The journey began with a 6am wakeup. After loading up the Element and grabbing something to eat I was still able to sneak in a little Call of Duty time. Which of course is a wonderful start to any day. I was really nervous as I rolled my hardcase up to the Southwest counter. But, it couldn't possibly have been more painless. "is that a bicycle", "yes", "ok, that'll be $50 extra". That was it!
However, the arriving in Austin part wasn't as smooth. Turns out the hardcase won't fit in any of the standard sedan/minivan cabs. The dispatcher radioed for a handicap taxi, and 10 minutes later we're on our way to grab the rental car. To make a long story short, 1.5hrs later we're driving away in a Ford F150xlt for the astonishingly low price of $25/day.
Getting to the hotels was a breeze. Downtown Austin is about the easiest city to drive in. Logical grid system with alternating one way cross streets. Even numbered streets take you west. Odds take you east.
Checked into my kitchy liitle hotel, re-energized and then took in the South Congress (SoCo) scene. Gueros Taco Shop for dinner and some music in the beer garden. Then over to the Continental Club for some more live music, (lots of sad country was heard tonight) and then finally over to a sports bar called Doc's.
I returned to my room and built my bike as I heard the rain begin to fall.