Bike to Coffee

I am working on trying to minimize my reliance on the automobile here in the most car-centric of cities and have wanted an independent (aka not Starbucks) Coffee shop that is a good bike ride from my house for a long time. My wish finally came true. There is an excellent place down on Henderson, The Pearl Cup, that I have frequented and enjoyed… but it is a long and difficult drive from my house (and no train station nearby).

Almost a year ago they announced they were building a new location in Richardson. I began plotting a bicycle route to the place. It’s on the other side of a giant highway from where I live, in a more upscale neighborhood, but I was able to find a route with a good highway crossing (underneath) and that had most of the way on trails or dedicated bike lanes, with the only remaining roads low traffic.

It’s a hair under seven miles – about the perfect distance. Not too far, but fourteen miles round trip is a good workout.

This weekend was a beautiful warm day, so I was able to make to ride out. It’s a really nice route across Richardson, with some varied scenery along the way.

Bike trail along the creek near my house.

Bike trail along the creek near my house.

The first bit is down the Huffhines branch of Duck Creek on the last few yards of the Glenville trail. One of the reasons we bought our house was that they had planned and funded the trail in the creek behind us. We never thought it would take six years to get the thing finally built… but now it is.

Duck Creek Linear Park

Duck Creek Linear Park

Then the route crosses the neighborhood on the Duck Creek Linear Park.

Owens Bike Trail under the power lines.

Owens Bike Trail under the power lines.

And then north under the powerlines on the Owens Trail. A lot of bike routes in the Metroplex are through powerline right of way. It’s not very scenic, but gets the job done.

Spring Creek Natural Area.

Spring Creek Natural Area.

The nicest park of the ride is through the thick creekbottom woods of the Spring Creek Nature Area.

Under the Highway

Under the Highway

Then under Highway 75 along a creek bridge. The city is working on bicycle/pedestrian crossings of the highway, with success in the northern part of the city.

Along Highway 75

Along Highway 75

Up the highway on the east side, then down busy Renner road. A lot of fast cyclists use the road, but I’m slow and lazy and poke along the trail.

Bike Lanes on Custer Road

Bike Lanes on Custer Road

The last little bit is down a dedicated bike lane on Custer. These dedicated lanes have been popular and are cropping up all over the city. The only problem is that there is often parking in these lanes which forces the bikes through the “door zone” – so riders have to go slow and careful, looking into each parked car as you go by.

The Pearl Cup's Outdoor Patio and Shady's Burger Joint.

The Pearl Cup’s Outdoor Patio and Shady’s Burger Joint.

And finally, the coffee shop. A great place for some Java and maybe a book or some writing. Next door they opened up a burger place, Shady’s. Candy met me there for lunch. They had a nice selection of craft beers – Dogfish Head, Devil’s Backbone, and a couple others – but no local beers. We talked to the owner and suggested he get some Deep Ellum or Lakewood on tap.

So it was a nice lunch, and a nice ride – one I hope to be making a few more times.