Whenever I can, I want to try and ride my bike after work – at least while there is a bit of light and the weather is bearable. On Wednesday I was only able to get a quick trip up the Preston Ridge trail, but on Friday, I had a little more time so I drove from work over to a little park at Hillcrest and LBJ. I was going to ride the White Rock Creek Trail.
Living in one city for a long time means that whenever you go somewhere you not only see what is in front of you, but also layers of memories and nostalgia of things that have happened before. The White Rock Creek trail certainly has decades of memories for me.
But today, I had to get my bike working, the seat is falling apart, the gears are out of adjustment and, of course the engine is all gone to crap. I pedalled around in the parking lot adjusting things – watching the front dérailleur while I pedaled, I rode smack into a steep curb and fell on my ass. Not a good start.
I thought about bailing, but went ahead and barreled on down the trail. The trail runs from north of LBJ on down to join up with the trail that circumnavigates White Rock Lake. The lake trail is the first real major trail in Dallas, and the creek the second (as far as I know).
I was living near the lake when it was built… maybe ’83? – at any rate I rode it right after it was built. That was almost thirty years ago. Though my bike riding has some huge gaps in it – only now am I getting serious about getting back again – there are a lot of memories of riding that trail. I’ve been down it hundreds of times.
The trail is about seven and a half miles long and flat as a pancake. There is a lot of construction where it crosses Northwest Highway near the south end – so I wouldn’t ride quite the whole thing – I’d leave out the southern mile or so.
What’s nice about this trail is that even though it cuts through the heart of the city, the wooded creekbottom land it is built on gives the feeling of being out in the country. The trail has been widened and improved over the decades and now is very smooth and easy with well-done crossings under roads and over water.
I wasn’t sure if I would be able to ride the whole 13 mile round trip before it was too dark but I made it without any trouble – even though it was pretty dark when I reached my car. I even took the time to stop under a DART bridge to get a couple pictures of the train going by. That spot is usually swampy with a large lake under the bridge and water flowing across the trail. There isn’t anything left except a wide puddle and a lot of dried, cracked, ex-mud.
Back near the north end is the spot where a favorite sculpture of mine used to be – I wrote about it a while back. Now there is a megachurch sprawling out from the office buildings. I wonder what they did with the sculpture?