Sunday, October 2, 2011

Even when Google Maps leads you astray ...

Sometimes I like a good challenge. We all do (well, at least I think we all should). Gotta push yourself and see just what you can do. Sometimes, however, the stars do not align and while you're pretty sure you can do it, other things conspire against you. Things like Google Maps.

The last time my dad and I went out to the boat, I'd thought that maybe some day I'd like to ride all the way out there. It's a good ways, the maps said 30 miles from my place. The longest ride I've done at this point is in the low 20s, but I figured I could do it, especially that I don't pedal hard. Good tunes and a bottle of water, and I figure I can get just about anywhere. So I set off.

The trip began with a lake and ended with a lake. I had to stop by my parents' house first and then hit part of the lovely White Rock loop and head on around to the Arboretum where I hopped off into Forest Hills. And seriously, that part of town blows. The roads are royally busted up. I ducked in and around, loop-di-loop, figured out where Bishop Lynch is, which is new, and found Eastfield, which just made me all the more happy to have gone to a full four-year college.

Along the way, found this

Sidney at Sidney! Unfortunately, the real Sidney (Crosby) is still benched. Sadface. Oh yeah, and I had to stop at home to pick something up for my dad. Had to pick up the gas can. So there was me pedaling through Dallas on my pretty little bike with a bigass gas can in the basket. That was funny.

I got honked at more in this neighborhood than I ever have before, and got called more than my fair share of nasty names (in a language they definitely didn't think I could understand. Beg pardon, but this puta took several years of high school Spanish, and if there's anything a high school Spanish students wants to learn, it's the swear words) After six months of riding through Dallas, I've started to identify which neighborhoods are going to give me the most trouble and I really don't want to talk about the similarities between them.

A far too large chuck of the ride was through Mesquite/Town East Mall area. That was a little dangerous. I came about thirty seconds from getting someone cited for excessive honking—the cop car I could have flagged down was just a little ways off. How great would that have been? Because the answer is really great.

The switch from Mesquite to Sunnyvale could not have been more drastic. I went from over-developed, run-down suburb to gorgeous country roads through east Texas ranchland. If you haven't been out there, Sunnyvale is a dream to pedal through. The roads are mostly new, well-paved, big green trees on both sides, land stretches for ages and ages and it's beautiful.

And there's ponies. Like, for reals. This was right at the first break into Sunnyvale and it only got better. I seriously saw a girl riding her horse in her front yard which was kind of my favorite thing ever.

Unfortunately, this is also where things started to go downhill. Beautiful, absolutely stunning ride. I really want to go back out there, though I might have to take a different route. Or get a bike rack for my car. One of the two. It wasn't too hot, there was a bit of a breeze, gentle hills that also managed to be enough of a challenge to make you smile. J'adore. I was having too much fun to take pictures, if that tells you anything. The streets, however, are not well-marked and I passed more than one turn I was meant to take. That sucked.

And then I got to the dam. See, while Google Maps had told me to ride across "Lake Ray Hubbard Way", what they meant was ride across the Rockwall-Forney Dam, and the city of Dallas was not about to let that happen. Big fence, security guard, a whole lot of "no", which made me pout.

I did get to see the lake through the trees, so that was a plus. I officially made it all the way to Lake Ray Hubbard—all in all, about 24 solid miles of cycling. Not a bad day's work. Plus yesterday, I did my usual morning commute, rode from Las Colinas to Half Price Books, up to Addison and then most of the way home (with a hop in the hatchback for the roughest bits. On the plus side, I can remove and reattach a tire while intoxicated. I'm getting good!)

After I got blocked at the dam, the only other option was Highway 80, and Highway 80 doesn't have a service road crossing the east fork of the Trinity so ... I was out of options. I could reverse my way 10 miles and then go another 20 up around the north side of the lake but uh, I just didn't quite feel like it. So I called in the cavalry.

My knight in shining armor. Also known as my dad in the truck. Because this was my barrier.

Ah well, it had been totally worth it. We were headed to the lake for the George Griffith Memorial Regatta, so lots of sailors and lots of pretty boats and a loosely-guarded keg which as a recent college grad and former sorority girl I had no problem locating and tapping several times. Ahh, sailing.

It was unreal.

1 comment:

  1. The gas can on the back is pretty damn funny.