After encouragement from Lisa, Maxine, James and a few others at WE05 (and checking my finances) I have decided to attend SXSWi. Seeing I will be flying halfway round the world, I might as well have a holiday. My intention is to either arrive a couple of weeks early or leave a couple of weeks later, hire a car, buy a mountain bike (probably a 29er steel hardtail, the 2007 KHS range looks nice and unlikely to make it to Oz) and go riding.
What I would like is any advice/recommendations/suggestions on:
- Anything that will help a first timer survive SXSWi;
- Accommodation for SXSWi that is still available;
- Best way to do the road trip, fly to LAX or SF and drive to Austin stopping on the way to ride, do the reverse, or fly to Austin and do a loop from there;
- Place I should ride (see below for my riding ability);
- Anything else, good bike shop is Austin, a pay as go mobile provider, etc.
I am not concerned about distances in the US. The nearest city to Perth is over a 1000 miles away and that is Adelaide, civilization is another 500 miles further on. My last US visit involved an 8000 mile road trip from SF, to Seattle, Cleveland and back to SF, via most of the national parks in between. I thought about LAX/SF to Austin and then return, but that may take more time than I have and still be enjoyable, also I have to worry keeping a car in Austin. Though if it is the best option I can always make a little extra time available.
My limited riding ability
- I avoid riding the real technical stuff, two broken collarbones in the past few years have definitely stop that.
- Amongst the guys I ride with, I am usually the slowest and most conservative.
- So I am looking for rides that will wow me with scenery, make me work and not terrify me.
- I know I can ride for 3 or 4 hours at a reasonable pace, backup and do it again the next day but not a third time.
- Climbing, is not one of my strong points, I do not get much practice, the biggest hills here are less than 1000 feet above sea level and are a good distance from my place.
- Weather, more concerned about the cold weather. In February/March here the temperatures hit 100F regularly, and I have been known to do the commute 25 miles home in 85F heat and that is a good day, bad days are 75F and 20MPH headwinds.
So advice, suggestions, recommendations. Am I crazy? Anybody want to join me for part of the trip?