Suburban Assault

Posts Tagged ‘Cycling

Riding On Texas Sidewalks

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Random Commuter On A Sidewalk

Random Commuter On A Sidewalk

I prefer to take back streets, bike lanes and trails when I ride. However, when I cycle across town I’ll find myself on routes that involve very busy, high speed streets. Although I completely support them, I’m not a vehicular cyclist, so I don’t feel comfortable riding these types of roads. Don’t hate me, but I choose to ride on the sidewalk in these situations.

The purpose of this post is not to start a debate. I’ve read countless discussions about how riding on streets is safer than riding on the sidewalks. I’ve even learned that sidewalks aren’t always the safest places either. For  me, it’s a perspective of Texas drivers and the fear of bike verses SUV physics. I feel more comfortable distancing myself from fast moving, heavy traffic.

Vehicular Cyclist

Cyclist Taking The Lane During Rush Hour

The actual purpose of this post is to raise the question: Is there an actual Texas law that states whether riding a bike on Texas sidewalks is legal or not?

I’ve been all over Google and discovered several links to similar information like this on biketexas.org. The laws are very specific when it comes to cyclist’s rights on Texas roads. However, I cannot find any law that says it is illegal to ride on Texas sidewalks. IF there is, please post links to official, Texas state approved information (not somebody’s opinion or interpretation of the law). I just want to know if I am breaking any laws when I ride these routes.

Sidewalk Riders in Austin

Sidewalk Riders in Austin - Respecting Peds

Again, this is not a debate on the safety of sidewalk verses street riding – this will always be subjective based on each rider’s perspective. I just want to have the right knowledge so that I can make informed decisions when I ride.

Comfortable Riding Back Streets

Comfortable Riding Back Streets

Written by dickdavid

October 30, 2009 at 6:00 am

Posted in General Cycling

Tagged with , , ,

Took A Spin Around Addison Circle

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Addison Circle is a nice park area within the north Dallas suburban town of Addison. It’s been referred to as “… the place fun calls home.” Hidden just north of the Belt Line Road restaurant strip, Addison Circle Park appears to be the area near where many college graduates and young couples come to live when they start their first job in Dallas. It’s hip and urban-like with a small community of young professionals.

Riding around Addison Circle on a Saturday morning is less than exciting. Expecting a bustling, little urban/suburban community, I was left with what seemed like a ghost town. I guess the nightlife is what makes this place a destination. That’s okay, because it left all the roads to me.

Addison is one of the closest places in DFW to living an urban lifestyle without living downtown. Here’s a fun little PR video from their site.

Written by dickdavid

September 5, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Spring Creek Trail Ramp – NOW OPEN!

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There is a nice little nature trail that goes through the northern, central part of my town, Richardson, Texas. According to the City of Richardson Trail Guide, it’s called the Spring Creek Trail. It has entrances on Plano Road and Glenville Drive with scenic, tree covered, twisted routes that lead to a nice rest stop at Renner Road and US-75. This rest stop is a nice jumping point to another bike trail that runs along Renner Road, which leads to the west site of Richardson. Until recently, the Spring Creek Trail was the only bike friendly route that connects to the jumping point at Renner at US-75. Most of the other routes are very busy streets and feeder roads.

Within the past couple of years, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has relocated to a newer place within Richardson, constructing a brand new office building just south of Spring Creek Trail. With this new building, the City of Richardson added a new road between Glenville and Renner – cutting right through Spring Creek Nature Area. At first, I was put off by how development always trumps nature and parks. It was even more frustrating when the main part of the trail became blocked for over a year because of the construction.

While riding around Glenville Road last April, I noticed that this new road, Routh Creek, was almost complete. I took a spin down it to check it out, and to my surprise, I discovered that they were building a wide bike lane with a ramp to join up with the Spring Creek Trail. Like the new road or not or not, at least they kept the cyclist/peds in mind when they developed through the area. I can’t say the same for the trees and wildlife.

Well, I started to get excited about this. For me, this opens up a new route through this part of town, making a quick and easy connection between various bike routes in Richardson. Over the next few months, I kept an eye on the development and waited patiently for them to complete the project. See the pics below to watch the progress through the summer.

Well, this week, the road and ramp to the trail finally opened. It’s nice, but I can’t help but think that this is just the beginning of more development.

I’m torn, because I like progress and having these big companies in our city to help with our economy. However, where do we draw the line between this progress and holding on to our parks and wildlife?

Click Here to see a quick video of me going down it for the first time.

Click Here to see map below for location:

Click Here to see the City Of Richardson trail map.

Written by dickdavid

August 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Oak Cliff Bicycle Company

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Logo courtesy of Oak Cliff Bicycle Company. Please visit their site.

There’s a new bike shop in town: Oak Cliff Bicycle Company. I stumbled upon them when I saw that one of my friends on Facebook joined their group page. Of course I did the same.

The first thing that caught my eye was their cool logo. Call me easy, but being an art director and graphic designer, if you catch my attention with your graphics, you’ve made the first step to winning me over as a customer. The next thing that caught my attention was they’re ‘about us’ page. They appear to share the same ‘get out and ride’ philosophy that we have over here at Suburban Assault.

Image linked from the OCBC. Site. Please click to visit.

Image linked from the OCBC. Site. Please click to visit.

The last thing that wins me over as a customer is customer service. I haven’t visited their shop, so I can’t report on that yet. Their grand opening was last weekend and I’m sad to say that I missed it.

My plan is to drag the family out to Oak Cliff this weekend and stop by the shop for a visit. After that, I’ll post my initial impressions as well as a few pics. If you want to stop by and visit for yourself, they’re open Monday 12 – 7, Tues-Fri 11-7 and Sat&Sun 8:30-5. You can find there shop in Oak Cliff, one of the older neighborhoods of Dallas:

The shop is on the west side of Tyler, between 7th and Davis – 410 N Tyler Street, Dallas, TX 75208

Stay tuned.

UPDATE:

We went by the shop today (August 22). It took a while to find it because I forgot to write down the address and Oak Cliff is a bit unfamiliar to me. When we found the place, we discovered that parking is non-existent – which I guess shouldn’t be a big deal for a bike shop.

First impressions: The shop is small, but nice. Their inventory is what you would expect with a small, start-up – a bit limited. However, they have no problem ordering from their vendors. The two brands that stood out from all the used and repair bikes were Swobo and YBS, a local bike builder.

The shop had a very similar feel to West Village Bicycles, featuring more of an urban lifestyle – a niche that is a bit limited in the DFW Metroplex. I hope to see more shops like this pop up around town. Hopefully, folks will start riding more as these shops become more main stream.

The guy I talked to was a bit reserved, but managed to open up once I started talking to him. I’m hoping that I can make it down there more often and actually bring them some business.

Overall, I liked the place and I hope they have great success.

P.S. Sorry about knocking over the bikes displayed out front. It was like a horrible scene in a movie where I lifted the price tag to the bike on the end, it fell over and started a domino effect with the rest of the bikes. Thanks for being really cool about it.

Written by dickdavid

August 18, 2009 at 11:41 am

Down The Katy Trail With Fleetwood’s Kit Kat

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I wrote about Fleetwood’s Kit Kat in an earlier post and discussed how cool the shop and it’s owner were. When we were visiting, Fleetwood asked us to join in one of his group rides. Not being on a bike in years, I figured my wife would be less than interested. To my surprise, she scheduled us for one of his rides.

We were some of the first to arrive at the shop, off Mockingbird and Interstate 75, right next to the SMU campus. Since I had my own bike (non-cruiser), I opted to bring it and leave the loaner open for any extra riders. Wendy got a fancy pink cruiser as a loaner that totally clashed with her personality – it was the perfect bike for her first ride. As we waited for the ride to start, more folks, mostly couples and small groups of friends (all different in age and personality) began to arrive. Nobody looked like a seasoned rider, which was perfect for a casual ride like this. Instead of spandex, jerseys and cleats, there were dresses, shorts and flip flops. We were all like a bunch of kids, reconnecting with our youth on fun and stylish comfort bikes.

Eventually, the ride started. It was really cool seeing a huge mass of colorful bikes hitting the streets all at once. The pace was slow but perfect for a warm Saturday evening. We headed down one of the side streets which eventually connected with the head of the Katy Trail. A few minutes later, we were at our first stop – a wine bar called Crush on Knox Street. The plan was to hang out here and watch Fleetwood’s sister Kerri Arista perform a few sets. The place had a great atmosphere and the wine was tasty (even though my wife and I just shared one glass – we weren’t sure what to expect on the rest of the ride). Eventually, the sun went down and the streets started to cool off. The group sipped the last of their wine, then made it back to the bikes to continue the ride.

Cruising With Fleetwoods Kit Kat

The rest of the Katy Trail seemed to go downhill. Again, with a nice slow pace perfect for a Saturday evening, post wine bar ride. What was amazing about this part of the ride was seeing Dallas from a different perspective. Wendy, who lived in Dallas most of her life, got a new look at her old home town. Mark, Fleetwood’s bike guru, entertained us with a few fancy jumps and stunts while keeping an eye on the group’s emergency repair needs. No worries about flat tires on this ride.

A few miles later, and we arrived at the American Airlines Center in uptown Dallas. The main mall was lit with all sorts of lights and video screens which made it an exciting destination. We all lined up for a group shot, Mark made a few bike adjustments and we all took a free ride around the area. It was a blast.

The ride back to Fleetwood’s shop was fun as well. Since it got late, some of the Katy Trail’s lights went off. Fortunately, the loaner cruisers all came with riding lights and lit the whole way back. Fleetwood had some speakers and an iPod that blasted some great Michael Jackson tunes for us to enjoy. What a great time.

When we arrived back at Fleetwood’s shop, folks turned in their loaners, I loaded up my bike and we all gave our goodbyes. This was one of the best evening that I have spent in Dallas in a really long time. Wendy had a great time too and we hope to do it again soon. Next time, I may try one of Fleetwood’s cruisers.

If you want something fun to do in Dallas, keep an eye on the Fleetwood Facebook page for future bike rides. Seating is based on first come, first served so call and get scheduled. You’ll be happy you did.

Written by dickdavid

July 26, 2009 at 7:13 am

Welcome To Suburban Assault

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Believe me, there are tons of other great bike blogs out there, and I’m not even going to compete with them for your attention. If you want quality blog postings, go to Change Your Life Ride A Bike or Bikes And The City. Suburban Assault is just a place to dump some thoughts and stories about riding around my neighborhood. Maybe, if I find the time, I’ll post other people’s stories.

For the most part, you’ll be able to discover what the Suburban Assault is all about by clicking on the Flickr, Twitter and Facebook links to the right.

Written by dickdavid

July 6, 2009 at 2:02 am