Sunday, August 7, 2011

Erwin Park

I met my dad after work yesterday for a little spin around Erwin Park. It was hot enough to melt crayons on the sidewalk, but still a few degrees cooler than yesterday.

 Hot Enough to Melt Crayons

It was also about an hour later and the sun wasn't shining on us so directly either, so it felt a lot nicer outside.

It's a bit further to Erwin Park than Rowlett. We got there about 7:30.

 Erwin Park Sign

There were a bunch of high school kids grilling out and throwing around frisbees and footballs. It sounds crazy, but at very first, having been listening to them but not looking at them, I thought they were a group of special needs kids. Two of them kept repeating the same things over and over and laughing oddly. It turned out that they were just doing it to mess with each other. I was surprised how good natured they were. When I was going to a Texas high school, a big group of kids like that would have been drinking and arguing, possibly looking for a fight.

We hit the singletrack as quickly as possible.

 Singletrack in the Field

Erwin Park, like a lot of land around these parts is a series of old pastures segregated by streams. Each stream is bordered by dense bits of woods. I actually recognized some trees today. Sort-of. A couple of different oaks. Not really sure what kind. Out in the pastures there were random trees but here and there, but mainly little stands of cedar have been taking over.

The trails meander lazily around a field, dive into a little patch of woods, twist around insanely, then burst back out into another field, over and over.

I crashed almost immediately. In the first little bit of woods, there was this great little twisty downhill and at the last second, hidden from view, I had to squeeze between two trees with barely half an inch on either side. Maybe if I'd known it was there or even if I could have seen it, I'd have been able to thread that needle. Instead, I pingponged around a few times before finally ditching the bike. My right shoulder took the worst hit. It felt ok at the time, but it's more swollen now than I'd like. I've got full mobility, but we'll see.

I was a little gunshy after that, but the rest of the trail didn't give us much trouble.

 Me and My Dad

The last time I'd ridden there must have been 10 years ago and it was slightly damp outside. The soil in Dallas turns to cookie dough if it gets a drop of moisture. On that day, the little stream crossings near the end caked mud up on our tires do badly that they jammed up against the frame and fork and we had to walk the last mile and a half.

There was no chance of that yesterday though. It was bone dry and we were able to ride the little roller coaster at the end with no problems.

Or, at least almost no problems. It was getting late and dark.

 Getting Late

We were worried that we'd have to walk out of the woods but we ended up having just barely enough light.

The high school kids were packing up when we got back to the car. It was definitely time to go.

We'd only gotten in one lap but it wasn't about getting in a ton of miles. It was about getting out of our backyards and having fun together, and that we definitely accomplished.

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