The Radavist Guide to Surviving Austin During Cyclocross Nationals Dec 17, 2014


Where do I eat? What’s the weather going to be like? Where can I ride? Where’s a good bar? What shop can I ship my bike to?

See the full spread below.

Trust me, this post is out of absolute necessity. The number of emails I have received over the past few weeks regarding ‘Cross Nationals is insane. Everyone wants to know what the locals know and you know what? That’s really rad. Austin is a great town!

Fear not. The crew at the Radavist has prepared an extensive list to help you prepare and enjoy the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals in Austin, Texas, beginning with your gear list…


Before we start, I should clarify a few things. First, the weather is unpredictable. Things can change overnight and without the proper equipment and gear, your vacation to race your bike could quickly become a nightmare. One day, you’re swimming in Barton Springs Pool or the Greenbelt and the next, you’re in lobster claw gloves smearing embrocation on your legs and freezing your ass off. Pack accordingly. Oh and if it’s warm out, there’s a high probability that cedar allergies will obliterate you. Be warned!


Some gear we’d recommend:
-Thermal tights
-Jacket (rain, hardshell and softshell)
-Wool Socks
-Gloves (trail riding, rain and cold weather)
-Two pairs of shoes (if you plan on riding trails, you’re going to get wet)
-Multiple kits
-Winter cycling cap
-Extra set of tires. Something big, in the 35mm – 40mm range for trail riding. 33mm is fine for racing.
-Trail lamps, for riding at night.


Next up, which is one of the most frequently asked questions: shops! The following shops have a presence in the local ‘cross scene and are worth checking out. Please bear in mind, these are the shops the Radavist enjoys to visit, not necessarily the end all, be all list of bike shops in Austin. These are, however all close to downtown.

Shops to check out:
-Mellow Johnny’s – good coffee, showers, lockers, exceptional mechanics.
-Austin Bikes – brand new facilities, smiling staff, close to downtown.
-Bicycle Sport Shop – title sponsor of the CX Nats. HUGE selection of gear, right over the river.
-D1 – boutique shop with just about anything you’d need to survive Nats.
-Cycleast – relaxed vibes on the East Side, bring a six pack!
-East Side Pedal Pushers – the chillest of chill shops on the East Side of Austin.

If you’re planning on shipping your bike to Austin, I’d chose Mellow Johnny’s because of their location. You can literally take an airport shuttle bus downtown, assemble your bike there and pedal off to your lodging.


Speaking of lodging

Hotels aren’t cheap until you spread out at least 4 miles from downtown. Look up Air BnB for rooms or rent a house with your friends. Hotel San Jose is on the high end and the Days Inn is on the opposite end.

So, you’ve got your gear packed, your bike is in your hands and you’ve found a place to stay. Time for food! Here’s where the list gets juicy…


Food Trailers:
-Vera Cruz All Natural (best Migas breakfast tacos in town)
-East Side King (multiple locations)
-La BBQ (get ready for a queue)
-Micklethwait Craft Meats
-Torchy’s (multiple locations)
-Kerlin BBQ


-Clark’s Oyster Bar (go here for happy hour, best burger in town!)
-Licha’s Cantina ($5 happy hour margaritas and snacks)
-Takoba (gringo mexican food)
-Sway (pricey but great thai)
-Bouldin Creek (vegan / veggie food)
-Live Oak BBQ (cheap, quick, but good!)
-Lambert’s (decent BBQ)
-Koriente (great japanese/asian health food)
-Juan in a Million (Austin legend, cheap mexican food)
-Texas Chili Parlor (oh my god)
-Polvos (tex mex and Everclear margaritas)
-Yellow Jacket Social Club (best bar, also good eats)
-Frank (gourmet sausages)
-Whole Foods
-24 Diner (yep, 24 hours)
-Magnolia Cafe


Oh yeah, if you’re like me, coffee is essential!

-Flat Track (love, love, love that shop!)
-Brew & Brew
-Juan Pelota (Mellow Johnny’s)


-Yellow Jacket Social Club (the official Crash Nationals afterparty spot)
-Brew and Brew (craft beers galore)
-The Liberty
-The Grackle
-Rio Rita
-The White Horse (two-steppin’)
-Enjoy a cold beer at any of the Royal Blue locations
-Avoid “dirty 6th” at all costs, save for the Jackalope

Maybe you want to do a scenic “road ride” on your cross bike? I’d recommend this easy loop. Is that enough to get you rolling? Now that we’ve discussed what to see while you’re in town, how about the main event?


Zilker Park isn’t exactly “epic”, but there are a few features that make it interesting. All of which I want to be a surprise, so you’ll have to just take my word for it. There will be thorns and lots of sharp limestone, so I would recommend a tubeless setup to avoid punctures and pinch flats.


For the most part though, it’s grass, so expect fast lap times. To familiarize yourself with the terrain, various groups will be doing rides throughout the week to Walnut Creek, McKinney Falls and the Greenbelt, all local trails.


-Rock Lobster SSCX Post-race Party at the Speakeasy 8pm
-Crash Nationals – Thursday (meet at the Radavist HQ – details TBA)
-Chris King Breakfast at Bicycle Sport Shop Friday, 8:30 – 10:30am
-Rapha/Chris King party Friday at Mellow Johnny’s 6 pm.
-For the Love of Mud Premiere Friday at Stateside Theater 7pm.
-Saila Bicycles Cross Nat’s Open House
-Real Ale Brewing and Bicycle Sport Shop Parking Lot Party Saturday (post-race)
-Crank Brothers & Fizik Happy Hour with Jeremy Powers at Mellow Johnny’s, Saturday 5:30 pm.
-T$A’s Post-Nats Blowout at The ABGB – Sunday (post-race)

Oh and there’s that Nationals crossie race thingy, too…


Got any questions or other thoughts? Drop them in the comments!

  • Leslie

    Of course, you knocked it out of the park. MJs just announced some events this morning so I’d check those out and add them in.

  • tyler

    any idea if “the love of mud” will be available online after the premier? Sorta hard to watch it from switzerland otherwise!
    looking forward to some crazy cx party pics!

  • Kyle Scully

    should I bring a spare liver?

    • John Watson

      most likely!

    • Eric Nelson

      always be training kyle

  • Sharon

    Think you meant AGBG & La BBQ. Nice roundup!

    • John Watson


  • Crmsnghst

    Id put East Side Showroom as another bar that is exceptional. Cheer Up Charlies is a good bar too abd they always have good bands playing and there are a ton of food trucks right next door.

    • michaelvsShark

      Dunno if you realize CUC moved. While they still have a food trailer in the parking lot (and a few up the street on red river) they are no longer next to the bigger trailer park on the east side.

      If we are suggesting places I can’t get enough of the sushi at the HEB off 7th and Pleasant Valley.

      • cookietruck

        yeah cheer up charlies is where club deville used to be, right next to mohawk on red river.
        cheer up charlies is rad.

    • John Watson

      ESS is super small though. Anytime I’ve tried going with a group, it’s an ordeal.

  • Nick Valdes

    As an out of towner that is always through ATX New Year’s weekend care to suggest any other dirt road routes that shouldn’t be missed. I’ll be in town with a mate for a string of days, unfortunately leaving just says before Crash Nationals. :(

  • michaelvsShark

    Don’t forget Free Week for anyone wanting to catch some local music w/o spending money on tickets.

  • Allen K

    Excited for For the Love of Mud!

    Also +1 on Micklethwait. Get your ‘cue there within 30 minutes while all the silly folks wait 3-5 hrs literally down the road at Franklin!

  • Hollis Duncan

    Las Manitas RIP

  • Ted Arnold

    Cool list John. Started an Events/Marketing Company that will kick off with CX Nats, Sunday morning will be hosting Svenness/CX Hairs Belgian National Championship Watching Party. Final details being sorted out. Announcement soon. Also, doing some casual bike “day trips” routes to iconic local places that are less known, called a Blend Tour.

  • Craig Smith

    Juan in a Million for breakfast.

    • John Watson

      You eat there often? It’s really gone downhill over the years and is always crowded.

      • Craig Smith

        nah, moved from Austin 3 years ago but did grow up eating there. Bummer to hear it is on the decline.

        • michaelvsShark

          I dunno, I still love that place. Sure the Juan taco has gone up a few dollars in price (no longer the 3 dollar 5 taco steal it was) but it’s pretty hard to mess up egg, potato, cheese, bacon hash. I went last week and still got the familiar handshake from Don Juan.

      • Dustin Barrientes

        what isn’t crowded in Austin?

        • John Watson

          The spots I named. :-)

          • Carl Anderson

            lol not anymore!

  • Antoine Coquard

    do you know a good place for rent a bike for one week?

    • Allen K

      Bicycle Sport Shop probably has the largest selection of rental bikes

  • JScriv

    Music scene? What to avoid? I’ve only been to Austin once for NAHBS a few years ago and loved it!! That being said it could be helpful to know what to avoid and any good live music. . . Cheers!

    • cookietruck

      check this maybe…

      maybe avoid dirty 6th (between IH35 and congress ave.) unless you like shitty SRV wannabe blues bands.

  • Sean Estes

    don’t forget the pro night at BSS on Thursday at 6PM – tons of CX pros there, for those not partaking of the underground night race festivities, of course!

  • Ryan Corrigan

    Can I build some outrageous scary ramps in the middle of the race course?

    • John Watson

      hahaha. If you can put them up and tear them down in 4 hours! Holler! Let’s do this!

  • sturtlovinggood

    I’d recommend Barton Springs Saloon for the closest place to Zilker to grab a beer and chill, and Thom’s Market as a good place to grab last minute clif bars and #beergate hand ups

  • Cameron Creamer

    All good recommendations! I second the Free Week recommendation and would also add Curras to the restaurant list. It’s interior Mexican food a little south of downtown but so good. The avocado rita is a must. There is also a Cajun trailer on east 6th called Baton Creole that is really good. For vegan/vegetarian, I’d suggest Bouldin Creek Cafe, then head across the street to Sugar Mama’s for desert.

  • paul cihak

    Awesome guide! Any tips for where to lock up my bike at Zilker? I don’t remember too many lockable structures last time I was there.

    • alan.deanda

      Lots of new bike racks were recently installed by Barton Springs Pool a short walk away from the race

  • David Mider

    At Mellow Johnny’s: Friday, Rapha/Chris King party with all their shiny demos and stuff, plus beer, real food, and music. 6 pm.
    Saturday: Crank Brothers & Fizik Happy Hour with Jeremy Powers. Beer/Cocktails. 5:30 pm.

  • Eddy Edoardo Tullio Enzo

    The map you posted isn’t the latest version…the sand pit was removed for some reason.

    • John Watson


      • Eddy Edoardo Tullio Enzo

        Word. Thanks for putting this together.

  • Carl Anderson

    What’s the minimum # of lumens you recommend for riding (back) after dark on those trails?

    • John Watson

      I’d say no less than 300 lumens for riding trails.

  • Bregs

    Shared by Lance Armstrong! LOL
    You’ve made it John

    • John Watson

      Ha. Saw that. He’s Tweeted a few things I’ve posted before.

  • Focus Bicycles

    Thank you, John, for the insight. Hope to see you.

  • Molly Cameron

    back to the homeland. see you all in a couple weeks!

  • Justin

    Not sure if this is the best place to post, but, I saw this on USA Cyclings site: “Alcohol: Alcohol will be available for purchase inside the designated Beer Garden only on Friday-Sunday from 12PM-5PM. There will be Austin police personnel along with uniformed security manning each entrance”
    so … leave the cooler at home?

  • Vince

    Clark’s…definitely the best burger in town

  • Tomii Cycles
  • charlesojones

    Best of luck to Austin TX with the CX Nats. Wish I could be there to help celebrate it with y’all.