Friday, August 14, 2009

Back from Austin

I really missed not having a bike in Austin. I didn't get to do any riding but I did get a chance to run around town. I made a return trip to Mellow Johnny's and picked up a t shirt for my eldest son and a new Livestrong wristband for my wife. Her old one was fading. I also stopped by the Whole Foods flagship store on Lamar and 6th Street. This place is huge and is worth a visit even if you're not buying groceries. I was astounded at the number of coffee houses that have sprung up in Austin over the past few years. I tried visiting Epoch a couple of times, since it's near the location I was staying, but the parking lot was full and the place was very crowded. I instead stopped off at one of my favorite spots, The Flighpath Coffee House. It looks like I had missed Lavanna who had been painting portraits of customers earlier that day.

By Lavanna Martin

I stopped at a cool little bike shop on North Loop called The Peddler. They had a couple of Long Haul Trucker frames and completes for sale as well as Breezers and other commuter type bikes. The place is tiny but had an eclectic mix of gear for sale such as Brooks Saddles, Minnehaha bags, and Soma fenders, mixed in with fixed gear stuff. I chatted with the guy behind the counter. When he found out where I was from he told me that he was making a trip to Frisco to take the certification course for the Superdrome velodrome. He also mentioned that they are preparing to move the shop to a much larger location at 51st and Duval. If I lived in Austin this would most likely be my bike shop.

I couldn't resist picking up this handmade cycling cap.

The red cloth on the underside of the bill is a nice touch.

I also bought my own Suntour freewheel removal tool. Doohicke lent me his. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the freewheel to budge. I don't own a vice so I thought about using a large, long handled pipe wrench that I aquired somehow. I thought twice about using the pipe wrench when I realized that it might chew up the metal on the borrowed tool. Now that I've got my own tool I'll give it a go.

Doohickie suggested that I use the skewer to keep the tool in place to avoid damaging the tool or the wheel.

Unfortunately I became ill on my last day in Austin. I initially thought it was just my allergies acting up, but as I sit here at home with bad congestion, a fever, and chills, I realize that it's something a little more severe. Hopefully I'll shake this off soon so I can get out and ride.


  1. Put a breaker bar on the biggest regular adjustable wrench you've got and leave the tire on so you get a better grip.

    Excellent post.

  2. Steve-Luckily The pipe wrench worked on the first try. Now I'm going to re-grease the hubs.

  3. I liked this post especially since I have never been to Austin. It was like taking a tour of Austin's cool spots, the kind that would make my day :)

    The Peddler shop seems to be a really nice one, especially if they have Minnehaha bags and lots of Brooks in store.

    So, thanks for a really nice post and welcome back!

    Peace :)

  4. Chandra-You really should make a quick trip to Austin, preferably in the fall. Take your bike. You can buy an Austin Bicycle Route Map to help you find the easier routes around town.

  5. Great post. Good to have you back.

    I find that the 18" pipe wrench is a good substitute for a bench vise, when removing freewheels. It is a bit tough on the finish of the removal tool, though. You made a good call on waiting until you had your own.

  6. Jon-Thanks. I'll be keeping that pipe wrench handy. If it hadn't worked I would have had to run to the bike shop.

  7. Time to start looking for a folder ;-)

    Never been to Austin, but now it is on my "bucket list".


  8. OMG! Our friend AJ owns the peddler! He and Jason have been friends since they were just little street punks. Nicest guy in the whole world.
    I saw pics of the new shop the other day.... looks awesome!

  9. Ok, now I feel lame cause I used omg....

  10. 2whls3spds-Probably worth a trip, just don't go during the summer.

    Dogwood-It's a small world. I really liked their shop. I'll be stopping by their new location next time I'm in Austin.