Monday, June 25, 2012


I'm still in Dallas, hanging out with my parents. We get up, work all day and do stuff together in the evenings. It's not a typical vacation, but it's still pretty good.

A couple of days back I had a couple of hours to kill and though it's 100+ outside, there are miles and miles of road in every direction that I've never seen before and the urge to explore was irresistible.

I pulled up a couple of maps, roughed out a loop that I figured would take a couple of hours and hit the road.

Though I guess it wasn't exactly the road that I first hit, but rather the little trail through the neighborhood.

 Chestnut Meadows Trail

Road bike singletrack again, woohoo!

My "plan", such as it was, was thwarted relatively early. I needed to cross the Trinity River but there are only a few ways to do that: north around Lake Ray Hubbard, south through Seagoville, or go directly across on Highway 80, which I've done in my car dozens of times. I guess I didn't pay enough attention to the service roads though, because it always appeared that they paralleled the highway all the way across the river. Indeed, they do not. They're blocked off, flooded, and there's a gap in the road, right at the river. 80 itself (the non-service-road part) is not unlike 400 in Atlanta, and presumably not open to bikes.

I discovered all of this about 20 minutes into the ride and my loop turned into an out-and-back.

Still though, there's nothing wrong with an out-and-back, and I got the full East Texas experience.

Sophie asked me the other day how I'd describe Texas if I had to use one word. I said "expansive". This didn't please her. I think she was thinking along totally different lines, but that was the word that came to mind, and you really feel it out on the bike.

You can usually see a long way.


In every direction.



 Also Expansive

I headed south toward Seagoville.

Bois D'Arc Street leading out of Forney has some really nice houses, but the road surface would shake the teeth out of the average Atlanta roadie. FM-740 was a lot smoother but featured dozens of 30 foot long, 8 inch deep ruts in the asphalt. The average gravel Forest Service Road is maintained to a higher standard. I bet I could bottom out my wife's Fit on any one of them.

Live in Texas, drive a truck.

There was no shortage of desolate expanse though and the views in every direction failed to disappoint. The heat failed to disappoint as well. Around every corner, the road ahead disappeared into wavy mirage.

Ahh. Texas.

Eventually I reached the bustling metropolis of Seagoville. Near I-20 it was built-out. There were hotels and a McDonalds and "The Villas of Seagoville", but the old downtown was quiet as the grave.

 Seagoville 1  Seagoville 2

Two thrift stores, a cafe and a car wash were open. Nothing else.

I might have found Vonnie's ancestral home though.

 McClung Street

Perhaps the McClung family migrated east to Albany when Seagoville went bust.

Or, maybe not.

I spun a lap through the elementary school, home of the Wee Dragons, and another loop around downtown before heading back north.

Apparently the road can be flooded sometimes.

 No High Water Today

There was little chance of that though. In fact, the drought meters all over Forney seemed to indicate little chance of flood, or rain for that matter, for the forseeable future.

In the other direction it was even more vast and expansive.

Even more!

 Even More Expansive

I had a magnanimous tailwind on the way back too, and probably averaged 20 miles an hour or more.

The loop was a bust, but I think I still got the full experience and that was what I was after. Can't ask for much more than that.

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