LeBlanc: Jack & Adam’s, Austinbikes on the move in downtown Austin

Head of Gazelle Foundation, Michael Madison, to bike across Burundi

Just when you’ve figured out where Austin’s fitness stores are located, everything changes.

You probably knew Rogue Running moved last month from its longtime location east of Interstate 35 to a cavernous new shared location with Pure Austin Fitness at the 410 Speedshop, near West Fifth and Pressler streets.

Now Jack & Adam’s Bicycles is moving from its longtime home, a bright red former drive-through Kentucky Fried Chicken on Barton Springs Road, to swanky new digs just around the corner between Schlotzsky’s and P. Terry’s at 300 S. Lamar Blvd.

The shop will nearly double in size to 5,300 square feet and include indoor workout space, showers and a refreshment bar operated by Daily Juice. It’ll have more retail room, too, which owner Jack Murray plans to fill with more biking stuff, more triathlon gear and, for the first time ever, a selection of running shoes. It’ll still team with local trainers for a slew of running and fitness programs.

“We’ve been here 11 years and get a lot of pressure to open a second location but still don’t feel like we’ve met our full potential (downtown),” Murray says. “This will allow us to reach that potential. It already is a community hub, we’re just going to have more to offer.”

The new shop, which will have garage parking with enough clearance to accommodate cars with bikes on top, will open sometime in May. Word on the street is that a niche hotel and art gallery will be built at the old Jack & Adam’s site.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, this means we’ve now got a whole bunch of fitness shops clustered in the same general neighborhood, all with easy access to the Butler Trail around Lady Bird Lake.

Bicycle Sport Shop, Austin Tri Cyclist and Barton Springs Bike Rental are all situated within a few blocks of each other on Barton Springs Road near Lamar Boulevard, Luke’s Locker is located just across the river on Sandra Muraida Way, and Texas Running Company is just west a wee bit (near the new 410 Speedshop) at 1011 West Fifth Street. Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, at Fourth and Nueces, isn’t far either.

Stay tuned for possible changes for Hill Country Running Co., located in the same neck of the woods at 215 S. Lamar Boulevard.

“The good thing is that Austin is one of those trend-setting markets like San Diego and Boulder,” says Murray of Jack & Adam’s. “It has per capita more active people than almost every city in the country, and the (Butler Trail) is the busiest running trail in America.”

Also on the move? Austinbikes, which has been housed for the past six years on West Fifth Street. The shop is moving about a half mile northwest to a slightly larger location at 12th Street and Westland Drive, according to general manager Scott Veggeberg.

That move will happen in May. The new location features its own dedicated parking — and less expensive rent, Veggeberg says. If you’re not familiar with the shop, owned by local racer Sol Frost, it has strong ties to Austin’s bike racing community but sells hybrid and commuter bikes, too.

Biking across Burundi

Michael Madison, who heads the Gazelle Foundation, the nonprofit organization created by Austin running coach Gilbert Tuhabonye, is gearing up for a 400-plus mile bike ride across Burundi.

The seven-day, 419-mile trek will raise money for the foundation, which uses donations to build projects that deliver clean drinking water to residents of the impoverished African country.

Madison, 28, begins his ride May 18. He’ll be part of a group of about 15 cyclists, most of them from England, who are raising money for various charities.

“It’ll be 15 British accents plus one Texan accent,” Madison says.

Tuhabonye, who has trained hundreds of Austin runners through his Gilbert’s Gazelles program, was nearly burned to death during the genocide in his homeland 20 years ago. He created the Gazelle Foundation in 2007, and many Austin residents are familiar with the poverty in Burundi because of his outreach and annual fundraising race, the Run for the Water.

“But when I leave Austin, nobody knows about Burundi. Nobody’s ever heard of it,” Madison says.

Madison wants to change that. He’ll ride about 60 miles a day through hilly terrain on the country’s three asphalt highways and hopes to raise $6,000.

“If I could get 20 to 30 people to learn about Burundi, it will be a success,” he says.

Thousands of people in Burundi still walk 2 or more miles each day to get water, sometimes sharing watering holes with cattle. So far the Gazelle Foundation has provided access to clean drinking water to more than 25,000 people there, and its goal is to expand service to 12,000 more this year. For more information or to donate, go to www.gazellefoundation.com/bikeacrossburundi.

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