Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Rest of Texas

So, it looks like the new normal is going weeks, even months without journaling. How did it come to this?

Some time ago I was still in Texas.

I got a really good tan.

There's plenty of Vitamin D in Texas. There is also plenty of wind. My goodness. Leave at 4PM, heading east, dead into the wind. Ride around for 2 hours, come back heading west, somehow also dead into the wind. That's what it's like. Plenty of cookie dough in Texas as well. "Hmm... That grey dirt looks slightly soft, I wonder..." Immediately cakes both tires half an inch deep with one rotation. Immediately cakes both shoes half an inch deep with first steps. Bike weighs 8 pounds more. I don't miss the wind or the dubious grey dirt.

I had plenty of fun before I left though, riding the local trails.

There's this one up north called Sister Grove, that was honestly a lot like McKinney, and a lot like many other trails in the Dallas area.

Stacked loops.

Nice tread.

You wind around through cedars for a while, pop out into a field for a while, pop back into the cedars for a while, and repeat. Lots of cris-crossy roots to manage. Sometimes you have to lean forward awkwardly to get your center of gravity low for the turns. That's the general character of most of the local trails. Each trail has unique features though. Sister Grove, for example, borders Lavon Lake on the north side, and you can take a hunting access trail down to the edge of the lake. There's no proper shore though, the lake just floods way up into the woods. So, you're riding along, and the underbrush starts getting thin, then you see water, and it's everywhere in both directions. Really cool.

I also rode Frisco Northwest Community Park, which was the least fun I had out there. It just rattled my teeth out, and I don't usually complain about twisty trail, but it was more twisty than I enjoy. I did figure out how to ride it better on my second lap - that awkward forward-lean to keep a low center of gravity - but I didn't spin a third. As much as I didn't enjoy it, I seemed to be in the minority. The lot was full, and driving away, I saw 5 separate riders on their way to the park from various local neighborhoods.

Other than that, I put in a ton of miles on dirt roads south of Forney, near Crandall and Talty. "The Blackland". One road, FM2757, was nearly 4 miles of packed limestone and gravel one day, and then two days later it was paved. I guess I happened to catch it at just the right time.

I got in a lot of good miles in Texas, but there were things to do back in Atlanta, so I ended up heading back before getting to hit a few of the trails that I'd hoped to. That's how it goes sometimes, but I imagine I'll be back soon enough. My folks live there, and I doubt that'll be changing any time soon.

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