Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Austin, TX (Mon, 11 Mar)

I spent the day in Austin touring the city on my bike.  What a wonderful city!  Despite many dozens of trips to TX over the years, I’ve never had the opportunity to visit Austin.  I really enjoyed the day.  Great weather again helped as well (60s and sunny).  The spirit and culture of the city almost felt like a Seattle, but in TX – a very cool combination.

The pictures below tell most of the day's story.  A couple of other items first though:

I stopped into a local bike shop to tighten up a few things on my bike to help me make the final few hundred miles of TX rough roads!  The bike shop, Performance Bicycle in North Austin (http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10054_10551_500066_-1___) did a super job of tuning up my bike and actually making a few adjustments and recommendations I hadn’t thought about.  A highly experienced team who did a professional and fast tune up!  I definitely recommend them to anyone in the Austin area.

Also, after riding around TX during the day, I had a great dinner this evening with a close friend, Kevin W, who I went to school with a few years back.  Kevin has been working in the Austin area for the past 10+ years and had a great set of recommendations on places to see and go during my trip around the city.  It was great to catch up and hear the awesome business initiatives that Kevin is pursuing!!

On to the pictures.

University of Texas at Austin (or just UT or Texas) - the Longhorns.   Founded in 1883 with more than 50,000 students.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Texas_at_Austin.
The central courtyard:

Longhorn Football Stadium.  

From Wikipedia: The program began in 1893 and is one of the winningest football programs of all time. At the end of 2012 season, Texas' all-time record is 867–336–33 (.726), which ranks as the second winningest football team in NCAA history behind the University of Michigan Wolverines

This was on the Texas campus.  "Santa Rita #1" - one of the first oil rigs in the state of TX that was located in the Permian Basin near Big Lake, TX in 1923 (yep, I've been there now...).

Texas state capitol building, built in 1888.  It's 308 feet tall; it is actually taller than the US Capitol Bldg (which is 289 ft) and I believe is the only state capitol building that has such a distinction in the US.

Statue in front of the capitol dedicated to soldiers that fought at the Alamo.

Statue in front of the capitol dedicated to TX soldiers that fought for the Confederate Army during the US Civil War in the unit called the "Terry's Texas Rangers."

A 9/11 memorial with girder pieces from the Twin Towers.

Free Speech.  Demonstrations today by what looked like some TX school teachers.

The next 3 pictures are from the Texas Cemetery.

Charlie Wilson - famous for being a 12-term Congressman from TX who was a leader within Congress of numerous CIA initiatives to support the Afghan Mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s.  There was a non-fiction movie made about this story - Tom Hanks played Wilson in the movie.

Person who the city is named after.

Tom Landry was a very popular head coach of the Dallas Cowboys NFL football team winning 2 Super Bowls during his 29 years with the team.

Colorado River of TX - near downtown Austin.

Along the bike path near downtown Austin and along the river, I found this wonderful public bathroom - made out of steel plates...  They do everything big in TX!

South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference is ongoing now in Austin.  Twitter launched themselves at this show a few years ago.

An outdoor exhibit at SXSW - I guess this is some type of fictional helicopter that will appear in an upcoming Tom Cruise movie.

The most popular and best BBQ house in all of Austin - The Ironworks BBQ.  Unfortunately for me this is located right next to the convention center where SXSW is held and had a line well outside of the door - I'll need to visit again...

Downtown Austin.

The TX governor's mansion.

The Lyndon B Johnson presidential library & museum, located on the UT campus.

Statue on the UT campus dedicated to mustangs/horses and their contributions to man in developing the state - given how important my bike is to my trip - this had special meaning to me as I'm sure these horses did for the early settlers of the Western US and Texas.

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