Austin, Texas – Biking, BBQ, and Bats

We spent a little over a week in Austin, Texas, at the Austin East KOA. This was a great park a little outside of Austin, but near biking and not far from shopping.

Our Site at Austin East KOA

Biking Around Austin

The Southern Walnut Creek Trail

The Southern Walnut Creek Trail is not too far from the KOA. We parked at the Austin Tennis Center Access Point and were able to ride to downtown Austin. This trail takes you through some beautiful scenery. Once you get to the downtown area, the trail goes along East 5th street into downtown.

We found Austin to be an incredibly safe, bike-friendly city, and we only scratched the surface of biking to do there. We had wanted to ride along the Colorado River, however, that trail is a busy trail for pedestrians.

Sights Around Austin

Mello Johnny’s Bike Shop

If you’re into cycling then a stop at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop is a must. In addition to a wide selection of bikes, equipment, and apparel, they also have a display of Lance Armstrong’s yellow jerseys from his seven Tour de France victories from 1999 to 2005.

I know, he was stripped of these titles. However, this is probably the closest most cyclists will ever get to actually seeing the famous yellow jersey in person. And Lance certainly did a lot for the growth of the sport in America.

Mike with three of the yellow jerseys.

Brushy Creek Regional Trail

Another great trail is the Brushy Creek Regional Trail in Round Rock. The surface of this trail is both paved and crushed gravel. While the trail is just under eight miles long, it goes along some very scenic areas and is worth the drive from Austin.

We parked at the Twin Lakes Park in Cedar Park where there are facilities and a large parking lot.

Terry Black’s BBQ

While we did a lot of riding, we also wanted to try the local cuisine. Terry Black’s BBQ came highly recommended by tourists and locals alike. They have three locations, and we chose the Austin location for our Texas BBQ experience.

This joint sells BBQ by the pound, so choose wisely. They set their price based on the daily market price, and while it is delicious, it can add up quickly. We shared a plate with three pork ribs and one beef rib, with baked beans & baked potato salad. Our bill, with tea, was over $100.

You go through the line (cafeteria style), and you cannot have someone from your party reserve your table until you have your food. Depending on the time of day, the line can be quite long. They do have lots of seating, both indoor and outdoor, but as you can see from the pictures, it’s busy.

All in all, we enjoyed our meal. However, we’d probably skip the beef rib and go with the brisket next time.

Austin’s Bats

Take a walk across the Congress Avenue Bridge and you’ll find the area for watching Austin’s Bats. The Statesman Bat Observation Center is where you’ll want to be to see one of the largest bat populations in the world as they leave each night to feed.

This nightly event happens from late spring to early fall. There are even local bat-watching cruises so you can get an up-close look at the bats. The website link above has all the details to make your bat experience the best it can be.

I attempted to get a video of the bats, but the glare from the city lights made it difficult to get a good I-phone video. After the fact, we found out that it is best to view the bats during a full moon, so if you’re lucky enough to be there at the time, you may have a better experience.

Our tip: bring a picnic and chairs or a blanket, and plan to be there until past dark.


We loved our time in Austin! This is a great city to explore by bike or on foot. Definitely go if you get the chance.

Next up: We’re off to Waco! We found out there’s more to Waco than Magnolia Table and the Silos.

We’re Mike & Jennifer Skinnell, and together we are The Rambling Quilter. We travel the country full-time in our 41ft. fifth-wheel pulled by our F-350 – affectionately named Beauty & The Beast. Mike still works part-time, and Jennifer writes our blog, travel articles, and contemporary fiction. Our blog is purely for information and entertainment purposes. However, if you’d like to support Jennifer’s writing career, her author link is below.


  1. Love this! I always like reading about bike trails. That barbecue sounds expensive to me. Here I get a giant pork steak (enough for 2 meals) with a side for $14. I was once a fan of Lance Armstrong – I even read his book, “It’s not About the Bike.” I remember liking the book. He did do a lot for the sport. I hope we’ll visit Austin sometime and ride bikes there, too. Probably won’t get the BBQ though. Thanks for your post, and safe travels!

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