Sunday, June 8, 2008

Biking the Trinity Trail in Fort Worth

I have not been on my bike much in the past several months. I've been enjoying hiking at Tandy Hills Park instead. But this week I rode the mountain bike trail for 11 plus miles at River Legacy Park for the first time in a long time. New sections of trail have been added. It was all in the best shape I'd ever seen it.

I felt so good after biking at River Legacy that today I decided to pedal another trail I used to do all the time, but have not in months. That being the Trinity Trail in Fort Worth. There are 30 some miles of paved trails along side the Trinity River in Fort Worth.

I started my ride at Gateway Park. Gateway Park is where Fort Woof is located. Gateway Park is on the north side of I-30, directly across from Tandy Hills Park. Gateway Park supposedly has a new mountain bike trail. I pedaled all over, but was unable to find it. So I hit the Trinity Trail. That's it above where you see a bridge atop a dam. The trail crosses these type dams in several places.

Usually I pedal about 7 miles, turning around when I am in view of the Fort Worth Stockyards. But today was being a lotta fun. A heavy wind pushing me had me sailing over 25mph a couple times. I knew I was gonna pay for it when I headed back into the wind.

Usually I see no one on this section of the Trinity Trail. But today I saw at least 6 other bikers. And two walkers. But they were homeless people under bridges. The homeless people are usually the only humans I see on this section of the Trinity Trail. The section that runs from downtown, west, is where you'll usually see humans. And no homeless people.

I saw 2 vexing things during my ride, other than the 2 homeless people. The first one was right after I pedaled under I-35 I saw something new. A shelter with a bench and 3 drinking fountains, one on ground level for dogs, a mid-level one for kids and a taller one for bigger people. But the oasis turned out to be a mirage. As in the water fountains produced no water. I could have used some more water. When I went by the mirage on my way back there were a pair of bikers pushing on the buttons trying to get water. The City of Fort Worth has been having some budget woes. Maybe they didn't pay the water bill.

The other vexing really surprised me. When I got in view of the Stockyards, on the other side of the river, not far from that side of the river's trail, a gas drilling company rig is in full operation. I'd not seen this brand before. FGDC, I think were the initials, but my bad eyes could not read what the F word was. I know what my F word was at that moment, though.

This was at the 7 mile mark, or so. Usually this is when I turn around. But I saw construction cranes where the new downtown Tarrant County Community College is being built. When I last saw the construction zone they were cutting into the Trinity Bluff, shoring it up with steel and cement. And now the building is well underway. From what I saw I think this is going to be a real good addition to downtown Fort Worth.

I've always been impressed by the Main Street Bridge that crosses the Trinity River, connecting downtown to the Stockyards and beyond. There is an historical marker near the bridge on the opposite side from where I was. I can't remember what makes it historical, but I think it was something like being the first bridge to use concrete arches. Or something like that. I was too worn out at the 10 mile mark to add another 1 to get to the other side to read the historical marker.

But what struck me today is it is sort of sad that few see this bridge. The Trinity Trail runs under it, but no road comes into view of it. So, those Texans who are constitutionally restricted to walking distances no greater than 10 feet, have never seen this bridge. One troubling thing I noticed. One of the support trusses attached to one of the arches, was cracked. If this were an earthquake zone that would be worrisome.

That is the Main Street Bridge in the photo, just part of it. That is the arch that has the cracked truss on top of it. That is Radio Shack's Headquarters on the other side of the arch. It's a scenic spot. That few see. I think when the new TCC campus opens up, many more people will get an appreciation of this bridge. And this section of the Trinity Trails.

So, I ended up biking about 20 miles. There is little shade and I ended up being out in the sun for about an hour and a half, shirtless. So, I have my first minor sunburn in a long long while.


jeff.moralez said...

If drilling rigs bother you so much in Fort Worth than why don't you ride on out of town.

Kevin Buchanan said...

Gee, Jeff, that's a healthy attitude. Heaven forbid somebody might feel a little weird about gas drilling right next to a water source, or want some kind of thinking about whether drilling everywhere is a good idea or not. It's much better to just suggest that anybody who doesn't agree with the drillers just leave town.

Durango said...

I've lot track of the number of times I've been advised to leave town or Texas or both.