Monday, December 21, 2020

Squabble Creek

About a month, or so, ago, it was Thanksgiving! I forget now exactly what everybody's plans were, but everybody had something different they wanted to do, or had to do. As such, my parents invited everyone over to Texas, but it turned out I was the only one who was able to take them up on it, or at least the only one in my immediate family.

And take them up, I did.

Ahh, Texas. East Dallas Metro, in particular. Lots of hills, but no mountains. Easy shred for a Georgia boy.

Last time I was in town, I discovered the Squabble Creek trail system, but it was the very end of winter at the time, and several of the trails had been closed for a while. This happens in Dallas. The soil there is this really fine black clay that cakes up on everything. And, since there's no real elevation to speak of, water doesn't exactly run off. So, at some point, each winter, various trails get waterlogged, close, and just don't open back up again until it's dry. That was the state of Squabble Creek at the end of last winter. Fortunately, this time, it was still fall, still warm, and I was able to ride everything out there.

Trails 1 and 2 are just awful. Well, awful to ride, at least. They might be ok to hike. Super rooty though, with lots of quick ups and downs. The rest of the system is a blast though. Flat, ideal singletrack.

Random Squabble Creek

Another charateristic of Dallas trails is that the flat, ideal singletrack, is puncutated by steep dives down through arbitrarily deep creekbeds. Last I was out there, the torrential rains of the 2019-2020 winter had scoured these drops, exposed roots, undercut roots, and turned every quick little fun drop into blind, sketchy little deathtraps. If your front wheel didn't get yanked out from under you, you'd dig into a hole and get thrown against the bars. At best, you'd just lose all of your speed. After my Dad's crash, I was gunshy of all that crap, to say the least.

But! Half a year's trailwork had paid off, and the quick little fun drops were quick, little, and fun again.

It wasn't all manicured though. Osage Oranges littered the ground, everywhere you looked.

Osage Oranges

Fortunately none were on the actual trail.

Hit one of those leaning into a corner. I dare you.

I want to say I spun two laps (excluding 1) but I don't remember for sure. I might have spun 1 full lap, and then went back and hit the bypasses on the second lap, or something. I forget. I do remember that my bike was perfectly clean until I rode through like 100 feet of slight wetness on 6 and it caked up so bad that a guy in the parking lot (also from out-of-town) got really worried about how wet it was and asked me all kinds of questions about it. Just 100 feet on 6. The rest of the trail was beautiful.

Last time I was up there, I'd also ridden a bunch of paved trails all around some lake. Lake Phelps or something. I think it was actually 2 lakes... Anyway, I'd apparently missed some little bit of trail.


We can't have that.

Turns out the wide-ish sidewalk in front of the Squabble Creek lot tees into some pavement that twists around under the highway, leads through a neighborhood, and eventually joins the rest of the paved trails.

Knobies Buzzing on Pavement Paved Trail in Rockwall

Ha, ha! Success. All trails ridden.

Here's that lake.

I Forget the Name of this Lake

One of them at least. Man, I want to say the name starts with a C, but I can't come up with it now.

It always takes like 5 minutes to cross Goliad. There's no good median, and the lights are timed such that there's always traffic coming from one direction, but rarely from both. I'd hate to live there. It would drive me nuts.

And that was it. Quick spin at Squabble Creek. Got my Dallas legs back. Fun times ahead.

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