February 10, 2016 – Sunny, 80 degrees
Miles Today: 15
Miles to Date: 11,571
States to Date: 28
Austin is a city where Prius drivers cut off bicyclists.
Austin is a city where the Hispanics are getting shoved off Cesar Chavez Blvd to make room for bungalows turned into boutique hotels and auto shops turned into Austin School of Film.
Austin is a city where too many people quote the original purchase price and current value of their home to a guy a in yellow shirt who’s just passing through.
Austin is a city where the parking lot at the Whole Foods mastership has an electronic space counter to minimize aggressive space mongering among the hurried healthy.
Austin is a city in which people with walk-in closets reminisce about swimming naked at the Barton Springs pool.
Austin is a city where funky juice bars are franchised and ‘The Originator’ is an energy concoction rather than a video game hero.
Austin is a city where vehicles wanting to make a right turn on a red light breathe down my fenders.
Austin is a city where natives’ anxiety about 120 to 150 people moving in every day is eclipsed by the resulting economic boost.
Austin is a city famous for its laid-back vibe and music scene: an oasis of liberalism in a Blood Red State. It’s got a high cool factor. After four days of cycling every corner of town, Austin is just another urban leviathan smearing tranquil hillsides with freeways, shopping centers and boxy dwellings. The inner core is riddled with angular additions that agitate the easy rhythm of the old neighborhoods.
The dichotomy between lore and reality doesn’t make Austin a bad place; just more like San Antonio or Houston than it wants to admit. Whenever America cities grow, the dazzle of profit drives us to move fast and grow hard. We dilute what makes us distinctive.