It seems longer ago – but it was only last May that I rode a fun bike ride sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Fe Trail (my favorite bike trail in the Metroplex). Today they were doing another one… and I didn’t want to miss it.
For outdoor stuff – this is the good part of the year here in Dallas – the weather can be iffy, but at least there is a possibility of a comfortable day – unlike the killer summer heat or the bitter winter windy cold. It turned out to be almost perfect – a little overcast (but that’s OK) and the temperature flopped around from cool to warm to cool and back again… but it was nice bike ridin’ weather.
I was planning on riding my commuter bike, but at the last minute I switched to my road bike. As always, going out for a day on a bike makes for some packing decisions and I left my Nikon at home – so my only photographs are from a crappy little point-and-shoot. It’s a lot safer and easier to carry, plus I wanted to enjoy myself and not have to think about taking pictures all the time.
The transit gods were kind today and I made it downtown in plenty of time – rode over to Fair Park where the ride started at Switching Gears Cyclery. We rode through Deep Ellum to the Traveling Man Sculpture, for a quick photo op stop.
Then we wound through near East Dallas – which brought back a lot of memories of riding the Belmont #1 bus through there when I lived on Lower Greenville and worked downtown. A lot of changes to the neighborhood (most of them good). The best… really the only way to see a city is from a bicycle. Walking is too slow and a car… forget about it.
And then we finally hit the trail that the ride was named after. It has so much going for it – an urban hotspot (Deep Ellum with access to downtown and Fair Park) at one end – the greenery of White Rock Lake at the other, with a vibrant urban neighborhood in the middle. Plus, the highest point is in the middle, so you always finish up downhill.
We finished at The Lot – a nice place that has built a bridge over to the trail. It has been an oasis for me more than once when I was riding too much in too much heat and had to stop for refreshments and recovery.
I rode back downtown with some folks, hung out at Klyde Warren for a bit, then caught the DART train back north. The sun was setting for the trip and I was a little worn out. A good day.