This weekend, I wanted a nice, longish, slow bike ride – something through some varied spots of city and where I could make a stop or two for a rest and maybe a beer. There was a very strong southerly wind so it was an easy decision to ride the DART train with my bike to somewhere south and then ride back home. I rode to the Arapaho station and hopped the train downtown and past to the Cedars Station in Southside. From there is was about a twenty seven mile ride home – through The Cedars neighborhood past the Dallas Heritage Village to the Farmers Market. Then under the freeway to Deep Ellum and up the Santa Fe Trail to White Rock Lake. Finally up White Rock Creek to the Cottonwood trail under the High Five Interchange. At that point I could take my familiar route home from work.
A high point of that trip is the Santa Fe Trail. I have ridden that trail more than a few times – it’s one of my favorites. In the paper today was an article about the trail and some of the attractions along the way – Bike the Santa Fe Trail to these 10 landmarks and eateries. A good article – even if it misses more than a few good spots. I decided to ride it and stop off at The Lot for a rest along the way.
I had been to The Lot a couple weeks ago on a really cool bike ride. It was the Friends of the Santa Fe Trail Bike Ride & Pub Crawl. It was a benefit ride for the improvement and upkeep of the trail. For a donation you were able to ride with the group and get a brew at each stop on the way.
The ride started at a really nice bike shop across from Fair Park – Switching Gears Cyclery. It a cool place – set up for city transportation style bicycling, not only the carbon-fiber-spandex-speedsters.
They had a keg set up in the repair shop and everyone had a quick cold one before we toured off through Fair Park and around the southern part of Deep Ellum .
Before long, we were at our second stop – Deep Ellum Brewing Company. We were given a complimentary glass and a beer ticket. The Saturday tour crowd was in full swing and there was live music. A bunch of fun.
Then we all saddled up and set out up the trail. It was a large and diverse group – everything from fixie track bikes to fuzzy customs and anything in between. The motley agglomeration of pedalers kept everything at a fun, leisurely pace – slow enough for conversation and contemplation. The best way to ride a bike.
It seemed too soon when we all arrived at The Lot. This is a new restaurant/beer garden located near the spillway of White Rock Lake. They have build a bridge over a drainage that connects the place directly to the Santa Fe Trail. It’s great… you can go for a pleasant ride or a run or even a bit of a walk and simply slide over and across and there you are.
Everybody sat around outside and talked bikes and cities and other stuff. The place used to be a sand volleyball and swimming pool sort of club. I noticed that the beer garden is lined with concrete ledge that still has the depth markings on it – they filled in the pool to make room for seating.
So this weekend I decided to stop by the place again. There was a nice crowd on a warm day and a live band playing. I stayed for a bit and rested, until I decided I had better get back on the road – I was only halfway home, after all.