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Thread: Local trail suggestions for beginners?

  1. #1
    MoJo Priest professoratx's Avatar
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    Question Local trail suggestions for beginners?

    Greetings! I've recently just gotten back into riding and started rolling around Brushy Creek a bit. My wife learned to ride a bike about a month ago and has been practicing on the paved trail. She is still getting comfortable on the bike - things like standing up are being worked on right now. I've had her ride only the very basic singletrack sections around brushy.

    Question - is there another park or trail we can try out that has maybe some easy, wide smooth off road trails? Maybe a mix of fire-roads and simple loops?

    I've done tons of internet research - I'd like to avoid a bad experience as she continues learning. Looking for some valuable insight from the community here.

  2. #2
    MoJo Mother Superior Cafeend's Avatar
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    Awesome. If your wife is that fresh on a bike I would suggest Williamson County Park off Sam Bass over there. Crushed granite paths. No hills. No rocks. Nothing to make her wreck and hate biking. Then move on from there as the comfort levels increase.
    Enjoy

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  3. #3
    MoJo Friar Austin Ridge Riders's Avatar
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    If you are north, try Walnut Creek or Balcones Parks. Walnut has a map that shows the Green Circle trails that would be appropriate for your wife. Stay off the Black Diamond trails. It is a judgement call on the Blue Square trails. Some would be fine. Some would not be good for her.

    Mid town try Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike trail, Southern Walnut Creek Trail and the Lance Armstrong Bikeway. All easy trails but some are paved.

    If you are south, try Mary More Seawright (sp?) Guerrero Park to Lady Bird Lake or the South Austin Trail Network (SATN). PARD has a map to and around Mary Moore at ArcGIS Web Application . You will need a guide for SATN.

    Recommend you have her join the Ride Like a Girl program. Awesome way for women to learn, meet friends and riding buddies and see new trails. Post up if you want more info.
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  4. #4
    Hugh Jass MrMentallo's Avatar
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    I'd try Southwest Williamson County Regional Park. Lot's of flat and easy stuff out there and a great place for beginners.
    Walnut Creek is another place to learn at. What more advanced (for her) stuff there is is marked and easily avoidable. Look at meetup.com for group rides that are beginner or no drop. Your wife may also be interested in the RLAG (Ride Like A Girl) meetups as those can be great places for learning too.
    If you are in South Austin, hit up Slaughter Creek. Plus I'm sure that the South Austin Trail Network people will chime in soon. Lots to be ridden there too.

  5. #5
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    SATN has mellow routes that I used to ride on a cyclocross bike, and it has super-rocky stuff that is fairly difficult. You would want a guide to show you how to connect the easy stuff. Slaughter Creek has some tricky sections and it's a no-brainer to navigated (one loop, always ridden clockwise, with one secondary loop).

    Edit: SC is good for someone with moderate bike-handling skills who wants a challenge but not a navigation nightmare. Someone who has just started riding is NOT going to have a good time here.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 03-24-2017 at 10:49 AM.

  6. #6
    MoJo Mother Superior FJsnoozer's Avatar
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    Town lake, Then go to brunch at Cenote on east cesar chavez.

    Any beginner can handle the distance of the full townlake loop (10mi). You will have to learn the route between pleasant valley and the north side where it reconnects and squiggles around the ballfields. Just ride under the arches and through the little league baseball fields and you shouldn't get lost.

    You can get more adventurous and go through the tunnel under through Kreig fields and into roy guerro park.

    South walnut creek offers a natural feel on a paved wide path It offers up to a 16? mile out and back.
    Southern Walnut Creek Hike & Bike Trail - East Austin is Home

    Walnut Creek metro park is also an appropriate place to take a first timer. Point 6 and Log loop are very beginner appropriate trails. If anything is too scary for her, you can always ride the newly paved path to the end and back which will head down to mopac before turning around.


    Out of all of these, I would just recommend going and exploring walnut creek with her and or doing the Sunday ride with Austin Ridge riders at walnut creek that can be found on meetup.com The group dynamic will take some pressure off of you.

  7. #7
    MoJo Priest professoratx's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions! The plan was to work up to RLAG and ARR sunday rides, sounds like we'll be exploring a few of these parks in the meantime.

  8. #8
    MoJo Mother Superior Tree magnet's Avatar
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    I totally second the RLAG suggestion. It is generally conducive to a happy marriage to try and teach your wife how to ride (experience talking). Things go SO much smoother when she's in a group of like minded people that understand her fears and skills. Once she rides with those ladies a few times, you'll find yourself watching her for tips.

  9. #9
    MoJo Priest Repth's Avatar
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    Walnut Creek. Point Six loop will drop you off at the paved trail, then ride that over to the Inner Log Loop (which will be on the left side of the concrete path). Point Six is essentially totally flat. Inner Log Loop is up and down but in long, mostly straight sections. Both of them are about as beginner friendly as a trail gets without just riding around in an open field.
    Ride it like you stole it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJsnoozer View Post
    Town lake, Then go to brunch at Cenote on east cesar chavez. Drink a draft Hops and Grain Zoe
    Fixed it for you.

    Sounds like the same situation I had with my wife. Trying to show her how much fun biking can be before she hurts herself!

    My wife loved the Town Lake Loop. It isn't mountain biking of course, but it really is a wonderful experience, and hey! your on a bike. Same idea with Southern Walnut. A positive biking experience. Riding it makes you feel like you are out in the country. Very relaxing.

    I won't pimp the SATN here because it's too difficult to lay out a course that has any length that has no problems for a beginner. I will say that the ARR Meetup groups enjoyed their rides on it because nice long beginner routes can be planned. And it sounds like you live north, so it's a long way to come.

    And another vote for getting her involved with RLAG. Then she can't blame you for making her try something that she fell on!

  11. #11
    MoJo Mother Superior FJsnoozer's Avatar
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    Here is a old beginner loop I created for a mother and her young kids. They really enjoyed this loop.
    https://www.strava.com/routes/3992773


    It has 3 rock gardens that are 20 feet long that she can walk or you can use as a coaching opportunity. The only edit I would make is to OBEY the signs and do not enter the veloway where it says not to. You can enter near the Bowie highschool entrance (look for the sign with the picture of Wine that says no glass containers. I took my mother in law through here on her 3rd ride ever and we did 18 miles by going north to Dick Nichols!



    When I started riding with my wife, I took a different approach and rented her a Trek top fuel 9.8 and we went to the greenbelt, rode the bottom of TrU and the maintrail back to zilker. Its ok to ride hard stuff and session obstacles instead of avoiding anything difficult. My wife now races and won mellow johnnies classic Cat 2. She is my best shredding buddy and keeps up better than any other male family member or friend I have who is not also a racer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Slaughter Creek has some tricky sections and it's a no-brainer to navigated (one loop, always ridden clockwise, with one secondary loop).
    I just got back from riding Slaughter Creek Trail with my wife. She told me I was nucking futs for thinking that was a beginner friendly trail. She said she thought I was trying to kill her the first time I took her there. And that was before it eroded and the ledges get bigger.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJsnoozer View Post
    Here is a old beginner loop I created for a mother and her young kids. They really enjoyed this loop.
    https://www.strava.com/routes/3992773


    It has 3 rock gardens that are 20 feet long that she can walk or you can use as a coaching opportunity. The only edit I would make is to OBEY the signs and do not enter the veloway where it says not to. You can enter near the Bowie highschool entrance (look for the sign with the picture of Wine that says no glass containers. I took my mother in law through here on her 3rd ride ever and we did 18 miles by going north to Dick Nichols!
    There's a good SATN ride. Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by cxagent View Post
    I just got back from riding Slaughter Creek Trail with my wife. She told me I was nucking futs for thinking that was a beginner friendly trail. She said she thought I was trying to kill her the first time I took her there. And that was before it eroded and the ledges get bigger.
    I agree that it is not beginner friendly. I rode it today too. Because of my new dropper post I was able to clear everything today never dabbing. I've cleared every feature before, but not all in the same ride. But like FJsnoozer said, it never kills my wife to get off and walk things.
    Last edited by The Tip; 03-23-2017 at 06:59 PM.

  14. #14
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    Just re-read the first post. If she just learned how to ride a bike, stay far, far away from Slaughter Creek!

    I would ride Town Lake and maybe Walnut.

  15. #15
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    Oops double post.

  16. #16
    MoJo Priest professoratx's Avatar
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    Update: We made it around Point Six loop a few times at Walnut, I think we might have gotten in yalls way a few times so apologies, but it was an excellent trail to learn on thanks!

  17. #17
    MoJo Mother Superior crazyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by professoratx View Post
    Greetings! I've recently just gotten back into riding and started rolling around Brushy Creek a bit. My wife learned to ride a bike about a month ago and has been practicing on the paved trail. She is still getting comfortable on the bike - things like standing up are being worked on right now. I've had her ride only the very basic singletrack sections around brushy.

    Question - is there another park or trail we can try out that has maybe some easy, wide smooth off road trails? Maybe a mix of fire-roads and simple loops?

    I've done tons of internet research - I'd like to avoid a bad experience as she continues learning. Looking for some valuable insight from the community here.
    I would focus on the brushy creek hike and bike main trail before going off road. Once she is good on a completely flat surface, brushy creek has a ton of mileage to the east that is flat offroad.

    Where do you live?

  18. #18
    prodigal son of Austin Teamsloan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clsmyth View Post
    Also, I hope RLAG has a slow, no-drop (e.g. nobody gets left behind) group. Otherwise it might not be a great experience for her, unless she's pretty quick already.
    To my knowledge, if RLAG was any more beginner friendly they would be literally teaching people to ride bikes in the parking lot.
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  19. #19
    MoJo Pope Ganderson's Avatar
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    I love my wife to death but I'm so glad she has no interest in mountain biking. I think it'd be cute at first but would get old real quick.
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  20. #20
    Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah mack_turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ganderson View Post
    I love my wife to death but I'm so glad she has no interest in mountain biking. I think it'd be cute at first but would get old real quick.
    Yup. I would enjoy a stroll around Town Lake with my favorite lady, but mountain biking would make her hate me.

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