I skipped the club ride this morning, because we had a thunderstorm over night, and our little chihuahua needed comforting. By the time I got moving around 10:30, I knew I’d be riding alone. But that didn’t bother me, since I picked a favorite route of mine: Buda (BYOO-duh).
Buda has nothing to do with the great Hungarian capital. Instead, it is believed to be a corruption of “viuda,” the Spanish word for widow. Someday I’ll have to track down that story. For now, I knew it would perfectly fill the bill for a guy who has been riding little lately. It’s a 30-mile out-and-back, which gives the rider the option of adding distance, or cutting the ride short.
The rides starts out in an east, then south, then east routing. I live in a nice suburban development on the southwest side of Austin, and we are limited in the number of routes we can take to get out of here. So, during the first several miles, we’re riding in stuff like this — nice to live in, but more car-centric than I’d like.
It’s not too long before we hit our first objective: Old San Antonio Road. It’s more downhill than uphill along here, and cyclists can get in some good times.
At 15 miles, we’re spit out of Old San Antonio Road onto Main Street. Because we’re still a mile from the business district, we get to pick our way through sprawl development. But people around here are used to bikers, and are generally courteous.
I like to go up to the historic district, and ride the side streets. Here, you can get a sense of what this town was like before the Interstate highway came through. I think the Buda Elementary School is a pleasing building to admire.
“Downtown” Buda is lively for a city of this size, thanks to the infusion of cash from a huge Cabela’s outdoor shop on the Interstate. Most of the businesses are small restaurants or antique shops. Some attractive public buildings have gone up since then, including a large, clean public restroom — a nice perk for cyclists.
I took a detour through some residential streets, where the little town displays the characteristics of a small farming town — including some nice large old houses that would be at home in a similar place in Iowa.
From here, it’s not far to Old San Antonio Road and the return trip. Huge stands of prickly pear cactus dot this road.
A little over two hours — a little under 15 mph for an average. The ride to Buda is a nice one, and if I’m on my own, it’s likely to be the route I take.