Suburban Assault

Archive for the ‘Rides Around Town’ Category

Into The Storm

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Into The Storm

When you become a bike rider, you quickly learn the importance of keeping an eye on the weather. You never want to get caught in a Texas thunderstorm. Unlike my days living in the northwest – where the rain is frequent, consistently light and often drizzly – rain is rare in north Texas during the summer. But when it comes, it comes hard – usually with lightning and rolling thunder. It’s very intimidating, when you’re on a bike and typically avoided – especially by me.

I knew that there was a storm rolling through yesterday morning, but as I scanned the online radar and checked the hourly forecast, it looked like I had a small window to run an errand and grab a quick cup of coffee. My prediction was slightly off.

I did manage to get my mail sent off at the post office without a drop of rain, but as I rolled towards my coffee shop, I saw the dark clouds and lightning moving into my area very quickly. I decided to park it at my Starbucks and wait it out. Another interesting thing about Texas thunderstorms is that they usually leave as fast as they come.

With my tall, black coffee and the sound of pounding rain and thunder just outside, I comfortably read through a chapter of my book. Before I was able to get into the next chapter, my wife called and, after reminding me how crazy I was, asked if she needed to come get me. The rain was much lighter at this point, but she warned me that another wave was heading our way.

Wet Bike Lane

With a bit of pride and a lot of stubbornness, I declined her offer and told her riding home wouldn’t be a problem. I packed my book back into it’s Ziplock baggy and hit the road. Fortunately, most of the ride back was light and drizzly, just like my days up north. The streets, however, were still flooded from the storm and because I didn’t have fenders, I got soaked.

Soaked Shoes

Aside from that, riding in the rain was actually pretty fun. I’ll still avoid the thunderstorms, though.

Written by dickdavid

August 18, 2014 at 7:55 am

Not The Ordinary Route – A True Suburban Assault

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Monday

I’m off from work this week, so my goal is to – at least – get a small ride in every day. Today, I was just going to do a short ride up to my local Starbucks, grab a quick cup of black goodness and head back home. However, a small sense of adventure kicked in and I decided to turn left instead of right.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper Suburban Assault. I’m pretty familiar with the area around me, so it’s hard to find a good route that I haven’t explored. Through chance, and a little getting lost, I managed to make some new discoveries. Here are some observations from this morning’s ride:

• The light actuator at Grove and Arapaho Road SUCKS. I sat through 3 cycles before I took action.
• The bike lane markings along Grove are mostly faded away.
• My alternate destination for coffee wasn’t open for another hour from my arrival, so I had to ride further. Bonus.
• When you have time, getting a little lost is fun.
• My great sense of direction is no match for a good GPS. Although I was heading in the right direction, the neighborhood I was riding through had lots of dead end streets. I finally had to pull out my phone to find a route out.
• The rush hour traffic in Garland sucks.
• Sometimes a 5 mile trip can turn into an 11 mile adventure.

Written by dickdavid

August 4, 2014 at 8:12 am

The Coffee Shop Way Down The Street

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COF  FEE

One of my favorite destinations, on my weekend morning ride, is the Starbucks down the street (about 2.5 miles). Some mornings are way too beautiful to just stop there, so I choose to go to the Pearl Cup, which is much further away from my house. The coffee is really good, but when you ride a little more, it tastes a lot better.

Written by dickdavid

September 16, 2013 at 5:34 am

Here Are A Couple Of Random Things

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BIG EYE

I took a ride with my buddy on Saturday and we tried a new route. On that new stretch, we ran across this strange looking object – a huge eye, just beyond a fence, looking straight at us. It was interesting how it was placed so randomly with the construction, and I’m sure there’s a story behind that.

I also took a ride on Sunday to get more pictures of local sculptures for a scavenger hunt I will be hosting in October. That morning, I ran across some interesting characters: a sleeping bum (odd in the ‘burbs), an opossum, and this little guy (see below). The Nine-banded Armadillo is the state mammal (small) of Texas, but you rarely see them alive and 3 dimensional (at least along the road). He looked like a giant pill bug with a head, a tail and furry legs.

Dillo

Written by dickdavid

September 9, 2013 at 6:03 am

Quiet Blog = Lots Of Riding

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Tune Ups A/C

I must apologize for not posting so much lately. It’s just been really nice outside, and the perfect time of year to ride. I’ve been trying to get out and about as much as possible, before the 100+ temperatures hit north Texas.

Here are a few pics from my current Suburban Assaults.

Potential

Here is an old, abandoned repair shop, just north of town. I’d love to turn this into a cool Velocult type place or bike co-op. Perhaps I could sell, coffee, beer or tacos. Anybody want to invest?

Haystack In Richardson

This is Haystack, Burgers and Barley – a new restaurant in town. To me, what makes this place such an awesome destination, are the owners. Having tasty burgers and local brews doesn’t hurt either. This place is a true win for Richardson.

Duram Park Richardson

Durham Park is the result of a community working well together. There was a need for a park in this part of town – our city pulled together, and through our last bond election, voted to have this built.

Traffic Calming Study Richardson

Here is another win for my town – traffic calming. Sometimes this is done through bike lanes and sometimes, like in this case, it’s done with speed humps. Slower traffic = safer roads for cycling.

Artisan Vapor Company - Plano

Just recently, I discovered this place in Plano, the town just north of mine. I love seeing old buildings turned into new, local businesses.

What are you discovering while riding around your ‘hood? I’d love to hear about it.

Written by dickdavid

June 10, 2013 at 11:01 am

Watch Out – Even On The Sidewalks

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Campbell

Yet another reminder that no matter what your route – road or sidewalk – you’ve got to stay alert for the nut jobs in cars. Here is a traffic/pedestrian walk light that was taken out last night by, what I would assume, somebody losing control of their vehicle and rolling onto the sidewalk.

The dose of reality for me is that I’ve stood behind this pole many times, watching traffic spin around that corner at great speeds. I remember tucking myself behind it with the false sense of security that I was safe from those cars. I mean, what were the odds of a car getting over the curb and through a huge metal pole? Right? Stay safe. Keep an eye out for traffic around you.

Traffic Victim

The cool thing about the city of Richardson is that they were out there fixing it the next morning – much faster than it’s taken them to fix the burnt out bulb that was in the “walk” sign.

Traffic Light Down

Written by dickdavid

February 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Testing Out The Trailer

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Parked

My son and I will be attending el Tour de Taco tomorrow, and because he doesn’t ride yet, we’ll be rolling with the bike trailer. This thing spends most of its time hanging in the garage, so we thought decided to dust it off and take it for a test spin around the neighborhood.

I think I might be breaking him down. His reluctance to learn is starting to get replaced by comments like “I feel like I’m flying!!!”

Soon.

Trailer Panda

Written by dickdavid

January 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm