The 19th annual Republic of Texas Rally in Austin officially kicked off today, Thursday, June 12 and will run through Sunday, June 15. I made the ride down today from Dallas and, with the exception of a few sprinkles about 30 miles south of Dallas, it was smooth sailing until just north of Austin on I-35. For those riders that are heading into Austin on Friday, plan on leaving earlier than you intended -- or plan on arriving later than you expected.
There's a bear of a traffic snarl through Salado (between Temple and Round Rock) that had drivers slamming on their breaks to avoid hitting one another; keep the shiny side up and leave yourself a lot more reaction time than you customarily would.
There are a lot of people that prefer to take a more leisurely approach with some back road action but I decided to get on into town so I could get situated before heading out to the Fairgrounds. As luck would have it, my accommodations have me on a high floor overlooking I-35; normally, I would prefer something tilted more toward landscape but it's been rather interesting watching the increase of bikers rolling into town and loaded down with their gear for the weekend.
The main rally is taking place at the Travis County Fairgrounds (7311 Decker Lane) which is about 10 miles from Downtown Austin; registration is open from 8:00 A.M. - 9:00 P.M. from Thursday through Saturday.
Of particular interest this weekend will be the new Street Party Downtown presented by Austin360. After the parade ride from the Fairgrounds on Friday night, the destination will be Congress at Colorado where the Street Party is taking place; in years previous its been located at Congress at Sixth Street.
For those riders that have their heart set on being in the parade, you must be registered with a wristband in order to participate and it is scheduled to depart the Fairgrounds around 7:45 P.M. on Friday evening.
Keep checking back for daily updates throughout the Rally!