Monday, December 21, 2020

Cedar Hill

The day before Thanksgiving, my brother and I tried to ride at Cedar Hill. When he lived there, he used ride it every weekend. I've ridden it a few times - once before he moved there, once again, with him when he lived there, once again with my Dad when it was like 112 degrees outside and we'd already ridden Big Cedar earlier in the same day. I want to say that was in 2012. It had been even longer since John had been there.

Since the start of the pandemic, state parks have been very careful how many people they let in the park at once. You have to get a pass, and it's only valid for 1 day. Also, the parts of the park where people would gather together are usually closed outright. No problem though, trails are not such parts, and we were able to acquire the passes online. Excellent. We were excited, and drove out early that morning.

And, when we arrived, the trails were all closed. Apparently it had rained there overnight, and that's all it takes to shut things down. Man. I kicked myself for not checking the Dorba site. I checked it on my phone, leaving the park. Nearly everything was closed.

Now that I think about it, I think all of that happened before we went and rode that gravel loop that I described in the previous post. Yeah. Fuzzy memories.

At any rate, that night Daniel was back in town, and we all went to this place Sherlock's and sang Karaoke. You'd think that'd be risky during a pandemic, but they were impressively careful about it. I sang Folsom Prison Blues, The Devil Went Down to Georgia, and Are You Gonna Go My Way. These I pulled off. I then tried You Shook Me All Night Long, which went about as badly as you can imagine. Daniel sang 3am, Walking in Memphis, and Pour Some Sugar on Me. He killed all three of them. It was awesome. John's girl Sia was there with us too. I can't remember her first sone, but she sang whatever that was, and Hotel California, and was better than me at both of those as well. It was a great time, but we didn't get to bed until like 3AM.

...and then me and John were back at Cedar Hill the next morning, hoping to get a ride in before the Thanksgiving festivities got underway.

It went about as well as the gravel loop the day before. I managed to set a few PRs, but also felt like I was struggling the whole time.

Here I am, chasing John across some prairie.

Chasing John at Cedar Hill

And, for some reason, more open prairie.

Cedar Hill Prairie

At a lot of trails in Dallas, you wind on singletrack through the trees, then pop out on a prairie for a while, then head back into the trees, over and over.

Here's some of that singletrack.

Cedar Hill Singletrack

John led for the first lap, and I led for the second. There's like 1 little kick in the middle of the trail, and it was easy the first lap, but I blew up climbing it on the second.

John had to fix something, at some point.

John Fixing Something

I don't remember what.

Neither of us really remembered the trail. John used to know it like the back of his hand, but it had been too long, and things had changed a bit. Honestly, it was kind of novel to ride there, and fun for nostalgia's sake, but it wasn't as awesome as we remembered. It's super, super, super twisty and rooty. Just incredibly technical. That's kind of fun, but it's tough to ride for hours. You can't rip and flow. The second half of the trial is better than the first, as far as that goes, but even it's a bit confined. A lot of the trail is below grade too, and just getting eaten down into the ground more and more each year. You can tell that they're trying to keep it sustainable - thus all of the twists and turns, but up in the trees, it really needs longer, shallower runs, with reversals, and the soil there is just really soft. You'd have to keep the grades really shallow. Worse, really, is that the lines of sight are extremely limited, and it's a popular hiking trail, so you end up not wanting to rip, lest you run up on a hiker too quickly. That happened a few times, and I felt pretty bad about it.

Ugh. Fun-ish, but probably won't ride there again unless someone specifically wants to.

Oh yeah. On the way out, we saw this DIY waterpark, and got a photo of it on the way back.

DIY Waterpark

"I told the kids we were going to the waterpark this year, and damnit, we're going, even if I have to build one myself!"

Something like that. Corrugated pipe strapped to a stack of pallets. I'm not sure that's even a legitimate above-ground pool. Whatever's going on there, I applaud the effort. I hope it turned out to be safer than it looks!

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