It’s that South-by time of year again in Austin and with the great music, speakers and all of the parties comes gridlock and street closures making two-wheeled transportation your best option for quickly navigating your way to the most events. Here’s a few quick pointers to make cycling around the city during a festival easier.
1) If you don’t have a bike, there’s always the new, shiny B-cycles rentable at multiple stations downtown. There’s also a variety of rental options (check out AustinPost’s list here) and SXSW badge holders have access to Tern folders.
2) Accessorize. Lights and lock are required, helmet is a good idea and a bell can be useful for alerting the sea of pedestrians and cars that come with downtown during SX.
3) Keep an eye out for those aforementioned cars and pedestrians, they’re not always looking for you.
4) Stay off the sidewalks. We know, its tempting to take off past the gridlock, but sidewalks can be more dangerous than the bike lanes.
5) Signal, signal and yield. People are everywhere downtown, let them know what you’re doing by signaling and yield to the pedestrians.
6) Try to stick to bike-friendly routes. North to south has Nueces, Speedway through the Capital to Congress and San Jacinto. Keeping a few blocks south of 6th to travel east/west is usually slightly less crowded and there’s an easy bike-path crossing under I-35 by the Convention Center on 4th.
7) Lock up every time you leave your bike. There are a lot more bike racks downtown than in previous years – use them. Watch for no bike parking signs because sometimes they’ll remove your bike.
8) Go slow. No matter your wheels, it’s slow going but biking is still faster than walking or driving. The faster you go the harder it is to dodge the power partier on their cell phone stepping directly in your path.
9) Don’t ride drunk. You CAN still get a ticket for impairment on a bicycle. Plus it’s just not a good idea. Play it safe and take a pedicab instead.
10) Wanna get downtown and walk? Motorcycle parking is always free downtown, if you can find a space and CapMetro has several stops along key SX zones.
Have fun, ride safe and remember, CyclistLaw – we’ve got your back.