Austin on two wheels – West
by Al Pastor
Early morning ride pointed West, on the eve of the second weekend of ACL Fest. Pleasant chill of a morning, humid with a slight drizzle, no wind to speak of.
A little Fartlek interval training, fast than medium to slow, a continuing loop of exhausting attempts, intermittent work then rest. The optimum ratio is said to be 20 seconds “on,” 10 “off,” what’s known as, I believe, the Takata Protocol, developed originally for Japanese speed skaters and now widely embraced by other sports, for good reason. Much more on that shortly.
The “Vardon Flyer,” an aging Raleigh Technium, has only just consented to allow me to ride it without gripping the handle bars. We’re keeping it to a minimum. On the road, one can’t help but note the menace of jaw-clanking potholes and missing water main lids, especially at night. The one below caught my attention. It’s directly across from the UT married student housing complex on Lake Austin Boulevard. Nasty bit of hazard.
Last weekend the area around Zilker Park, the site of ACL Fest, was positively thick with cyclists, pedicabs and pedestrians. Barton Springs Road bisects the park. It was otherwise closed to motorized vehicular traffic, bursting at the seams as the music raged. Directly across the street from the ACL main entrance, a small field, regularly favored by rugby players and Frisbee types, has again been converted to bike parking. Fifteen neat rows of bike racks, 15 across. Each rack with a slot to accommodate 15 bikes. Here’s one of the ‘before’ photos. I also took several of the approach to the festival at low tide.