Cyclists Take to the Track for Bike Night at Circuit of the Americas

Event lets pedal-powering people go where bicycles rarely tread

Pedal-pushers of various skill and fitness levels rejoiced as Bike Night returned this month to Circuit of the Americas. The weekly events allow cycling enthusiasts to take to the smooth 3.4-mile, 20-turn track normally reserved for significantly speedier conveyances.

Photo by Reid Jowers

For those attending the event for the first time it can be daunting to see the initial climb up a large hill, but once crested, the incline relents for a speedy downhill or easy coasting. However, don't forget to enjoy the panoramic view of the entire course from the top.

“It’s a little intimidating until you go around a few times. Then you eventually get it down and it feels just like driving,” says Rick Huner, who was out at the track providing training support to a friend preparing for an Iron Man.

On the downhills, bikers start moving especially fast, and have to slow down for turns like the race cars that normally rule that road.

According to one Bike Night manager, they see a couple hundred people each night, and about 80% of them are hardcore cyclists. The Bike Night on a rainy June 11 still drew a hundred two-wheelers looking for a smooth, speedy ride.

Abby Bost, the head Bike Night manager, says that she loves seeing the feeling of accomplishment in people once they get past the big hill on turn one, and then have a nice beer after exhausting themselves with a few laps.

“It’s also the safe environment where you don’t have to worry about cars,” Abby adds.

While many of the cyclists are fast enough to intimidate cars, it’s definitely clear these riders are pushing past the boundaries of what is possible for them on the streets of Austin, and enjoying it. No rider only goes around once, they want to get in their laps before the events are put on hiatus at the end of the month with future Bike Nights not slated until next year.

Not sure if you can hang with the hardcore riders? There are families with children and more casual bikes that take to the track as well. Special lanes along the track let them take it slowly. Helmets are not required to ride, but nearly everyone wears one because, ya know, our brains are in there.

Riding on the Circuit requires a $15 advance online registration, or $20 at the event, while kids 10 and under get in for $10. In case you don’t own a bike, you can rent one for $20. The final event of the month is Tuesday, June 25, from 5:30pm to dusk. Food and drinks are available at the Paddock Biergarten just off the track until 9:30pm.

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