Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lots of Routes to Commute

About the time I think I know my way around, I discover a new route to work. I took some pictures Friday on my first time using this particular route to get to work. The first part of the route is always the same. I ride down my street

Then have to stare down the traffic at the end of it. A sizable gap always materializes.

After a block on the busy street, I turn into the Albertson's parking lot.

I worked a short day Friday so I wasn't in a big hurry to get to work. I had time to stop at Sonic for breakfast

Hmmmm.... what am I in the mood for this morning?

The girl brings out my food...

...I load up The Great Pumpkin...

...and I'm on my way

I turned off the main road into the neighborhood, still following my usual path.

But then I turned left... same neighborhood, different route. One thing I like about Fort Worth is how they take creeks and turn the land on either side into little parks.

I cut through the neighborhood until the next busy street, Hulen.

At this point, I'm glad I rode my steel-rimmed Varsity because it trips the light sensor without me having to go over and push the Walk button. =D

After crossing Hulen, the neighborhood is much the same, but there is a bit of an odd feature: A series of high tension lines on large towers bisects the neighborhood.

I pop out onto another road considered to be hazardous by riders, but it's not as bad as people say. Granbury Road has a 45 mph speed limit and people often do faster than that, but the right lane is very wide, leaving lots of room to pass. In this picture taken over my shoulder you can see another cyclist behind me. I was kind of hoping he would catch up to me, but either he didn't turn where I did or just never caught up to me. You can also see where the power lines cross Granbury.

I turn right off Granbury and cut through the next neighborhood of mostly apartments...

...and this rather striking church.

And finally come out on Oakmont. This is another street that most cyclists avoid... at least this stretch. It's two lanes in each direction, 40 mph speed limit, and one of those streets that people tend to speed on. The one thing about Oakmont, though, is that it carries much less traffic than it is designed for, and really doesn't have many businesses along it. As a result, even when I take the lane I don't get hassled.

Oakmont crosses Bryant Irvin next. Bryant Irvin is still a road that's on my "do not ride" list. Much of its length is covered with urban sprawl retail and there is a lot of turning traffic.

But once you get past that, Oakmont is very sparse indeed; almost no traffic.

What's better is that there is a steep decline that's a blast. (This is the same ridge that Hooters Hill crosses in this post showing another route I use.)

On the way to work, it's all downhill. But looking back up the hill it's a little intimidating; when I ride it the other way, I call it The Oakmonster.

On breakfast rides, we either go up The Oakmonster or take a longer, less steep route. Most people take the latter.

Anyway, back to my commute. At the bottom of The Oakmonster I turn right onto Bellaire. It is a very genteel street that is the spine of a well-to-do neighborhood. It's also, I think, the longest section of the Trinity River Trail that isn't right on the banks of the river. It has nice bike lanes on both sides, and there is enough bike traffic along the route that people actually know to look out for bikes. I know lots of people consider bike lanes hazardous, but here they work well. Another nice thing about this route is that there are lots of trees for shade along this route, and often there is a cool breeze that blows up from the river which is just the other side of the trees.

That route brings me to within a few blocks of my office, and that's it; I'm there. (Sorry, no pics of the end; my camera's battery died.)


Steve A said...

Those aren't lane dots along that bike lane, are they? Those things are particularly pesky if you're on a narrow tired bike when you need to move left past the dots (either to make a left turn, or to move into the bike lane prior to making a right turn).

Lane dots are EVIL. Admit it, you KNOW I'm right on this! Lane dots are never real cycling friendly, but they're particularly pernicious in connection with a facility cyclists are encouraged to use.

Doohickie said...

I've never once thought of them that way. Our cycling club uses this route often, and no one has ever mentioned it. I dunno, I don't have too much trouble missing them.

I *do* like Botts' Dots as lane markers. When I hear a car hitting them behind me, I know I've been seen and he's changing lanes to go around me.

Big Oak said...

Finding a new route is more confirmation of the freedom cycling offers. Looks like you've got another nice route.

Steve A said...

Go to "" and search for "bott's dots." The headline is a bit misleading, he only broke a collar bone. You'll get over 12000 hits for bott's dots in conjunction with bicycle accident on Google.

Just be extra careful around them. They're sneakier in the winter when it's dark in the morning.

ChipSeal said...

Bots Dots pose a greater danger in wet conditions.

Great post, Doohickie! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Mark T said...

That's really cool. I was thinking of making a video of my commute. I like your version better than video. Looks like a pretty good route.

popeye cahn said...

Man the roads look like they're in good shape there!

Catherine said...

Hey, cool! I'm inspired to take photos from my (very, very different) commute. There should be a community or something to share them. I bet it would be cool!