Image via Flickr by US Army Africa

Image via Flickr by US Army Africa

Motorcycles are a lot of fun, and they’re a very efficient way to get around, but they also come with unique safety considerations. Before you hop on your bike and hit the road, consider these safety tips so you can ride smart every day.

Safety Courses

motorcycle safety training course is a great idea before you even buy your first bike. It familiarizes riders with best practices, common dangers on the road, and motorcycle-specific laws in their communities. Safety courses are actually required in many states, and are essential steps toward obtaining a motorcycle license. Even if it’s not a legal requirement where you live, it’s still the smart way to get started. Private companies, local DMV offices, and military programs offer safety courses. continue reading…

Image via Flickr by Heather Cowper

Image via Flickr by Heather Cowper

Austin has no shortage of great bars, which means that there are specialty joints for every walk of life. With a lot of excellent open road in central Texas, it’s no surprise to find some awesome biker bars in the state capital as well. From the famous to the infamous, here are some of the best biker bars for those riding through Austin.

1. Coyote Ugly Saloon

There’s no talking biker-friendly bars in Austin without mentioning this most famous watering hole, the Coyote Ugly. Sure, it’s a chain that got its start in New York, but that doesn’t mean this place lacks an authentic Austin feel. Part of the brand is the attitude, which means tough women behind the bar who aren’t about to mix up a silly cocktail when there’s perfectly good whiskey on the wall. continue reading…

Ways to keeps cool while riding in the heat

Image via Flickr by Atomic Taco

Riding a motorcycle is an impressive skill. Respected for the focus and precision it takes to drive one successfully, bikers are known for taking a walk on the side of danger. While the danger may decrease a bit as the skill level of the driver goes up, even the most able biker is no match for the dangers of the heat. If you want to stay safe on this summer’s ride and those that come after, follow these tips.

Drink More Water

This is one of the most-repeated tips, yet some riders ignore it. It can get pretty inconvenient to stop the bike every time you want to drink out of a water bottle. This is why water backpacks like the CamelBak are a smart idea, as they can be drank from at any time. Dehydration is nothing to take lightly, especially when you’re driving your motorcycle at speeds around 75 mph on a busy highway. Find what works for you as you figure out ways to stay hydrated while on the road. continue reading…

Image via Flickr by Randy Heinitz

Image via Flickr by Randy Heinitz

When you’re on a motorcycle, chances are you’re looking for a memorable ride that offers stunning views, thrilling twists and turns, and open stretches that liven up each journey. Want to tackle some of the best motorcycle roads in America? Start with these iconic routes.

1. Route 66

Would anything else have made Number 1? Route 66 is the iconic “Mother Road” stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles. Crossing eight states and three time zones, it’s been dubbed the “Mainstreet of America” for good reason. In its glory days during the 1950s, travelers took to Route 66 to experience the Western frontier firsthand, which resulted in classic mom-and-pop diners, gas stations, motels, and slices of Americana popping up along the way. You can even find tour groups that tackle the route together, offering a two-week-long experience you won’t find anywhere else. continue reading…

Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous without the right gear. Protective clothing, headwear and bike accessories are designed to keep the rider safe, even in the unfortunate case of an accident. You may look forward to tricking out your ride and picking out motorcycle clothing, but the first items on your list should include protective gear.

Head Gear

head-gear

Image via Flickr by jalisimo

By far the most important accessory for any biker, the helmet is a must-have for any expert or beginner. According to the CDC, 79 percent of riders fatally injured on a motorcycle in states without helmet laws were not wearing one. Some helmet visors, like the Bell TintAdjust Photochromatic Faceshield, will automatically adjust from tinted to clear based on the amount of light you are facing, protecting your eyes during the day and adjusting in cloudy weather or during nighttime rides. continue reading…

Austin is a rapidly growing metropolis, but it maintains parks and wildlife preserves that keep people close to nature. Those preserved areas make it possible for Austin residents to enjoy several impressive hiking trails in and near the city.

If you want to take a stroll in Austin, consider exploring one of these four hiking trails.

Riverplace Nature Trail at Tom Hughes Park

Tom Hughes Park

Image via Flickr by pfly continue reading…

Most people already know about SXSW (South by Southwest), a music festival held in Austin, TX featuring more than 100 stages; but what about the other music festivals in Austin that take place throughout the year? If you can’t get to Austin in March for SXSW, consider visiting some of these other festivals held throughout the year.

#1: Austin City Limits in October

acl

Image via Flickr by jabzoog continue reading…

Riding a motorcycle is a thrilling way to get around, but can be dangerous without the right protection. We’ve all heard statistics about accidents and injuries, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing what you love. Instead, invest in some high-quality safety gear and make sure it fits properly. This can offer a lot of protection when you are on the open road.

Legal Helmet Requirements

helmet

Image via Flickr by Rich continue reading…

Do you always have your nose in a book? Well, there are lots of great places in Austin to find something to read, whether you like romance novels, sci-fi books, mysteries, or stories self-published by locals. Take a look at these five new and used book stores in Austin.

Book People

Located in Old West Austin, Book People is one of Texas’ leading independent bookstores. It has been open since 1970 and has received awards for the best bookstore in Austin, and Bookstore of the Year in 2005 by Publisher’s Weekly. Many celebrities have been spotted here, including Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

At Book People you can join a book club, find signed copies of books, get a massage while you read, eat at the café, or look through the consignment program to find local aspiring authors who have self-published a book. continue reading…

Sharing the thrill of a ride with a motorcycle passenger is one of life’s greatest joys. Before you pat your seat and invite a pal to hop on, however, make sure you’re seasoned in motorcycle safety. Sharing your bike with a companion is much different from solo riding, and definitely isn’t for beginners.

riding-with-a-passenger

Image via Flickr whatsthatpicture continue reading…