Riding new roads is great, but at the end of the day, asphalt makes for a poor companion. A major highlight of our recent trip to Austin was the opportunity to link up with local riders who were not just solid in the saddle but genuinely cool people as well.
Beat The Clock is an Austin cycling club with its roots in the messenger community. Founder and owner of Beat The Clock messenger service John Trujillo decided to form his own cycling club under the same banner. He clearly had no shortage of hard riders with good personalities to recruit from. And it showed when we went up to Austin to ride with BTC. These guys were definitely strong, but more importantly, they were really fun to ride with. No drama or yelling about the paceline, no pressure, no hammerhead douchery. Positive attitudes and healthy sense of humor all around. What puts them a cut above other cycling clubs and race teams is that they do not ride together because they’re all fast, they ride together because they are all rad doods. Being fast is just a coincidence, and a nice one at that. You can tell with certainty that even if sponsorship dissolved and the team disbanded, these guys would still be out there mashing together.
PHOTOS ABOVE YOINKED FROM BTC FACEBOOK (SOME BY JOHN WATSON)
Not being self-absorbed pricks, BTC keeps it legit in the bicycle community, hosting events from yoga-infused social rides to challenging alleycats. Let’s face it. Being the tits as an amateur bike racer might get you laid on a rare occasion (more likely its the booze) but it’s not going to make you a hometown hero anymore than winning a POGs tournament. What matters is remembering where you came from and how you got into this game. Less than a year ago, YYR was working briefly as couriers and mashing out training rides on fixed gears, the only bikes in our stables. BTC has similar roots, and that makes it easy to see why they understand the importance of engaging the bike community on every level. People aren’t going to know your race team’s record for the season, but they are going to know who is providing the entertainment, organizing events to pass on the enthusiasm.
Cycleast bike shop in East Austin is the baby of Russell Pickavance, a really rad guy and by far the tallest rider in Beat The Clock. We had the pleasure of riding with him for a bit on Saturday, and decided to check out his shop after our ride and some face-stuffing at Torchy’s Tacos. He revealed that he had lived in New Orleans for some time in the past, and regaled us with his own tales of gators in the road and shenanigans of the sort that can only exist where open container laws do not.
The shop, at 501 Perdenales Bldg 2B, is adorned on the outside with some pretty dope graffiti and artwork. Inside is a studio as well, where Russell does repairs, restoration, and custom building. While he works on all sorts of bikes, he seems to have a soft spot for building cross bikes and city-practical fat-tire commuters (again, pretty much a cross bike). Be sure to check this place out if you find yourself in the 512.