Austin Water Bikes’ motto is “Never Get Wet.” We can confirm that this is true. The owner went knee-deep into the water to assist us, but we just stepped from the shore directly onto a pontoon to get on the bike. We were seated up high, just like a regular bicycle, and our shoes remained completely dry.
The bikes are very stable and easy to steer and pedal. There are no gears so pure pedal-power determines the speed and workout level. Bill and I went at a reasonable pace, but we still worked up a sweat since the temperature was 78° (in late December!). Although swimming is prohibited, last summer we sometimes saw riders slip off the bikes for a quick dip to cool off. But Bill and I have seen those gigantic carp that live in Lady Bird Lake (see my Fish Story entry). We have also encountered nutrea (river rats) and snakes on the Hike-and-Bike Trail. No way are we ever swimming in that lake.