"The Continental Club on South Congress is an Austin landmark. Everybody's played there. It's very small. You can step outside the front door and have a great view of the Capitol. It's in a booming area where they have a bunch of thrift stores and furniture stores and costume shops, all sorts of wacky stuff. Then there's the Paramount Theatre. I saw Lyle Lovett perform there. I actually know him quite well, and he mentions the Paramount often. It's a great old building, like something you'd see in a book or in Europe. Awesome place."
"If you're talking about doing a day trip into the Hill Country, you don't have to look any further than Fredericksburg. It's 100 miles west of Austin, really in the center of the Hill Country. They've put a lot into the city in terms of bringing people there and developing a Main Street with shops and cafes and a brewery and furniture stores and arts and crafts. Main Street's probably a mile long, but very crowded on the weekends. It's an old German settlement from a long time ago. Cool architecture, sort of German-Texas architecture from 150, 200 years ago."
ONE INSPIRING DAY IN AUSTIN
"To me, the greatest thing about this city is not that it supported me through my successes, but through my illness. I'll never forget in 1996, when I was diagnosed, I had never won the Tour de France and I had never been asked to do an interview like this and nobody outside of Austin or outside of my sport really knew who I was. But when I got sick, it made the news here and people absolutely supported me. The level of support from these people was incredible. One day, I was walking around Central Market, a great grocery store, and I looked very sick. A guy stopped me and said, 'Look. We're thinking about you. We support you. This city supports you. And we hope you get better.' And that was it. He walked away. This city, unlike other big cities that have pro football, pro baseball, pro basketball, pro hockey, looks at other sports. So it was a good place for me to settle down and be a pro athlete. [The guy in the grocery] understood that I needed somebody to come over and tell me that he hoped I'd get better. It was not, 'Hey, I know who you are.' But more, 'Man, you look bad and I hope you get better.'"