Texas - Hey Dallasites!!! In town for Holidays; looking for ride or advice
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12-06-11, 11:26 AM
I'll be there the week between X-mas and New Year's.
I know it's the worst time of the year for group rides so I'm not really expecting to go that route unless someone on here knows of something I don't.
I was looking at the Dallas bike trails and am interested in White Rock Lake. I rode this as a middle schooler in the late 80's. It appears as if I can start at Valley View Park just north of LBJ, head toward the lake, do a loop and head back.
Am I looking at this correctly? Are there any issues I should know about beforehand? I.E. are there any gaps in the trail? Hidden dangers? Annoyances?
I'm not sure how they do it in Dallas as it's been awhile (25 years) since I've ridden a bike down there. In Knoxville, you can find all sorts of bike trails all over the city. What they don't tell you is that quite a few "trails" are nothing more than sidewalks which cross busy streets, have dangerous cracks or bumps, and are extremely narrow. This is what I'm trying to avoid per this thread. If it's not worth riding, I'll find something else.
Thanks in advance.
12-06-11, 11:43 AM
The white rock trail you mentioned is wide, mostly under the roads (though there are a few signalized crossings) and plenty safe. In addition to the section you described (about 21 miles) you can connect to the Katy (?) trail at the south end of the lake and take that all of the way down town (and back if you want).
12-06-11, 12:13 PM
If you're into group rides, I expect there will be several holiday rides. I know there's a New Year's Day rally or rallies in the area.
www.planobicycle.org has regular weekend rides at various paces and distances, and holiday rides too.
WRL is great, as noted. The only potential problems are mud / wet if it's rained hard recently, and a bit of construction at the Loop 12/NW Hwy / Lawther intersection. Or, crowds if the weather's nice.
12-06-11, 01:42 PM
Cool. Thanks guys. I'll definitely be looking for group rides. I think there's actually a touring event in one of the small towns NE of the Metroplex.
Thanks for the confirmation re: WRL. It's almost comical the way Knoxville lays out its bike paths. If you were new to the area or in town, you'd probably be pretty excited about the extensive trail maps on the city page. What you don't know until you get on your bike is that much of the mileage really has nothing to do with bike trails at all. For example, there is one "path" that is about 14 miles long; however, only about 6 miles of it is a true bike path. The rest consists of sidewalks, streets, intersections, railroad crossings, and narrow paths consisting of multitudes of pedestrians and joggers.
12-10-11, 11:09 AM
With the White Rock Creek trail, it kind of depends on your expectations. It is certainly rideable. If you're used to riding 20 mph, you may find it a bit narrow, twisty, and rough. If you're used to riding at 14 mph, no problems, it's a great trail. At this time of year, it may be largely deserted, may also have leaves or mud in areas depending on the weather. Greater Dallas Bicyclists has a group ride down it on Tuesday nights.
Dallas has a lot of on-street bike routes (not to be confused with bike lanes), which in many cases are the best ways to get around town on a bicycle. However, the best riding is usually from getting out of town.
People from Lone Star Randonneurs will be riding some 200k perms in that time frame.
Edit: A couple of other notes here. Right now, there is construction going on where White Rock Creek Trail crosses Northwest Highway. They have the trail routed about a half-block to the west where it crosses Northwest Highway and then back down to the original road.
On the Santa Fe Trail, it goes on down close to downtown. It does have several grade-crossings of roads, unlike the White Rock Creek trail. The trail ends just a few feet short of Hill Street. Turn right there, go down to Main Street, turn left, and you can follow Main Street all the way into downtown (note that Main Street makes a right-angle turn at one point.) If you actually want to visit the Sixth Floor Museum or other attractions, just leave the bike at home and take Dart or drive, as there's not good places to leave a bike unattended.
Some photos of the WRC trail here (not necessarily current):
You could even pick up the Preston Ridge Trail @ Hillcrest & the Bush tollway and, except for a couple blocks in Richardson, be on paths (Preston Ridge, White Rock & Santa Fe) to the east end of downtown Dallas (Deep Ellum & Fair Park). As StephenH correctly stated, it's the Santa Fe and not the Katy that connects to the White Rock Trail.
DART (http://www.dart.org/riding/bike.asp) hauls bikes on their buses and light rail. You can take your bike on the TRE (http://www.trinityrailwayexpress.org/) (which doesn't run on Sundays) over to Fort Worth and ride the Trinity Trails (http://www.trinitytrails.org/maps.html).
If you're not wedded to riding on paths, the Park Cities are outstanding for urban cruising, and often the weather is nice enough for night riding to see Christmas light displays in this area.
It's almost comical the way Knoxville lays out its bike paths. If you were new to the area or in town, you'd probably be pretty excited about the extensive trail maps on the city page.
Yes, but the Knoxville method of lots of miles of low quality "facilities" gets big points with the "bike friendly city rating" organizations.
Good list of Dallas cycling links:
Are you bringing a bike or do you need one? What size do you ride?
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