Lone Star Bicycle Route

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had found a map from 1976 for the Lone Star Bicycle Route. With the rain today I decide to complete the project. In the 33 years since it was published I thought there would be many changes in the route and/or the route designations. As I plotted the route on Bikely.com I was surprised that the original route is still intact except for just a couple of road numbers.

I plotted the route in two parts and have added the links to the Bike Ride Maps page. The page link is also at the top of the page.

From the back of the original map, “The Lone Star Bicycle Route was researched and developed by the Texas College Bicentennial Program and the Texas Cycling Committee. It provides a scenic, safe and reasonably direct route across a large sweep of southern and southwestern landscape. Following paved rural roads and hard-surfaced urban bikeways, the Lone Star Route is designed for cross-country, regional and local travel. For the cross-country bicyclist, the Route connects with major transcontinental routes on either end.

In 1976 bicyclists Brian McCarron and Phil Burden made a 9,000 mile tour of the United States. Their tour included the Austin-Amarillo portion of the Lone Star Bicycle Route. Brian’s evaluation: ‘Both Phil and I felt that it was well routed with excellent camping options. The farm roads we followed offered fantastic scenery with good road surface and virtually no traffic.’ Average riders should be encouraged by Brian and Phil’s tour. Neither rider had extensive bicycle touring experience prior to their trip.”

The back of the map cautions bicyclists between Amarillo and Austin to expect periodic heavy winds, steep hills and long distances between towns. Tire eating stickers may also be present.

5 comments to Lone Star Bicycle Route

  • My main concern with riding in Texas is not the lack of good routes or the availability of camping spots, but the ability to find enough WATER along the way. With such long stretches of road and not much in between, that has always been my biggest concern with bicycling Texas.

  • This is a valid point. I wonder if that played a part in the Camelbak being invented in Texas?

    There are stretches along this route where water will be hard to come by, especially in the area between Austin and Amarillo.

  • John

    I rode the Lone Star Route back in 1983 while on a bike trip from Nashville to Anchorage. I left Nashville March 31st and swung south through Texas to avoid the cold weather. I wish I still had that map (maybe I actually do — somewhere). I remember the eastern side being somewhat like Tennessee, but the western side was very different, and windy. I rode from Hereford to Tucumcari, NM at night to avoid the wind. I caught another bike route there that went North into Canada.

    I have some great memories of that trip.

    John

  • You took a wide berth to avoid the cold. As you saw, the look and terrain in Texas varies widely. I live in the southeast part of Texas with tall pine trees but to the south is the coastal plains with scrub trees and salt grass marshes. The Hill Country in the central part and the high plateau in the west offer a different topography. Glad you took the time to visit. Come back again soon.

  • A bit of caution for those contemplating this ride. The Bikley map calls out FM 1431 from the outskirts of Austin all the way through to Kingsland, and while that’s a beautiful route to travel it’s also insane dangerous with traffic. People drive far too fast on that road, and with the numerous curves and switchbacks taking a bike there would best be done in broad daylight and with extreme caution. Otherwise, beyond the obvious wind and lack of water, looks like a fun ride! I may kick it off in Kingsland and ride the rest of the way through to Amarillo in the not to distant future.

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