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Discussion Starter #1
On May 13, I am riding to Austin from our home in Chicago to visit our son and his family who have recently moved there. I'm thinking of taking I-57/I-55 south to Memphis, then to Little Rock, and from there to Austin via Dallas. I am allowing four days. My preference is to travel some on the interstates, but I'd like to find some off-slab riding as well.

I'll appreciate any route suggestions - for any part of the trip.

With thanks,

John
 

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Since you want to run the slab I would take I-70 into St. Louis, then catch I-44 which runs along Route 66. You can jump on and off the interstate as you wish and cruise Route 66 all the way to Oklahoma City, then take I-35 to Austin.
 

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Based on another message I read I would suggest another route going south out of Oklahoma City. If you take I-44 to Lawton, OK you can ride south on 281 and come into Austin from the west. The hill country is nice especially when the blue bonnets and Indian paint brush are blooming. I-35 is the quicker way but you aren't going to be to far out of the way using 281 and will arrive in Austin having seen some scenery.
 

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That is an open request... depends on what you need to do. If you have tight schedule, Interstate is the way. If you want to spend a few extra hours and have a more liesurely trip, then the options in Texas are huge!

You can go to Big Bend.. it's a little over a day ride past Austin.. =) or the Twisted Sisters, which are only a couple of hours...

I-35 in Texas was built on the Balcones' Fault line. West of I-35 is "rocky" and called the "Hill Country"... East is rolling "Blackdirt farmland"..

So, depends upon you.. and your riding distances/pace... Or, just get to Austin and take a couple days to "ride the Hill Country" !!!!
 

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John, I live in East Texas and I rarely get on I-35, traffic is horrible and there's always construction. IF you do go through Little Rock, Arkansas, you'll be on I-30 of course. I would go to Mt. Pleasant, TX and head south on Hwy 271. Go to Tyler, TX and hit Loop 323. Here you can go either way, but work your way around Tyler's loop and take Hwy 79 south towards Palestine, TX. Hwy 79 will go all the way to Austin and put you out on I-35 just north of Austin. I go this way whenever I go to Austin. It much prettier and in my opinion safer than I-35. The road is good and you won't have to go through Dallas traffic. Give me a holler if you get in this area and need anything! Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Many thanks for all the the excellent Chicago-Austin route suggestions, and especially the off-slab alternatives. Sounds like I could ride via St. Louis one way, and via Memphis the other.

I-35 sounds problematic, with lots of traffic and repairs. Any other interstate warnings of which I should be aware?

I would like to ride the country around Austin, as I will have time to do that while visiting there. Any suggestions for Hill Country rides?

Again, many thanks. This is my first ride to TX - and my first ride of this distance! I'm really looking forward to it . . .

So in addition to routes, any pearls of wisdom from you veterans about my anticipated road trip I'll much appreciate.

John
 

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jroadhouse said:
Many thanks for all the the excellent Chicago-Austin route suggestions, and especially the off-slab alternatives. Sounds like I could ride via St. Louis one way, and via Memphis the other.

I-35 sounds problematic, with lots of traffic and repairs. Any other interstate warnings of which I should be aware?

I would like to ride the country around Austin, as I will have time to do that while visiting there. Any suggestions for Hill Country rides?

Again, many thanks. This is my first ride to TX - and my first ride of this distance! I'm really looking forward to it . . .

So in addition to routes, any pearls of wisdom from you veterans about my anticipated road trip I'll much appreciate.

John
John, ping Jerry England (Lonewuff) and ask him about the site he posted last week that covers the Tejas Hill Country riding routes. I don't have it handy, butt I bet he does. Good luck on your trip to Austin, and have fun riding the Hill Country - do 'em both safe.
 

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When you get to Memphis head south on 61 to Tunica if you like to gamble. Maybe a 20 minute drive south. From there you could head south on 61 to Hwy 1 that parallels the Mississippi river to Rolling Fork then turn towards Shreveport, again if you like to gamble ( I like to gamble) out of Shreveport you can take 79 all the way to Austin. Nice road with a lot of places to eat along the way.
 

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If it were me, I would travel south to Hannibal Mo. come down the river road, to St. Louis and cut over on any number of roads in S.E. Mo. to Northern Ar. Hwy 19 would be an excellent choice to take south all the way into Ar. Once there, you really can't go wrong. Just head in a S.W. fashion. Hwy 7 is a great North South route in Ar. Don't limit yourself to Interstates, I was in S. Mo. and N. Ar. last weekend, the redbuds and dogwoods were out and it was fantastic. Have fun and good luck.

DCH
 

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John,

Here is the web site Dick mentions.

http://www.hillcountryrider.com/Home.html

It is a fantastic reference for ridin the Hill Country. If you have the time I would hit the Twisted Sisters for sure. The best are FM 335 and FM 337 if you are short on time, but FM 336 if you can (mind the cattle guards). These sit about two hours west of Austin and S. 16 from Bandera to Kerrville is a great route too.

If you want to spend the night in the area I can't recommend D' Rose Inn highly enough. It is for bikes only and she does it up right.
 

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No offense, Jerry, but that is hardly a decent resource for riding in the Hill Country. No maps, 90% of the locations are geared for the bar hopping harley crowd, and the #1 eatery in the Hill Country, the Lost Maples Cafe in Utopia isn't even listed. I guess if you like google adwords popping up, it's a great site.
 

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eljeffe said:
No offense, Jerry, but that is hardly a decent resource for riding in the Hill Country. No maps, 90% of the locations are geared for the bar hopping harley crowd, and the #1 eatery in the Hill Country, the Lost Maples Cafe in Utopia isn't even listed. I guess if you like google adwords popping up, it's a great site.
Yeah it is. Sorta at the bottom of the two column list.

Man, I didn't know there were that many eatin' places in Leakey!! Guess they've added 'em in since I wuz there 3-4 years ago!! :rolleyes: 'Bout time for another run up there!! ;)
 

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eljeffe said:
No offense, Jerry, but that is hardly a decent resource for riding in the Hill Country. No maps, 90% of the locations are geared for the bar hopping harley crowd, and the #1 eatery in the Hill Country, the Lost Maples Cafe in Utopia isn't even listed. I guess if you like google adwords popping up, it's a great site.
What chu talkin bout Jeff...I saw it on the list myself. I made sure it was on the list as well as my favorite hamburger stop in Camp Wood. It's on there. I didn't notice the pop ups myself as I was looking at the "Good" info. :histerica
 

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As the owners of HillCountryRider.Com we appreciate your favorable comments and we will do all we can to improve the site based on your feedback. We do have some Google ads on the site to help (very little) to pay the bills but no popups, etc.

We try to add whatever you need to make your riding experience out here better and you can be sure we are working on maps right now. What else do you need, what would you like to see added? We'll work very hard to make it happen.

Again, thanks for checking us out and for your comments
!
 

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eljeffe said:
No offense, Jerry, but that is hardly a decent resource for riding in the Hill Country. No maps, 90% of the locations are geared for the bar hopping harley crowd, and the #1 eatery in the Hill Country, the Lost Maples Cafe in Utopia isn't even listed. I guess if you like google adwords popping up, it's a great site.
Hey Jeff, what bike is listed in Jerry's sig line? Seems to me that's the right site for him now. :rotf:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everybody, once again, for all of your good input on my upcoming Chicago-Austin-Chicago ride. I appreciate the help on routes to Austin, as well as suggestions re. Hill Country rides.

I checked out the web sites for routes/rides out of Austin, eg. Hill Country. I didn't see maps, although I may have missed that link being new to the sites, or perhaps they are contained in some of the different threads. It would be cool to be able to click on a particular route and see the map itself (similar to google maps), but I didn't see this feature on either Two Wheeled Texans or Ride the Hill Country. Am I just missing it on the sites?

If I need service while in Austin, do you recommend Lone Star BMW? Alternatives?

This forum is fantastic and you all are an amazing resource!

Thanks, John
 

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you will not go wrong with Lone Star BMW. If you are looking to just change oil give me a pm and you can do it at my house. I have the tools you need.
 

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I checked out the web sites for routes/rides out of Austin, eg. Hill Country. I didn't see maps, although I may have missed that link being new to the sites, or perhaps they are contained in some of the different threads. It would be cool to be able to click on a particular route and see the map itself (similar to google maps), but I didn't see this feature on either Two Wheeled Texans or Ride the Hill Country. Am I just missing it on the sites?

On the TWTEX.com home page, you need to register and become a member. Then go to forums and then the members section. In the members section there is Roads and Routes. Tons of info, maps and videos of roads in Texas, many of them in the Hill Country.

DCH
 

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Steve_R said:
Hey Jeff, what bike is listed in Jerry's sig line? Seems to me that's the right site for him now. :rotf:
:p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p :p
Thbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb!!!
:rotf:
 
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