There’s no denying that Austin is a bike-friendly city. We’ve got the Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake, plenty of bike lanes and even one of the few defensive cycling courses in the nation…just in case you end up with a big, fat cycling ticket.
But even in such a friendly city, sometimes cyclists just need their own space. Luckily, Austin provides that too with the Veloway.
The Austin Veloway is a pavement sanctuary in far south Austin that loops for a total of 3.1 miles. It’s open to only cyclists and skaters, meaning no cars and no foot traffic. The loop winds through Slaughter Creek Metropolitan Park, which looks an awful lot like the more remote areas of Texas Hill Country.
Both the casual cyclist and the competitive racer can enjoy the Veloway. It’s conducive to going just the pace you want. The one-way loop is split into two lanes like a regular street would be, allowing faster riders to pass the slower ones. I always see a mix of people when I go, from kids with training wheels to cyclists decked out in spandex with fancy (and expensive) sets of wheels. The route is fairly flat with only one major uphill stretch, and several shortcuts if you don’t feel up to the full 3.1 miles.
A few pointers: there are no bathrooms at the Veloway, so I’d try to take care of your business before you go. Of course, you aren’t too far away from some South Austin businesses if the need arises. There is a water fountain, but I try to bring a couple of bottles to drink as I ride. I’d recommend you do the same.
As far as the best time to go, I’m not sure there is one. I’ve never found the Veloway so busy that it affected my riding, but I can imagine the trail could fill up on a nice summer day. When I go out, I like to arrive early on a Saturday or Sunday morning and put in several laps. It’s a great way to get some exercise and start your day right. Afterwards, I go find a good taco and coffee spot. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Austin Veloway Details
4900 La Crosse Ave. Austin, TX 78739
What is your favorite bike route in the Austin area?
Joseph Dowdy is a native Austinite and avid outdoorsman who can regularly be found paddling Lady Bird Lake, running the Hike and Bike Trail or biking around town. Between outings, he works full time at ACK.com on their marketing team and blogs regularly for the ACK Blog.