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Night Routes - Northeast DFW

Old 04-02-10, 11:06 AM
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Night Routes - Northeast DFW

Due to work/family/life commitments, most of my available time for riding is in the late evenings, usually starting around 9-10pm. I live in Northeast Garland, so have typically done a loop including some combination of Miles, Pleasant Valley and Sachse Road. Unfortunately, the heavy snows this winter seem to have taken a toll on some of those roads, making them more dangerous at night.

Does anyone know of some better roads in that area that might be more conducive to night riding? I prefer rural roads to city at night; I'm not averse to putting the bike in the car and driving a little (i.e. 10 minutes).
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Old 04-02-10, 07:10 PM
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On occasion, I have gone out Pleasant Valley to Elm Grove Road, down to Liberty Grove Road, and back in that way. Seems like traffic on Liberty Grove Road wasn't bad until I got south of Merritt Road. Elm Grove Road is pretty decent riding. Seems like I have seen other cyclists heading out northeast on Vinson Road, but I don't remember what it's like up there. You can also take Waterview between Elm Grove and Liberty Grove, it's not any better or worse, just an alternate route.

Where Elm Grove intersects Pleasant Valley, there is a parking area and nature trail on the other side of Pleasant Valley, maybe park there and ride around (for sure, don't leave any valuables in the car there!). The nature trail is a paved 1-mile loop and I usually go around it when I'm out that way. Signs warn of snakes, I've never seen one, but am still hopeful. They may close it at night, though.

Several months or a year ago, I rode my Worksman around Lake Ray Hubbard, and worked my way up to Hwy 78 in that area, but don't remember exactly how I went. I think I went by Wylie High School on the way.

The Don Johle's Bike World Saturday morning ride generally heads across Broadway on Rowlett Road, then on Roan, Bobtown, Lyons, Collins, Barnes Bridge Rd, Polly, East Fork, Tripp, and then any of several routes up and down Tripp and across Hwy 80. Everything past Collins is good night-riding. Bobtown/Collins can get rough and busy, as can Lyons.

If you work your way up to Apollo, it is a fairly good route heading west, although decidedly urban. There's a couple of spots where you have to zigzag to stay on route.
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Old 04-03-10, 07:01 PM
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Vinson's good, then cut East to Troy which is a fun one, then if you don't mind a bit of gravel, right turn on CR431 then right again at the bottom of the hill onto 1105 (gravel).

From there left on 382 / Stone then back via 544 which is lightly trafficked in that area.

Personally I wouldn't ride these at night but it's a personal comfort level thing. I tend to pick out a well lit, low traffic loop and do laps for my night riding.
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Old 04-05-10, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH
On occasion, I have gone out Pleasant Valley to Elm Grove Road, down to Liberty Grove Road, and back in that way. Seems like traffic on Liberty Grove Road wasn't bad until I got south of Merritt Road. Elm Grove Road is pretty decent riding. Seems like I have seen other cyclists heading out northeast on Vinson Road, but I don't remember what it's like up there. You can also take Waterview between Elm Grove and Liberty Grove, it's not any better or worse, just an alternate route.

Where Elm Grove intersects Pleasant Valley, there is a parking area and nature trail on the other side of Pleasant Valley, maybe park there and ride around (for sure, don't leave any valuables in the car there!). The nature trail is a paved 1-mile loop and I usually go around it when I'm out that way. Signs warn of snakes, I've never seen one, but am still hopeful. They may close it at night, though.

Several months or a year ago, I rode my Worksman around Lake Ray Hubbard, and worked my way up to Hwy 78 in that area, but don't remember exactly how I went. I think I went by Wylie High School on the way.

The Don Johle's Bike World Saturday morning ride generally heads across Broadway on Rowlett Road, then on Roan, Bobtown, Lyons, Collins, Barnes Bridge Rd, Polly, East Fork, Tripp, and then any of several routes up and down Tripp and across Hwy 80. Everything past Collins is good night-riding. Bobtown/Collins can get rough and busy, as can Lyons.

If you work your way up to Apollo, it is a fairly good route heading west, although decidedly urban. There's a couple of spots where you have to zigzag to stay on route.
Thanks, I might give Elm Grove or Vinson a try. I think traffic on Liberty Grove and Merritt has become considerably worse. It seems a lot of Waterview, East Rowlett and Rockwall residents are using it to get up to Firewheel and the end of the GBT.

I'd considered going to Sunnyvale. I frequently head that way for weekend rides, but have never done it at night. My only concern was where to park if I wanted to drive to avoid the in-between roads. Anyone ever had issues parking at Sunnyvale high school at night?

What roads did you use on the north and south when you rounded Lake Ray Hubbard? Hwy78 and 80?
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Old 04-05-10, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Creakyknees
Vinson's good, then cut East to Troy which is a fun one, then if you don't mind a bit of gravel, right turn on CR431 then right again at the bottom of the hill onto 1105 (gravel).

From there left on 382 / Stone then back via 544 which is lightly trafficked in that area.

Personally I wouldn't ride these at night but it's a personal comfort level thing. I tend to pick out a well lit, low traffic loop and do laps for my night riding.
I don't mind rural roads if they are well-maintained. Traffic is light and since there aren't many other lights out there, my multitude of lights tend to stand out from a good distance away.

I've also gone out to the TNC course to do intervals; it gets boring after a while, but its pretty ideal for it.
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Old 04-13-10, 10:46 PM
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My commute (in at 8:30 pm) includes Liberty Grove, Merritt and Sachse. You're right, they've taken a bit of a pounding from the winter. If you'll take Sachse West and cross 78 at 3rd street, you can take Blackburn/Campbell to Murphy. North on Murphy and West on Renner is a nice little piece of road. Traffic is pretty light, the surface is pretty even, and there is decent lighting. On my commute, I follow Renner as far West as North Plano Rd, and it's pretty good that whole way.

Steve
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Old 04-13-10, 11:09 PM
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"What roads did you use on the north and south when you rounded Lake Ray Hubbard? Hwy78 and 80?"

I made the loop around the lake, and decided it wasn't a very good loop, so I don't necessarily recommend it. But yes, I rode on Hwy 78 and Hwy 80 on the north and south ends of the lake. Neither was actually that bad, and it's a fairly short distance that you have to stay on them. But a lot of the route on the east side of the lake was on 740, which has too much traffic. People would get stuck behind me and not want to go around due to oncoming traffic. No one was rude or anything, but a situation I would prefer to avoid just the same. 205 up north was okay, though.

At that time, Lake Ray Hubbard Drive showed on the internet maps to be continuous, when in fact it is closed at a bridge that is out. And I think it was White Road that showed to be a through street on the maps that was in fact permanently closed. So I had two unexpected detours. But it was still a nice adventure.
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Old 04-14-10, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by barlows
My commute (in at 8:30 pm) includes Liberty Grove, Merritt and Sachse. You're right, they've taken a bit of a pounding from the winter. If you'll take Sachse West and cross 78 at 3rd street, you can take Blackburn/Campbell to Murphy. North on Murphy and West on Renner is a nice little piece of road. Traffic is pretty light, the surface is pretty even, and there is decent lighting. On my commute, I follow Renner as far West as North Plano Rd, and it's pretty good that whole way.

Steve
Thanks, I'll give this a try.
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Old 04-14-10, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH
"What roads did you use on the north and south when you rounded Lake Ray Hubbard? Hwy78 and 80?"

I made the loop around the lake, and decided it wasn't a very good loop, so I don't necessarily recommend it. But yes, I rode on Hwy 78 and Hwy 80 on the north and south ends of the lake. Neither was actually that bad, and it's a fairly short distance that you have to stay on them. But a lot of the route on the east side of the lake was on 740, which has too much traffic. People would get stuck behind me and not want to go around due to oncoming traffic. No one was rude or anything, but a situation I would prefer to avoid just the same. 205 up north was okay, though.

At that time, Lake Ray Hubbard Drive showed on the internet maps to be continuous, when in fact it is closed at a bridge that is out. And I think it was White Road that showed to be a through street on the maps that was in fact permanently closed. So I had two unexpected detours. But it was still a nice adventure.
Thanks, good to know. I may talk to the guys at Rockwall Cycling for some route suggestions before I attempt this.

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Old 04-15-10, 07:31 PM
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I haven't pedaled it but Hwy 80 has a new bridge across Hubbard, have heard it's ok to ride.
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Old 04-16-10, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by barlows
My commute (in at 8:30 pm) includes Liberty Grove, Merritt and Sachse. You're right, they've taken a bit of a pounding from the winter. If you'll take Sachse West and cross 78 at 3rd street, you can take Blackburn/Campbell to Murphy. North on Murphy and West on Renner is a nice little piece of road. Traffic is pretty light, the surface is pretty even, and there is decent lighting. On my commute, I follow Renner as far West as North Plano Rd, and it's pretty good that whole way.

Steve
I tried this route out last night. I definitely recommend it for night riding. Very little traffic and as barlows said, nice smooth roads with just the right amount of light. Thanks again for the recommendation!
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Old 04-23-10, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ridethepanther
... I'd considered going to Sunnyvale. I frequently head that way for weekend rides, but have never done it at night. My only concern was where to park if I wanted to drive to avoid the in-between roads. Anyone ever had issues parking at Sunnyvale high school at night?
Sunnyvale cops are the worst. They suspect anything.
My girlfriend and I were walking around a park and we were interrogated. The lady cop (this should say something about the kind of woman she was... tough and rough) asked what we were doing in Sunnyvale. Why we had interest in this particular park. It was a very pretty park, small, away from the city so we said this to her. She yelled, "DON'T YOU LIE TO ME! I know what you guys are doing out here. I'm not stupid or blind!" I just laughed and thought she was kidding.

She responded, "I KNOW! BOTH OF YOU WERE OUT HERE HAVING SEX IN BROAD DAYLIGHT! RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN FOR ALL TO SEE!"
I just laughed and said, "No you must be mistaken. We would never do that. We were just enjoying our day. I'm sorry to have caused such an inconvenience by using your park."
She was furious, "I'm not stupid. I know what I saw with my own eyes! Don't you lie to me, Don't you lie."

My girlfriend livid now just wanted to leave.
The lady cop ms. brown beat her to the punch.
"I think you two should get out of Sunnyvale and go to a park where you live!"
(I live in mesquite, but only about 3 miles from Sunnyvale.) "And I suggest you just stay out of Sunnyvale!"

I just thought to myself, "Really? A cop is telling us to leave the town because we were walking around the park. This is maddness."

So we up and left the park, but as we were leaving she pulled me over. I didn't put my turn signal on as I was leaving the park onto the street that no one travels on.

All this being said to say, they don't really like "suspicious" activity. A resting, parked car with no people in it caused some controversy. I would say the parking lot to their football stadium would be a better place to park, but don't be surprised if you get accosted by the police. They all drive sheriff or constable cars too for dallas county.

Just a heads up.
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