Today I headed out to Lake Pflugerville to ride with some friends from the Austin Cycling Meetup group for a 30 mile ride through the East Texas farm country. Lake Pflugerville is a popular meeting place for a number of different ride groups, runners and triathletes. I’d been out there several times previously for a Tuesday evening Austin Cycling Association ride, so I was familiar with the route. Today we did it in the reverse direction from the way we did it on Tuesday evenings, so I was glad our ride leader brought along extra maps.
When I got my Lemond road bike 13 years ago, I would sometimes head out to Pflugerville to ride. Back then, we would head out from Pfluger Park near downtown Pflugerville (if you can say a town of 1800 has a downtown) and ride through what was then farmland. Now it’s subdivision after subdivision, clear signs of Austin’s explosive growth over the last 20 years. Even so, there’s still plenty of farmland left and that’s a good thing. It’s always nice to ride with a group down these roads because there are virtually no cars. You have plenty of opportunities to ride side by side (usually no more than 2 abreast) and chat with your fellow riders.
There’s also plenty of unique sights along the way. One of them is the New Sweden Church. This church is visible for miles because it sits on top of a slight rise in the middle of farmland. Anyone who’s ridden one of the many Pflugerville rides will immediately recognize this church. I stopped just long enough to snap this photo. We also saw lots of horses as well as some rather interesting horned animals whose species I couldn’t identify. Some of the roads can get a little rough because the prevailing method of paving out here is chip and seal. One particular road had a narrow smooth track about 1 car tire width. I joked with one of my riding partners that it was a single track road. Overall, it was a peaceful ride. Wind usually a factor out here and today was no different. We estimated it at about 18 Mph or so. If you’re interested in trying this route, here’s the route map. Chances are, if you just bring your bike to the Lake Pflugerville parking lot, there’s a group of riders leaving from there. Bring plenty of water, there’s virtually no place to stop for refills.