Winter break in Texas
Jordan here, checking in with a quick update from Sklar’s Montana HQ. Big thanks to those who patiently waited for their orders while I was out – your understanding is deeply appreciated.
I recently took a breather from the shop to soak up the warm Texas winter with friends and family. Of course, my SuperSomething came along for the ride and was the perfect tool for savoring the riding that the Texas hill country has to offer.
Pedaling around Austin on the SuperSomething gravel bike was an absolute blast. Linking up neighborhood trails, cruising city bike paths, and taking my daily dip in Barton Springs, my gravel bike handled it all with style and ease. Before moving to Bozeman, I had called Austin home for more than a decade and it was the place in which I was first introduced to the cycling lifestyle. After my first "big" road ride on Shoal Creek with the UT cycling team, I was swept away by the sense of community I had stumbled into with my little group of lycra clad pals. Austin and its cycling scene have grown exponentially since those days, and not without its fair share of growing pains, but it still holds a special sense of nostalgia for me every time I visit.
One shop that has ridden the choppy waves of Austin's rapid growth and somehow managed to stay true to its roots as an alt-cycling community hub is East Side Pedal Pushers. I was lucky enough to join along on the infamous Pinche Pedal Pushers Thursday ride that has developed a weekly following of riders who have a special appreciation for the rare delights of underbiking. Rolling from the shop after sunset, we zipped through dark singletrack and splashed across flooded gravel pits, dodging patches of poison ivy under the Texas moonlight. We ended the ride with burgers, beers, and stories at the Live Oak Brewery southeast of town. The ever-expanding Austin bandit trail network made every twist and turn especially thrilling, illuminated only by our headlights.
The next weekend was promising some fantastic riding weather so plans were hatched for a big day out. I’ve got to give a grateful shoutout to my friend Nick Ybarra whose photos are featured here and who looped me in on the group chat. We managed to cover all of the area’s greatest gravel hits in a single ride. Starting from the small town of Elgin we took some very rough and rocky roads out to the Whoop Stop in Paige. We then headed west to connect Gottier Trace to Park Road 1c and closed the loop with a rip on my personal favorite road in the area, Old Sayers. Eighty miles later we were back at our pickup truck in Elgin where we loaded up and drove into Austin for some Veracruz tacos. I couldn't help but appreciate how my SuperSomething excelled on every surface – a true trusty companion, the perfect gravel bike.
Wishing you the absolute best this holiday season and hope you’re enjoying the ride wherever you may be!