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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all!

My girl and I just booked our trip to Austin for MotoGP. Never been to Texas before so it'll be a culture shock for us Canadians. I feel like I need to go this year just in case Rossi retires and I won't be able to see him in 2021.

So...any tips for experiencing COTA as well as Austin in general? We're planning on eating bbq, seeing some bats and doing whatever people recommend as "must dos" for Austin. We have 2 full days outside of the race weekend.

Cheers
 

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There's a good amount of stuff to do in Austin. Yall like inside stuff or outside stuff? There's plenty of both, in museums and oddities to nice parks and reserves. The food, you can't really go wrong. Austin has some amazing food. Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood is worth the drive, food is incredible and seeing the pit is worth it. Order Franklins online for pickup, best bbq in usa, preorder a few weeks in advance though or the line will take hours and they may sell out of what you want. Gordoughs makes some insane fresh doughnuts like you aint ever seen. There's fresh crawfish at restaurants there too. I'm not much of a night life fella but there is that there as well. Music is everywhere, just find what ya like and enjoy cuz its live and all over and all good. As kinda dumb as it may sound, it was enjoyable just to drive around in the Texas countryside, see the ranches, houses, fresh air etc.

Go on Friday to the track if you can, the special merchandise sells out first day. I was very sad that I missed out on some Nicky Hayden hats the year I went. Going up the track tower is worth the $20 to take the elevator, cuz the stairs are brutal. It's also cool to see everything from that point of view. Bring good shoes, you can walk around the entire track and it's also worth it during practices and whatnot. There is a lotta open grass seating so if you find a spot you like better you can just sit there. I sat by the end of the back straight in Turn 15, you can see them come outta Turn 11 onto the backstraight, haul insane ass down into T12 then flip through T13-15 and disappear around T16. Those 4-5 corners there which was great, lotsa action through there especially the moto2/3 races. Turn 6 or Turn 9 complex are both great too.

It's an enjoyable place to visit.
 
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I didn't even consider crawfish! I'm going to have to get me some because I love those spiny little critters. As for bbq, I'm sure we'll be content with Terry Black's since the YouTube bbq reviews are very good and the line appears to be only 30-45min. We'll see if we can make it out to other places too.

We have main grandstand passes for Fri/Sat but picked Grandstand 15 for Sunday's action. I'm definitely going to make "merch" a priority on Friday then. That's a fantastic tip! I'll also ask the girlfriend about the observation tower but she's really, really afraid of heights so we'll see about that.
 

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Pops Crawfish out by Lake Travis, plus there's some outdoor stuff to do there, ziplines too if you're into that.
 

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I've been watching a lot of Austin food vlogs and now I'm 100% certain that I'll put on a record amount of weight in 5 days. Oh man...I can't wait for the brisket!

What kind of food options does COTA have? Any recommendations for value eats? Is there even such a thing as cheap food at a race track? It'll be nice to have some value options given we're stuck there all day.
 

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have you bought seats yet? I like the turn one grandstand seats. There’s an easy back entrance close by, a big Jumbotron and a lotta stuff happens in turn one. It’s a HUGE track and mostly very fast. Walking around the track will take the better part of an hour. And like everybody says, the music and food are great. The traffic? Some of the worst anywhere so plan your hotel accordingly relative to track and downtown.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yup, we bought Flex Passes directly from the COTA website and it allowed us to pick. We chose to see the riders go in and out of pit lane for practice and qualifying so we're in the main grandstand Fri/Sat then we're in Grandstand 15 for the best action on Sunday.

Our hotel choices were somewhat limited since we booked on Airmiles and we just took a cheap room at the Candlewood Suites off I35 and E Ben White Blvd. It seems like a relatively short Uber to either COTA or downtown. I figure we won't be there except to sleep so cheap was good. Bonus...it's only a 16 min walk from Chick-fil-A and we've never been there before! We just have to try them out since we don't have them in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Will I be able to buy Ohlins branded Merch at the track?
 

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Most likely yes but not guaranteed. Every round I go to, I search for and buy the track specific Dainese shirt, so far it's been a different design at each GP I've gone to. Each place has been a little different with it's merch but usually there's at least one booth with different sponsors stuff here n there. You may have to walk the track to find the one booth that'll have Ohlins merch.

Edit: Also, as aforementioned, merch does sell out, so I'd recommend hunting for it on Friday.
 
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