Skip to Content

The Driveway Series Brings Austin Cyclists Together to Chase Glory on the Track

If you like riding bikes and have a competitive spirit, the Driveway Series might be the perfect community for you


Nestled just five miles east of the bustling downtown area — off Walnut Creek Trail — lies a hidden gem for cyclists. The Driveway was initially built as a motorsports track and racing school, but local cyclists seized the opportunity to use it for a Thursday weeknight criterium series that commenced in 2005. Since then, the series has steadily grown into the country’s largest and longest-running weeknight criterium race. 

Cyclists on the track in Austin. Photo by Dennis Lastochkin

The Driveway is one of the country’s most sought-after bike racing venues

Its serpentine layout, flanked by lush trees and expansive grass fields, has made it one of the country’s most sought-after bike racing venues and a unique community that brings Austin cyclists of all levels together on a weekly basis for half the year. Whether you’re a novice looking to dip your toes into racing or a Tour de France pro — seriously, they show up occasionally — the Driveway offers an inclusive yet competitive environment for all skill levels. 

The track accommodates five courses, allowing racers to test their dynamic skills from week to week. The longest course is only 1.6 miles, so participants circle it many times within each race, which lasts up to 75 minutes (total race time varying depending on race category). Spectators can see the racers fly by lap after lap, reaching dizzying speeds of well over 30 miles per hour. 

Sponsors and local businesses provide prizes throughout the races to those who cross the line first on designated “prime laps.” Points are accumulated for the top finishers, who also win cash prizes, as well as points that go towards the six-week “mini-series” winner.

After the races, participants and spectators often ride their bikes together through Walnut Creek Trail and downtown, regrouping at a local restaurant or watering hole for an informal afterparty. While this might make for a tough Friday morning, it’s always worth it and gives endurance junkies something to look forward to — and stay in shape for — every week.  

Spectators cheer on cyclists during the Driveway Series. Photo by Dennis Lastochkin

Building a cycling community

“For me, the Driveway provides a consistent opportunity to do what makes me love this sport so much — race,” says Evan Bausbacher, of the Matador Racing team. “The familiar courses and faces make the racing feel incredibly safe and fun, and the racing is just part of it. The Driveway has brought all cyclists together for so many years now, and the post-race hangs continue to make Austin the best cycling community. 

 “There’s something about racing your bike really hard and then becoming close friends with your competitors afterwards,” adds Bausbacher. “Most of my friends in Austin came from racing at the Driveway, which wouldn’t be possible without the consistency of Thursdays.”

The racing season at the Driveway Series spans for 26 weeks from March to October. Races start in the late afternoon and continue until dusk so participants and spectators can soak up the beautiful Texas sunset from the track. New this year, bi-weekly bike races will be held on Saturday mornings throughout the summer, attracting cyclists from across the region seeking to escape the scorching temperatures, while still experiencing the thrill of racing.

Win or lose, the Driveway Series is always a good time full of excitement and camaraderie.