Hey Old Sarge,
If you haven't found your way over there yet, the Clydesdale/Athena section here is a place you should go. Very supportive folks and almost everyone deals with weight issues.
(A "Clydesdale" is an "athlete" (in my case it is a HUGE stretch to call me an "athlete") who is over 6 feet tall and/or over 200 pounds.)
This now ends the thread hijack. Back to talk of what could/should be. . .
It isn't that easy to end a hijack. Thank you for the suggestion. I have found that sub-forum and it does have some great information in it. I meet one of the qualifications for a "Clydesdale", the weight requirement, but have never been an athlete or over 6 feet tall. Right now it is hard to keep up with all the threads on here that have good information and it is heartwarming to see how many people are willing to share their information and experiences.
Originally Posted by DTSCDS
I finally got out to the Chaparral Rails to Trails. This isn't an exciting report since I only rode the paved portion out of Farmersville. I did it twice and, with some extra laps around the Onion Shed, made a total of eleven miles (a personal best so far, this was my ninth ride since Christmas, and ninth in over fifty years).
As I was reading, again, Bill in Houston's ride report I noticed this, "On the way out, we met the daily trail crew on their way back in. These guys are retired and they ride the trail every day. I guess during the summer they leave at 5 am? Anyway, there were about 4 of them out there bright and early." I believe that group was some men from First Baptist in Farmersville who were riding it about every day. One of them is a deputy constable who serves in my old office. They were doing what I did yesterday, going the 2.5 mile paved portion and back twice.
This was the first time I had ever been on the trail, though I worked for the President of Chaparral Rails to Trails for over sixteen years. The portion I did was a nice ride, about 3/4 mile of asphalt on it was a little distorted but not a problem. The first (and only in that portion) railroad tie bridge was interesting the first time I went over it. I didn't ride the crushed gravel portion because I haven't ridden on that type of surface before and I was riding alone. The only folks I saw on the trail were some Farmersville Public Works and then one jogger as i was returning on my last lap. I will be riding it again and as my abilities improve I will try the crushed gravel area for a few miles.
Glad you got out there! Keep up the good work. We have a few month until it gets hot again... :)
Bill and OldSarge:
So there was a Northeast Texas Trail Meeting in Farmersville on January 25th 2013. Joe Pitchford gave a great talk about his 130mile ride across the entire trail and the problems he faced. Also there was an engineering report on the decomposed granite that has been installed east of these GPS coordinates: 33.184462,-96.326918.
I went out to ride on the short section of decomposed granite and let me tell you, a road bike with 28 or better yet 32c tires would have no problems rolling down that stuff. Just as good as the Katy Trail in Missouri, from my memory. Any road bike with reasonable tires would be able to ride the trail if they put that stuff down everywhere.
The next meeting is sometime in April, no date set yet. There IS a pretty big event scheduled for May 18th: A bicycle relay that will start at both ends of the trail (Farmersville and New Boston) and work to meet in Paris. People will sign up to ride a segment of the trail that has been cleared and hand off a (gilded railroad tie spike?) or something to the next team of the next leg. The hope is that the whole trail is cleared end to end so that the teams can do this. If not, I personally think the media press on the sections that could not be cleared and why will be needed and show that Delta and Red River Counties have problems.
I wonder about the problems in Delta and Red River. At least there are folks in Red River County government who will talk about it, but NOT THE COUNTY JUDGE. In Delta County, no one will talk about it at all. If you look at a map of the really bad spots on the trail, it is EASY to see that it directly lays on the county lines of Red River and Delta counties. If anyone has any pull with either county, please PM me!
Thanks for the information about the meetings and events. I haven't ridden on the decomposed granite yet but may try a mile or so of it next time I ride in Farmersville just to get the feel of it.
Thank you all for reviving this thread. Now that I am aware, I will plan trips from Austin in the near future to check out the Chaparral Trail and the Mineral Wells Trail.
Have fun. Be safe.
A few options for riding or bikepacking May 17-18.
Rode the first 10miles out and back today. Posted a few photos in my 2013 ride photo album here: https://picasaweb.google.com/1026371...39812957886098
I agree that the crushed granite section could easily be handled by a road bike with 28's, maybe smaller on a day where there's been some recent rain or heavy dew to keep the ground damp and compact. Beyond that though, is a section of fairly deep loose gravel that was a bit rough, and then varying degrees of dirt/gravel/grass. I was riding a rigid frame with 700x36mm @ 55psi, think either a wider tire or lower pressure may have helped some as I was getting beat up fairly good at places. There's a few places that it appears people are driving up the trail 20 yards or so from an intersection and dumping trash. Over all though, it was a fun ride and a nice adventure for a lovely spring Sunday in Texas.