Friday, June 22, 2012


I'm in Texas! Visiting my parents. They've been in Atlanta a lot lately, so we figured we'd visit them in Dallas for a change now that the kids are out of school.

I say Dallas but really they live in Forney, east of Dallas. I've mostly been working all day, every day, all week, but I brought every bike our family owns and today I got out on the road for a couple of hours.

I know Jack about the roads around here, but I did once drive to Rockwall so that seemed like a good place to ride to.

I did a small amount of Google Mapping and hit the road.

The kids and I rode the little paved trail in the neighborhood the last time I was in town and we all walked it a few days ago too, so I knew where it went and started out on that - road bike singletrack as I like to call it.

 Chestnut Mountain Trail

There were hedge apples all over the place.


There are only two trees common to East Texas that I know - cedar and bois d'arc. The bois d'arc drops these big light green grenades all over the place known by many names including osage orange and hedge apple. They are allegedly safe to eat and were even fed to the troops once in WWII, but I hear that they don't taste very good and I'm not about to try one. They're interesting to see though. There's nothing like them in North Georgia, as far as I know.

I spun out the little neighborhood trail, cut through the school that it leads to and ended up on, ironically, Bois D'Arc Street in downtown Forney.


Bois D'Arc is also FM-740. FM stands for "Farm" or "Farm to Market" (I'm not sure which) and damn near every road in Texas is or once was FM-something-or-other.

FM-740 leads all the way to Rockwall. If that isn't easy enough to follow, there are also signs at every intersection like: "Rockwall ->".

Despite a torrential headwind, the ride north was as pleasant as could be. Traffic was light. Everybody passed kindly. No problems. It really looked like Texas too, all over the place - farms, wide open fields, hedgerows and sprawling developments.


Eventually I reached the Rockwall County line but I still had a ways to go before I got into Rockwall proper.

 Rockwall County Line

The run into town was a bit more developed than the rest of the ride had been. FM-740 became Ridge Road and construction crews were busy making it into a 4-laner. Traffic going into town was light but the other way, it was backed up for a long way and nobody appeared to be in any hurry.

I rode down to the Harbor District and meandered around down there for a while. They have two awesome fountains there. One was empty and turned off, but the other was still active and a family was playing in it.

 Rockwall Harbor Area Fountain

I may have mentioned before that I can't stand getting wet when I'm on the road bike for some reason. I have no qualms about submerging myself nose-deep in the Etowah on the mountain bike, but for some reason on the road bike, I can't stand it. So, despite temps in the high 90's, I declined to refresh myself in the fountain.

Lake Ray Hubbard lay to the west and from the Harbor area there are many beautiful views available, including this one.

 Lake Ray Hubbard

Right as I was about to head back south, my mom called. My brother was going to stop by their place in the next hour or so.

Thanks to a magnanimous tailwind, I made it back in record time.


Apparently the traffic lights headed out of Rockwall are timed to 20 or 25 miles per hour though, despite the 40 MPH speed limit. I was pulling away from cars, kept catching ones that passed me at the light and kept catching green lights. I guess that's why everyone was moving so slowly before.

Coming back into town I took a wrong turn. Some dude honked at me from behind at a stop sign, then opened his car door as he passed and he and his girlfriend both yelled some incomprehensible thing that sounded like it ended in "five". The speed limit was 40 so it didn't make much sense. Maybe they thought I rolled the stop-sign, which I hadn't. When they honked though, I'd looked back and they'd rolled it. I guess the guy's window didn't roll down, and he felt so compelled to yell at me that he had to open his door. It was confusing to say the least. Maybe he wanted me to roll the stop sign. I don't know. No telling.

Another strange thing was that I saw more police than I've ever seen in my life. Almost all of them were from the town of Heath, halfway between Forney and Rockwall. The town is almost non-existent. There's no downtown or anything, just neighborhoods and farms. They sure have a lot of police though.

The ride was great though. Hopefully I can get in a couple more rides while I'm here, maybe even a little dirt. Here's hoping.

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