Friday, September 3, 2010

Biking The River Legacy Park Trail With Snakes, Attack Grasshoppers And A Roller Blading Wheelchair Bound Granny

You are looking at my newly reactivated bike on the middle of the bridge across Hurricane Creek in River Legacy Park in Arlington, today, around noon.

My second bike ride since re-acquiring that ability did not see the same seating discomfort as the previous pedaling. I guess my program to amp up the ampleness of my boney derriere is already paying off with greater cushioning.

I have pedaled the River Legacy Trail many many times over the years. I remember a period after my return from Washington in April of 2006, where for 6 months, or so, pedaling hard daily, almost, was my mode of therapy.

During that period in 2006 I found myself noticeably getting stronger. And faster. Eventually I did the pedaling in the highest gear. The fastest I ever completed this particular ride had been in a little over 53 minutes.


Today, right from the start I was moving fast. This particular trail changes direction a lot. It is windy today. Sometimes the wind was behind me, others I was pedaling in to it.


I stopped to take pictures or drink water several times. Even so, I somehow managed to break the pedal time record today, returning to my vehicle in less than 52 minutes. That is 11.744 miles in 52 minutes.

In the picture on the right, above, we are at the 7 Mile Marker at the east end of the River Legacy Park Trail. The long range plan is for the trail to continue from this point and eventually join the Trinity Trails in Dallas. That would be a really good thing.

Previously, when heading into a strong headwind I would switch to a lower gear. Today I did not feel the need and found myself going into the wind at 14 mph.

So, I'm guessing all the hiking and swimming has made me a much stronger biker. It will be interesting to see how biking an actual mountain bike trail goes. I'll try that when the River Legacy Mountain Bike Trail dries out.

Pedaling past the now, sort of, mothballed Huffines Development at Bird's Fort, freshly aggravated me today. There was one lone piece of heavy equipment digging at something. All has returned to green from the Huffines scaring, so it now looks like a park again. I know there is no money for such a thing, but this is such a greenbelt gem it seems sort of criminal that this piece of green, in the center of this huge Metroplex zone, might be ruined, rather than added to River Legacy Park.

In the picture, if the Huffines Development gets built, you would be looking at buildings in the view you see here. You would no longer pedal this paved trail with the illusion that you've left the city.

There were a lot of bikers pedaling today. And several joggers. I used to have this trail pretty much to myself. I tell you, Texas is getting in shape. Well, some of Texas is getting in shape. The strangest thing I saw today was at the 5 Mile Marker. A guy on roller blades was pushing what I assumed was his very elderly grandma who was in a wheel chair.

I can not imagine pushing someone in a wheel chair that far on this trail. I have roller bladed it twice, with the second time having me badly overheat, to the point I had to call for a rescue.

I had a big snake encounter today. I was moving about 20 mph, came around a corner and swerved to miss a snake. I hit the brakes and turned around to get a picture, but the beast slithered quickly away before I could get a picture.

I also had an ugly grasshopper encounter. They are very annoying. They sit on the cement and then hop up right as you pass them. One hopped up today and hit me and got inside my shirt. That had cause a wreck potential. I was able to reach behind and shake it out of my shirt. A grasshopper feels very scratchy when stuck between a shirt and skin. Not pleasant.

It's time for lunch now. I'm hungry.


Don Young said...

I don't recall you blogging about the Molly Hollar Wildscape in Arlington. If not check it out.

Durango said...

DY---There have been thousands of these bloggings. You can't be expected to remember them all.

I think I first blogged about the Wildscape and Xeriscape way back in 2008.

I also long ago webpaged Veteran's

Steve A said...

Advice about grasshoppers. When riding, keep your mouth closed. Don't ask how I know this.