brothers MTB Through a Ranch

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+.

Rolling out for the ride

Mountain Biking through water

Birthday Surprise – Two Days of Road Cycling

To surprise Brian, Theresa asked TXBT to create two-days of cycling out of Fredericksburg. We also recommended a romantic dinner for two in a private garden.  After learning of Brian’s preferences in cycling, we planned two routes with full SAG support. The routes were customized to allow for conversation while they rode together and also present a little bit of a challenge with beautiful views.

Also, Theresa asked that we secretly transport their personal gear to Fredericksburg. Brian would not know about the cycling or culinary experiences until he visited Jack & Adams Bicycles in Fredericksburg and found his personal bike there. He was so surprised! It was a delight.

Read more in Theresa’s blog posts.

Your Guide to Texas Hill Country Cycling

 

Fredericksburg’s Finest Restaurant is…a Greenhouse

Celebrating Beating the Odds

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.

Mountain Biking Start Austin Texas

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.

Self-guided road cycling Texas Bike Tours

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.

 

Intimate picnic after road bike ride

 

Grandparents Gift an Experience to the Family

Nan let us know that she and Joel wanted to spend a day of their visit to Austin cycling with their daughter, her husband and the children. Everyone enjoys riding a bike and with a focus on the grandchildren, the route should be casual, safe and fun. Along the route, the TXBT culinary experience director would create alfresco dining for lunch in a gazebo. Fun and yummy!

The family had personal bikes but no transport ability. TXBT trailer picked up the bikes at the family home along with a child’s trailer for the little one. We all met at a park to begin the ride. There was excitement in the air with the children laughing and talking. We snapped a photo at the start.

From there we rolled on trails, through parks, along a cliff edge, up and then down across a flowing stream to arrive at the gazebo. The chef awaited our arrival with a gourmet lunch that delighted everyone. After lunch the children skipped stones in the creek, climbed big rocks and pondered climbing a tree. We returned to the start just in time for a nap at home – parents, grandparents and the guide wanted a nap too.

 

picnic on a bike ride skipping stones on a bike ride

 

 

Earth, Grapes, Bikes & Epicurean Delights

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.

 

Gravel Ride in TX Hill Country

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. 

Off-Road Cycling as Yin Yang Duality

Oftentimes, family and friends want to share an experience together, but have different levels of expertise. This off-road bike experience is designed to be as accessible for the novice as it is engaging for the advanced mountain biker. Every trail is approached as the product of opposing forces, containing technical lines for the thrill seekers alongside flow sections that will excite and inspire every member of the group.

TXBT crew meets you at the head of the trail with your rental bikes. First, a custom-fit of your mountain bike to ensure safe, carefree cycling. Then two hours of trail riding on a route selected to accommodate the guests’ level of experience and fitness. Your pathfinder is an experienced guide and off-road cyclist. Their care & concern combined with expertise & experience ensure an enjoyable ride for riders of all skill levels.

At the end of the ride, we celebrate your success and enjoy the afterglow of a good day on the trails!

TXBT pathfinder Adam quote: “The elements shape and define every trail in opposition to the terra firma; we ride the contours, finding flow along the fault line, traversing the boundary between the natural and human forces that create our landscape.”

Gravel, Donuts, BBQ & Beer

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.

Cycling Orientation to Austin

Our guests on this ride said that they enjoy getting oriented when they first visit a city by cycling around and taking as much in as they can. Riding through city streets, gravel trails, boardwalks and bridges, we journeyed through nature, historical sights and novel attractions to learn how Austin uniquely fits into Texas.

This tour begins with a custom-fit on bikes at Mellow Johnny’s bike shop to ensure carefree cycling. Moving towards the hill country, we find an internationally recognized BMX monument, a project dedicated to street art, and the fading of bustling downtown as nature drowns out the city.

In South Austin, we highlight the rich history of the old plantation land and feel how it differs from North Austin. Unusual shops, places to eat, eclectic homes and a Franciscan monastery frame the ride as we transition from quiet neighborhoods to South Congress to East Austin.

Riding alongside the Colorado River, we trace a network of roads and trails through a special part of East Austin on our way to the capitol and the University of Texas. We always keep an eye out for an enticing food truck and are full of recommendations for brief stops and refreshments along the way. The last leg of the journey is a downhill roll past houses from the 1800’s as we return to where we began.

Texas Hill Country Ride

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.

Austin First Timers’ Delight

With sights set on history, nature, and food trucks, our guests were excited to get on bikes and explore Austin for the first time. A lovely group of ladies, these guests were looking to enjoy a well-rounded cycling experience in the heart of Austin, Texas.

This tour begins with a custom-fit on bikes at Mellow Johnny’s bike shop to ensure carefree cycling. From the bike shop, a quiet neighborhood built in the 1800’s beckons us onward for a rich taste of a national historic place on the cusp of the hill country. Stories of race, acceptance, and vision flow out of the unique Clarksville area as we ride toward the Colorado river.

Functional art, an old railroad and a revamped power plant are waiting for us by the peaceful river as we cycle down. Standing over the water on a architecturally-astounding bridge, we take in Austin from all angles and see how the landscape all around has evolved over the years.

In the west we find nature uninterrupted by the teeming city life of Austin. Zilker Park marries a skyline vista with an open field to cycle through as locals rest and play on the fields. Gushing spring water flows from the Edwards Aquifer nearby, and after a splash of cool water on the face we enjoy a bite to eat at an iconic food truck park.

As we ride on, the quietness of South Austin is breathtaking. Super-modern homes are grafted into the old plantation lands and their cottage-style dwellings. White peacocks and an old herb store covered in foliage give way to the busy and bright entertainment district of South Congress Avenue. Food trucks dot both sides of the road as the spectacle of shopping and eating scrolls by.

With a quintessential view of the capitol, we head back into town through a shortcut in the east and pick out must-see spots for dinner and drinks later on. The ride continues north through the capitol grounds and the campus of The University of Texas where even more unique sights and stops can be found. Finally, we cycle back to the bike shop to end the day sated and satisfied with life.

 

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