The Austin, Texas Cogal; December 4, 2011

"I wanna go home with the armadillo..." Gary P. Nunn, London Homesick Blues

Stop the presses, North American Cogal #2 is off and running.  @Jeff in PetroMetro is organizing a ride deep in the heart-o-Texas on December 4, 2011 for the rider who wants a taste of drought, dust storm, truck nuts and fun. Lest we forget what a Cogal is, “… A meeting of like-minded misfits brought together by the promise of beer, preceded by a bike ride.” Commemorative V-Pints can be fabricated for such a thirst inducing event, please send orders through Velominati central ordering department.  They may even be ready in time to wash that Texas dust down the neck hole.

Keep the rubber side down, Gianni

Dang!  We’re havin’ a Cogal in Austin!  How ’bout that?

I guess I’ve been a Velominatus for a little over a year now.  In that time, I’ve gotten to know many fellow Velominati online.  And I feel like I know y’all.  But I’ve never had the opportunity to meet any of you in person.  And for that matter, I don’t know most of y’all by your given names.

But some of that is about to change.  On the weekend of December 4th, in Austin, I get to meet, live and in Technicolor, Buck Rogers, Itburns, Bongo, and, rumor has it, Souleur.  Buck’s coming up from San Antonio with Mrs. Buck and the Buckettes.  Itburns is driving in from Houston (Yewstun), same as me and my relations.  Bongo’s on his way from Waco (Way-Coe).  And Souleur’s coming from I don’t know where.  But I know it’s a long drive.

Why Austin?  ‘Cause it’s not Houston.

Austin’s pretty.  Austin’s cool.  Austin’s where I lived as a student, a bike racer, and as a young college graduate with a good state gubment job.  Austin’s got rolling hills, good barbeque, and cold beer.  And, in case I forgot to mention it, Austin’s not Houston.

So, here’s the plan, set in sand in a windstorm:  I’m driving up Friday night, December 2nd, and spending the weekend.  I’m staying in a hotel near the Arboretum which is in northwest Austin.  That’s near the north end of Highway 360 (Capital of Texas Highway) almost where it meets Highway 183.  360 is a great jumping off point for a rolling, hilly ride west of Austin.  We’ll start in the parking lot of the Arboretum.  I’ll let y’all know exactly where late next week.

We’ll head southwest and make a counter-clockwise loop.  As we come back east, approaching Austin from the south, I’d like to go through Buda (Bew-duh).  As we come up through Austin we’ll make our way up to 35thStreet, then west over Mt. Bonnell and back toward 360 for a ride north to our starting point.

Mind you, all of this is subject to change after next Tuesday, when I’m riding reconnaissance in Austin.

I’d like for all of us to get together on Saturday evening at the Shady Grove restaurant on Barton Springs Road.  We’ll get some good food, some good beer and/or margaritas, and put some faces with some names.  Time to be determined, but I’m guessing around 6pm so we can eat, drink, visit, and still get some decent sleep.

Sunday morning, we’ll get a big stack of gingerbread pancakes at Kerbey Lane Café.  Then at either V before 10, or V after 10, we’ll head off into the wild blue yonder.

My intention is to keep the ride between 130km and 160km.  There will be quite a bit of rolling hills and not much flat.  This will be a Casually Deliberate ride.  No one gets dropped by much or for too long, and there will be plenty of places to stop and load up on food and drinks.

I’ll post more details after my visit to Austin on Tuesday.  Stay tuned.

If anyone else can join us in Austin, please do.  I’m looking forward to seeing y’all.

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193 Replies to “The Austin, Texas Cogal; December 4, 2011”

  1. Looks like fun….I’ve been a lurker for a while, but I’m definitely in on this ride.

  2. @rufio
    Change your moving date. Come with us. My biggest disappointment is that FM 2222 is supposedly so busy with traffic these days that we can’t climb it anymore. That was part of almost every climbing training ride in the 80’s that went north and west. FM 2222 to 620, turn left. Or come back down 2222–75kph+, full tuck. And then there’s Jester Estates. We are NOT going up Jester Estates. That would just be mean spirited. I’ll be in Austin tomorrow. I’ll drop by Mesa. I haven’t been on Mesa Rd. on a bike in decades. Cool idea.

    @Buck Rogers
    I’m gonna try to set the course tomorrow. Driving it, then riding some of it. Wow. While I was typing this, my front tire just let go. Just sitting there, then ppssssssssssssss. Weird. Omen? Hope not.

    @itburns
    I met Dr. Jennifer (I think that was her name). She was quite surprised to see “Velominati” on my LOOK. She said your fit was done by Tad Hughes. That’s when I knew she was your spy. How is it that we haven’t ridden together yet? And seconding @Buck Rogers regarding riding lanterne rouge–this one is Casually Deliberate. No one gets left behind. But crying and suffering are perfectly acceptable. I expect I’ll do a little of both.

    @frank
    Can you send @itburns my email address? We should be training together at least occasionally.

    @joeIVpack(workin’ on it)
    Jump in. The water’s fine. We’d love for you to join us in whatever capacity you can. Even if it means showing up for dinner on Saturday evening and enjoying a cold Coke (I’d buy you a beer, but I assume you’re underage.).

    @El Diablo
    Excellent! See you there!

  3. Keepers: Help! I’m tied up in the compliance approval penalty box again. Gracias!

  4. @El Diablo

    Looks like fun….I’ve been a lurker for a while, but I’m definitely in on this ride.

    Awesome! We are actually getting up to a decent showing now! Going to have some V fun in December, Baby!

  5. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    How is it that we haven’t ridden together yet?

    I thought you were a morning rider. I most definitely am not, with the obvious exception of organized rides where I drag myself out of bed to get there on time. Also, I probably have been tagged as a stalker by several riders with Yellow Princesses.

    As for Lanterne Rouge – no worries – just not much experience with really steep climbs. Devils Backbone section of Gruene was great though. Only one climb put me fully in the hurt locker for a bit. The only sustained climb I have ever done was up to La Mongie in 2004. Wasn’t a cyclist then, was on a rental tourist bike with front shocks, and had platform pedals. Painful.

  6. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    JiPM: We HAVE to have a few killer hills thrown in here and there, no?

    Even with this definitely, no doubt, being a no drop, Casually Deliberate ride, the hills are always fair game. You can all just wait for me at the tops to regroup.

    This “Jester” hill sounds like fun (sorry couldn’t resist). Throw that puppy in there, we’ll recover and have an even better story to tell down the road.

    Just my thoughts.

  7. Jester isn’t so bad. I just came back from a ride with Jester involved…in the dark :)

    If you need any help planning routes, I have some great ones in mind with gentle hills and or pain…just depends on what ya might be looking for :)

    Here is the data on a few climbs I did tonight….in case anyone is interested in trying Jester..

    http://app.strava.com/rides/2262916

  8. @Buck Rogers
    Ok. Just got back from an epic drive to, around, and back from Austin. The course is set. It’s between 130km and 160km, just like I’d hoped it would be. It’s hardly flat at all. If we have wind from the north, it’s not only going to be a climbing orgy, it’s going to be a headwind home.

    So, as a card carrying Luddite, can someone answer me this: Can I put this on a Map My Ride or Strava (sp?) map so everyone can see it? Also, is anyone attending the Austin Cogal bringing a GPS that can track the ride and upload to one of these services? I’ve gotta hand this chore off to someone more qualified than I.

    Having said that, I just received an editing/writing assignment that I have to turn around by morning. Then I have to go to my big box bike shop part-time gig for 9 hours and sell bikes while not falling asleep standing up. So I’ll check back either tomorrow night or Thursday morning for answers to my more-important-than-anything-else-in-the-world technical questions. Muchas Gracias!

  9. @Jeff in PetroMetro
    JiPM: You’re awesome, man! Cannot wait to meet up and ride this Cogal.

    I do not have a GPS or starva or garmin or any of those super high-tech things. I do have a cyclocomputer that tracks the normal stuff, but not what you are looking for.

    Good luck with the next 48 hours, sounds like you have a full plate there!

  10. MapMyRide – You map the route and to the left of the Save button is the access level. Public, Friends, or Private.

    Public – everyone can see and find it in searches
    Friends – MapMyRide friends can see and find it in searches
    Private – no one can see it.

    Once saved, you can go to ‘My Rides’ under ‘Routes’ and toggle through the access level where another level is available – Accessible. This level lets you send a url link to the route to people to view it but it acts like Private in every other way.

  11. Newly registered to the site, living in Yewstun, so I may venture out for the ride. I’m friends with the guy who makes the pint glasses and stickers, and he’s requested I go and see how many riders have stickers on their bikes…

  12. @lynchk

    Newly registered to the site, living in Yewstun, so I may venture out for the ride. I’m friends with the guy who makes the pint glasses and stickers, and he’s requested I go and see how many riders have stickers on their bikes…

    Excellent. You’ll see mine in their resplendent glory. Decals, that is.
    @El Diablo

    Jester isn’t so bad. I just came back from a ride with Jester involved…in the dark :)
    If you need any help planning routes, I have some great ones in mind with gentle hills and or pain…just depends on what ya might be looking for :)
    Here is the data on a few climbs I did tonight….in case anyone is interested in trying Jester..
    http://app.strava.com/rides/2262916

    Cool. You’ve just been assigned the important task of being the official tech weenie. (I think that’s the same pay grade as code monkey.) Now YOU HAVE TO ATTEND and bring your shiny, new-fangled thingamabob that makes cool maps. Oh, and yes, once I get the map posted to MayMyRide, I want your input. Almost all of 360 is in it (going both ways), 2244, Hamilton Pool Rd., Crumley Rd., can’t remember details right now as I’m not near my notes–it’s flat down around Buda, come back into town on Old San Antonio Rd, then hop on South First to come through downtown–might hop to South Congress for the approach into town heading toward the Capitol–up through campus to 24th, west on Windsor to I don’t remember, up to 35th, west until it becomes Mt. Bonnell, over Mt. Bonnell to 2222, west to 360 and home back at the Arboretum. There’s plenty of climbing and rollers and descending. It’s over 130km, if my odometer in my truck is correct.

    @itburns
    Awesome! I’ll post the course in the next few days. You are also an official tech weenie. Please work with @El Diablo to bring this work into the 21st century as I am wholly unqualified.

    @all
    There is a rumor going around that there may be SAG service with a real mechanic. Not confirmed yet. I’m still working on it.

  13. @Buck Rogers
    Yep. I’ll have SAG confirmed Wednesday (tomorrow). I don’t think I’m going to Austin until Saturday morning. I’m getting a hotel room at the Embassy Suites near the Arboretum. The Sunday morning Casually Deliberate ride starts there. There are a ton of hotels in the area if you are price shopping. I did talk to the guys at the front desk about the Buckettes. He said officially the rooms are limited to 6 people, but since 5 of your 7 are the kiddos, they’re good with that.

  14. SAG?? You guys are going soft. No SAG support unless you’re doing something like the 200 on 100!

    I swear, kids these days…

  15. @frank

    @Jeff in PetroMetro
    The Sunday morning Casually Deliberate ride starts there.
    You mean SATURDAY, right?

    ? The ride is a Sunday ride. Maybe this is an inside joke?

    But to be clear to all comers, the Cogal starts on Sunday, the 4th of December.

  16. @mcsqueak

    SAG?? You guys are going soft. No SAG support unless you’re doing something like the 200 on 100!
    I swear, kids these days…

    We know how to “ride pro” in Texas. I have seen too many of those COTHO posters with him riding solo with his own support vehicle on his training rides. His influence must have bled over on us.

  17. @Buck Rogers

    @frank

    @Jeff in PetroMetro
    The Sunday morning Casually Deliberate ride starts there.
    You mean SATURDAY, right?

    ? The ride is a Sunday ride. Maybe this is an inside joke?
    But to be clear to all comers, the Cogal starts on Sunday, the 4th of December.

    Er, um. No. I’m just an idiot. *sidles away sheepishly*

  18. so the start is at the Arboretum now after breakfast at Kerbey Lane or is the start at Kerbey Lane?

  19. @frank
    That’s okay, Fronk.

    As soon as the new kit bib-shorts arrive in my mailbox I’m sure all will be forgiven, esp if it is in time for the Cogal!

  20. @itburns

    so the start is at the Arboretum now after breakfast at Kerbey Lane or is the start at Kerbey Lane?

    Sorry for the late post. It’s gonna start at Embassy Suites-Arboretum. That’s at 9505 Stonelake Blvd. I hope we can all go to Kerbey Lane early Sunday morning for some gingerbread pancakes. That’ll be the original Kerbey Lane Cafe on, well, Kerbey Lane. I was thinking about 7:30am so we can eat, get back to our respective dwellings, get on our kits, and head out from the Embassy Suites parking lot promptly at V before 10am. Our very almost nearly support driver/mechanic/EMT will set his calendar in stone within the hour. Once he absolutely positively commits, I’ll mention it here tonight.

  21. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    @itburns

    so the start is at the Arboretum now after breakfast at Kerbey Lane or is the start at Kerbey Lane?

    Sorry for the late post. It’s gonna start at Embassy Suites-Arboretum. That’s at 9505 Stonelake Blvd. I hope we can all go to Kerbey Lane early Sunday morning for some gingerbread pancakes. That’ll be the original Kerbey Lane Cafe on, well, Kerbey Lane. I was thinking about 7:30am so we can eat, get back to our respective dwellings, get on our kits, and head out from the Embassy Suites parking lot promptly at V before 10am. Our very almost nearly support driver/mechanic/EMT will set his calendar in stone within the hour. Once he absolutely positively commits, I’ll mention it here tonight.

    So awesome! I am in for breakfast! Also all comers, order your V pints for the Cogal over on the Cogal link at the top of the page on the right.

  22. We have a support vehicle/driver/mechanic/EMT! Bring whatever kit, wheels, food, bidons, and stuff you want to throw in the mechanic’s vehicle. Now you have no excuse but to look PRO.

  23. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    We have a support vehicle/driver/mechanic/EMT! Bring whatever kit, wheels, food, bidons, and stuff you want to throw in the mechanic’s vehicle. Now you have no excuse but to look PRO.

    Nothing – NOTHING – will make you feel more PRO than taking shit from a support car. Exceptionally strong work, mate.

  24. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    We have a support vehicle/driver/mechanic/EMT! Bring whatever kit, wheels, food, bidons, and stuff you want to throw in the mechanic’s vehicle. Now you have no excuse but to look PRO.

    “I love it when a plan comes together!” Nicely done, mate, nicely done.

  25. @il ciclista medio

    @jen
    You could join in? The more The V merrier!
    @brett

    @il ciclista medioYeah, I’ll be keen… won’t have my own bike though, so will have to rustle something up.

    Depending on your size, you’d be welcome to one of mine? I’m around 178cm, i.e. depending on who I’m talking to ;). Well if we can get harminator and a few others, let’s pick a tentative date, suggest a route or two (Royal National Park and surrounds spring to mind). Any Melbournites up for it or even in Syd over the New Year?
    Looks like we might at least have a cheer person @Jen as well.

    Cool, your bike will be too small but I’m sure I can rustle one up. We really should get this going… Sydney will work for me, RNP sounds good. Melbournites should try and join too, I can almost guarantee 3 or 4 Newcastle riders.

  26. @Austin Cogalites
    Arriving Saturday. Have a room at Embassy Suites.

    @JiPM
    Let me know if you need me to update the MapMyRide route.

    Cogal Route

  27. @itburns
    Well done! I gave some kryptic description of the route and you almost nailed it. Here are a couple of edits: Take Trautwein Road to 290. Make a quick left. Then turn right onto County Rd 164 (Sawyer Ranch Rd). Go south on Sawyer Ranch Rd. to Darden Hill Rd (Co Rd 162). Turn left onto Darden Hill, going East/Southeast. Go to FM 1826, turn right. Go SW on FM 1826 to FM 967, turn left. Take FM 967 into Buda. Turn left onto Main. Take Main to Old San Antonio Rd. Go north to FM 1626. Turn left, then quick right onto South 1st. From there, we can either take South 1st all the way in, or hop over to South Congress to ride up to the Capitol. Then head west to get through Downtown and up to MLK. Go west on MLK to San Antonio. Go north on San Antonio to 24th. Turn left and go west. 24th turns into Windsor. From there, I think you’ve got it spot on. Nice work!

    I ordered my V-pints today. Is everybody else all ordered up?

    @frank–Do you have my shipping address for everyone’s V-pints?

    So who’s coming to the Austin Cogal?

  28. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    @itburns
    Well done! I gave some kryptic description of the route and you almost nailed it. Here are a couple of edits: Take Trautwein Road to 290. Make a quick left. Then turn right onto County Rd 164 (Sawyer Ranch Rd). Go south on Sawyer Ranch Rd. to Darden Hill Rd (Co Rd 162). Turn left onto Darden Hill, going East/Southeast. Go to FM 1826, turn right. Go SW on FM 1826 to FM 967, turn left. Take FM 967 into Buda. Turn left onto Main. Take Main to Old San Antonio Rd. Go north to FM 1626. Turn left, then quick right onto South 1st. From there, we can either take South 1st all the way in, or hop over to South Congress to ride up to the Capitol. Then head west to get through Downtown and up to MLK. Go west on MLK to San Antonio. Go north on San Antonio to 24th. Turn left and go west. 24th turns into Windsor. From there, I think you’ve got it spot on. Nice work!
    I ordered my V-pints today. Is everybody else all ordered up?
    @frank-Do you have my shipping address for everyone’s V-pints?
    So who’s coming to the Austin Cogal?

    Hey Brother! Welcome back! Was about to send a posse out to look for you. Had not seen you around the last few days.

    Yes, I ordered my V pint already and cannot wait to go! I need to book a room ASAP!

  29. @frank

    Just got a preview of the Austin Cogal pints which just came off the line:

    VERY NICE! Getting mine a week from Sunday!

  30. @frank
    AWESOMENESS. Thanks for putting the V-pints together for the Cogals. Such an awesome idea, and they look fantastic!

  31. @itburns

    @Jeff in PetroMetroRoute updated – Austin Cogal Route

    Thank you! I’m glad you’re techversant. It looks good, but a little short, don’t you think? I want the ride to be 130km +. Right now, it looks to be 128km. Hmmmm.

  32. @Buck Rogers
    I’m still around! Been lurking quickly and randomly without a way to reply. Can’t wait for December 3-4. I am really looking forward to a day on my bike in the hills.

  33. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    @Buck Rogers Yep. I’ll have SAG confirmed Wednesday (tomorrow). I don’t think I’m going to Austin until Saturday morning. I’m getting a hotel room at the Embassy Suites near the Arboretum. The Sunday morning Casually Deliberate ride starts there. There are a ton of hotels in the area if you are price shopping. I did talk to the guys at the front desk about the Buckettes. He said officially the rooms are limited to 6 people, but since 5 of your 7 are the kiddos, they’re good with that.

    Son of a [email protected]#! The Embassy Suites are all sold out of double bed rooms that weekend! All they have are single King Bed rooms. Even if I come up on Friday they are sold out. Time to start looking around.

  34. @Jeff in PetroMetro

    @itburns

    @Jeff in PetroMetroRoute updated – Austin Cogal Route

    Thank you! I’m glad you’re techversant. It looks good, but a little short, don’t you think? I want the ride to be 130km +. Right now, it looks to be 128km. Hmmmm.

    Longer version – no idea what Ranch Rd 12 is like though.
    Slightly longer Cogal route

  35. @Buck Rogers
    There are a bunch of hotels up and down the road and around the corner from the Embassy Suites. If you look at Austin with Google Maps and drill down to the intersection of 360 and 183, there are several hotels nearby.

  36. @itburns
    RR12. Not sure what it’s like. But we can find out when we get there, right? Thanks for the modification!

  37. yo JiPM: just lettin you know Souleur is out, for other reasons, its just not happening

    hope to make one sometime, somewhere, in the midwest i am just like stuck out here

    good job on puttin that together, my petance will be paid at the alter to Eddy

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