I love exploring new cities on foot and by bike. In Austin, Texas for the SXSW Eco conference this week, I spent each morning running and biking the river trail with other outdoorsy Austinites.
Staying with Lillie’s college friends that live here, it was easy to get around with the bikes they lent us, allowing us to drink in the city at ground level, without having to worry about driving around.
Along a tributary of the river is Barton Springs, an aquifer-fed swimming hole groomed by the city for public use. We joined early morning swimmers for a dip in this 68-degree city center river, something I could get used to.
Food trucks are everywhere in Austin – in backyards, parking lots and busy streets. Some friends from the conference recommended the one with the *best* breakfast tacos, Veracruz All Natural, so for breakfast one AM, we biked over through the sauna-like air for some mango agua fresca and migas tacos on homemade corn tortillas.
On my run this morning, I ran out on one side of the river, crossed and headed back on the other side, exploring the paths leading to the river trail from office buildings, neighborhoods and parks. I find it encouraging when cities like Austin preserve ecosystems and make them accessible for people to explore and enjoy. It makes adventuring available to all, and city living more connected with the natural environment.