The first day we rolled into Austin last year, it was the weekend before SXSW, the digital-film-music festival of our generation which is a combination rock concert, indie film festival and social media nerd fest. Everyone who was Anyone was converging on this city on the edge of Texas Hill Country and was about to make it the Coolest Place on Earth for the next week.

We had amazingly good timing or exceptionally bad timing, depending on how you looked at it. Good if you wanted to be in the burning tweeting center of it all. Exceptionally bad timing if you didn’t already have a place to stay.

Our original plan was to camp at the outskirts of Austin at McKinney State Park and wait out some of the SXSW madness. That was not to be. The madness had decided to camp as well. McKinney State Park was the cheapest place in town and was therefore transformed into the giant tailgate party for SXSW. After unsuccessfully pleading and cajoling with the park staff to let us camp (anywhere!), we threw in the towel and sat on a bench and had some BBQ we had picked up from a gas station a few miles down the road.

And that is when a first of many Austin-related chance encounters happened. A reader (thanks Steve!) saw that we were in a jam and contacted some friends and friends of friends. Floor space is at a premium in Austin during SXSW. We stayed the first few days with a former Austin Cycling Association president and his wife who were sweet as could be. From there, Austin’s amazing bike community welcomed us with open arms. In total, we stayed nearly a month in Austin. We gave two presentations (one at the downtown REI, the other at The Good Bike Cafe and Freewheeling Bikes), led an overnight bike camping trip to McKinney State Park (that time we were the only ones in the park!), participated in a few of the legendary Thursday Night Social Rides, attended the Austin Bike Summit and drank lots of great beer.

NAHBS, Social Rides and a Special Announcement

Austin (and Texas as a whole), holds a real special place in our hearts. That is why we are really excited about heading back to Austin for this year’s North American Handmade Bike Show (NAHBS). Not only will it be an amazing bike show, but it will be an opportunity to reconnect with some of the great people we met while in Texas.

We’ll be at NAHBS all three days for a few hours and we’ll be doing some live blogging/tweeting/Facebooking about it.

We’ve also got a special announcement that we want to share with readers at NAHBS about our next trip! I think for some, it will be a little bit of a surprise. We’re still figuring out which day that will be, so stay tuned. But if you’re at NAHBS, you’ll be the first to hear!

Let’s Meet Up!

We’re going to be in Austin from Feb 22nd until March 2nd, which will hopefully give us enough time to meet up with folks. We’re going to do the Thursday Night Social Cycling Ride the week before NAHBS and we’re also going to do the Dapper Dan Dash put on by The PeddlerBike Shop. If you want to get a Bike Mustache for the Tweed Ride while we are in Austin or a custom headbadge, email Laura! She may also be planning to give one away at the Tweed ride (details pending). As always, I’m hoping to do some photography work while in town. So if you need any family or business portraits or food photography, email me.

We’re still trying to figure out places to stay while we are there. We have a few nights taken care of but if you have some floorspace and a couch, send us an email! Also, if you want to meet up at some point while we’re in town send us an email!

We’re excited and giddy about going to Austin. It holds a lot of great memories for us such as fun Thursday night rides, a passionate cycling community and the best fried chicken ever! See ya’ll soon!