The Ghisallo Cycling Initiative rang in the New Year by getting a group of young cyclists off to a great start! We began the new semester at Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders during their Intersession Enrichment program. Once we collected the permission slips from the ten high school juniors, we dove into our first day of bike club.

We began with the ABCD Quick Check. “A” for checking the bike tires for correct air pressure, “B” for checking the brakes. “C” for checking the chain and cranks to make sure the drivetrain is working properly, “D” for drop to make sure the bike sounds correct or nothing is loose and “Q” for quick release so the students knew to make sure their wheels were locked in tight. After that, we departed to the track field to practice riding.


The students helped each other pump air into their tires


A Ghisallo instructor explains signaling and scanning to the students before they ride around the track

After putting on their helmets and doing their ABCD Quick check on their own bikes, the students took to the track to practice riding. We circled the track several times, practicing signaling and scanning. After the students had demonstrated excellent biking skills, they took a city bus with their school biking instructor and reconvened with the Ghisallo crew at the Bicycle Sport Shop parking lot. From there we biked to a cluster of food trucks on Barton Springs Rd. It was noon, so we gathered at picnic tables in the center of the food trucks and enjoyed Mexican-style food and colorful cupcakes. We ended the day with a ride down the Ann and Roy Butler trail and snapped a few photos along the way.

Bicycle Sport Shop parking lot: These ladies are ready to ride!


Enjoying lunch in the afternoon sun


Posing on The James D. Pfluger Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge


Ai Weiwei’s Forever Bicycles

On day-two, we visited some of the coolest spots in Downtown Austin. The Ann Richards students and the Ghisallo crew biked three miles to the Blanton Museum of Art. We took a guided tour and learned the stories behind some truly mesmerizing pieces of artwork.



After finishing at the Blanton Museum, we biked to Austin Central Library. Along the way, we were careful to stay in the bike lanes or single file on the far right of the streets. We arrived at the gorgeous library, some students came for the first time, and spent an hour enjoying lunch from the Cookbook Café and exploring the lovely building.

Posing in front of the logo just outside the Central Austin Library bike garage

We finished the day by biking back to Butler Park. This time we challenged ourselves by biking to the top of the highest hill. From where we stood, we had a crystal clear view of the city skyline.

Good job, Ann Richards students!

This was the 3rd year we have worked with the Ann Richards Intersession program and we look forward to continuing this relationship.