Texas is Cool Too!
You guys are killing me. Your opening sentence to the feature on Payson McElveen—“When you think about great places for mountain biking, Texas is probably not the first place that comes to mind”—furthers a perception that just isn’t true.
We may not have the elevation of the Rocky Mountains, but we do have Big Bend National Park (topping out at 7800 feet and home to an IMBA Epic ride) and Palo Duro Canyon (3500 feet). And what Texas lacks in elevation, it more than makes up for in ecological diversity. From the rocky, rugged terrain of west Texas to the flowy, piney forests of east Texas, there is plenty of great riding here.
The sweet spot is the Texas Hill Country in and around Austin and San Antonio. There are tons of city and state parks with trail systems, as well as numerous private ranches that have opened their gates to mountain bikers (Flat Rock Ranch and Reveille Peak Ranch are two of the best.) There’s also a great XC race series that sees participation each year from several pros, including Payson, Tristan Uhl and Howard Grotts. I would argue that Payson is a national champion because of his Texas roots, not in spite of them.
Given the unnecessary slight, I think you owe us a feature on mountain biking in the Lone Star State! I’m happy to show you around.
After doing the article with Payson, we started looking into the trails in Texas and were surprised at what the Lone Star State has to offer. We are working on putting together an article on some of the trails out there. Stay tuned.
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