This afternoon I took a ride on my Electra Townie. I rode over to one of our local light rail stations, got on the train, and rode down several stops to Mockingbird Station, down near SMU. There’s a cool cruiser bike store down there called Fleetwood’s Kit Kat. Nice shop. Really beautiful and cool bikes. Then I took the Katy Trail down to the American Airlines Center, in downtown Dallas. Then I reversed direction and came home using the same route.
When I was growing up here in Richardson, the idea that you could get to downtown Dallas by bike, from Richardson, would have been pretty outlandish. But now, almost everyone in Richardson is within about a 20 minute bike ride to a DART train station. DART allows you to bring your bike on board the train, as long as you use some common sense and are courteous about it.
There are plans in this region to connect the bike paths off all northern suburbs. Someday it will be possible to ride a bike from McKinney down south of downtown Dallas, all on bike path. I hope I live to see that day, and enjoy the ride.
Dallas isn’t typically thought of as a “progressive” city. Those kind of terms are usually saved for places like Portland. But Dallas has down a lot of things right. It is still not perfect for cycling, but it is getting better. I think it is much, much better than any other major city in Texas, especially when you take into account the extra mobility the DART train give you. Austin likes to think it is progressive, but hell, the streets in Austin suck, there is not light rail, and lots of horrible college drivers.
Will take another ride tomorrow, then Monday night it is back to Aikido. I’ve taken the summer off, choosing to spend extra time with my lovely wife, while she has not been in the middle of a grad school semester. Looking forward to throwing and being thrown.
Side Note: I noticed that on Custer Rd., in Richardson, as it goes through Canyon Creek, they have marked out the right-hand lanes as bike lanes. Really cool! They wide and really well marked. Good for cycling, and there is a sweet downhill section I’m going to hit on my longboard early some Saturday morning.