What is your earliest awesome memory on the bike, when you knew you would be hooked?
My parents were avid cyclotourists before I was born. They lived in Boston and would spend their weekends riding centuries together, always exploring new routes and stopping for food at small restaurants along the way. In a cold December in 1988, my mom rode one particularly hilly century a few days before I was born, just to make sure the sport would stick with me. When I was very young, my dad and I would sit in the driveway and tinker with bikes, and before long I was charging up the steep hill at the end of Rose Lane, until one day I finally made it to the top without having to dismount and walk. Bicycles were a constant companion after that, always with me in one form or another.
What is your favorite part about living in Austin and riding bikes? What are a few "locals only" tips you have either riding, coffee, bike shop, etc wise?
The weather, even though it's the first thing you take for granted when you've lived here more than one season. A lot of folks here have flexible schedules and can work remotely, so you'll often see a group of 6 to 8 of us out on a Tuesday morning for a long road ride.
Traffic is a constant concern here, and bike/car interactions have been increasingly on the dangerous side recently. Planning the timing of rides, as well as the direction of the loops we do, has become more important than ever. However, if you get the timing right, you can roll from your favorite coffee shop (shoutout to Flitch Coffee on Tillery!) and be out on country roads in 30 minutes.
The swimming holes are abundant in Central Texas--it's not a real summer road ride here without a dip in the chilly waters of Barton Creek or a backflip off the boathouse at Common's Ford Park. You gotta go to Fresa's for a cold brew horchata when it's really hot out. And last but not least, we get to race road bikes every Thursday from March to October at the Driveway Bike Race series, where anyone can spectate for free and enjoy a beer courtesy of a local brewery--just don't forget the homemade popsicle cart manned by the talented folks from Cold Ones!