Oh crap. Austin is on another top something or other list. We’re on tons of them, don’t you know.
This is quite likely the only one that relates to the great sport of cyclocross. After all, who actually races CX in Texas? A few of us anyway…so let’s get into some specifics.
Austin is one of three finalist cities selected by USA Cycling for Cyclocross Nationals in 2014-15. It’s a superior destination that’s different than many locales in recent years, and we think the unique nature of the Capital City will draw you in, too:
No. 1 – Austin is affordable.
Airfare is reasonable and we’re often direct from most major airports. What’s more, you can get to downtown on the bus with your fancy carbon bikes and wheelsets for a buck. Hotels range from affordable to chic and you’ll find breakfast tacos for under a dollar.
No. 2 – A true downtown CX course.
Zilker Park is the crown jewel in all of Austin. She lies in the middle of the city and sports great views of the growing Austin skyline. Something quite nice to look at when you’re anaerobic and want a distraction.
No. 3 – Mariachi bands and good Texas beer.
Nothing puts a smile on your face than the approaching melodies coming from a mariachi band on the top of a hill. Well, our seriously-great microbrews will likely do that, too.
No. 4 – You can’t beat the weather.
Average low? 41. Average high? 62. It can be cold and wet, and a sloppy course in Zilker would be great. But if it’s not, a fast, undulating, hilly and flowy course will be amazing, too. But no matter what, it will be spectator friendly for all.
No. 5 – Got kids? Your family (and significant other) will love it.
The Zilker Zephyr. Barton Springs Pool (in winter, really!). A huge playscape and park right off the course. Canoeing and paddling right there. A great children’s museum. Amazing boutique hotels and plenty of spas for the significant other. It’s a quality January destination.
No. 6 – Tilly loves Texas.
Current National Champ and World Champ. This guys knows CX and he’s told the world he’d like it in Austin.
No. 7 – Amazing food.
Tex Mex. BBQ. World-class sushi. Interior Mexican that would make a chihuahua break its chain. Austin reinvented the food trailer phenomenon and food seekers are partial to locally-owned institutions. If you dine at a chain you must be in the suburbs.
No. 8 – Live music capital of the world.
You can’t swing a rolled tubular in this town and not hit a musician or venue with live music. It’s everywhere, including on the course. Count on it.
no. 9 – Your roadie and MTB friends will love it, too.
2014 is a long way away, so you have plenty of time to start seeding your team with visions of winter training camps. There’s amazing trails right in town, and accommodations in the hill country for those roadies on your team who don’t race CX (those heathens!).
One item intentionally left off the list is an intense course with really cool features. I’d like to share more, but the locals are sworn to secrecy until plans are sorted. Just trust me – the design will utilize the best parts of the park for racers, spectators and promoting the growth of an emerging form of bike racing.
We hope y’all can make it if we get selected. You won’t regret a week in the Violet Crown, whether racing, cheering or both.
Hup! Hup! Hup!