Saturday, April 3, 2010
Ramblin' Around a BIG town!
Rather than cruise around Ennis this morning, Rhonda and I took her vintage Univega Gran Rally and my Fuji Newest 1.0 about 35 miles North to ride in the Tour Dallas. The Tour Dallas is held about this time every year. We first participated in this rally two years ago, and have looked forward to returning. We rode an easy 20 miles this morning with about 4000 other cyclists. The photo above is the Dallas skyline looking North from City Hall. The skyline has changed a LOT since I worked there in the late '70's!
The rally started from in front of Dallas City Hall, but the closest parking we could find was in front of the Federal Building a few blocks away. It was a little cool before 8 this morning, but Rhonda was dressed for it...we are just about ready to head for the starting line. Here also is a picture of City Hall. Yes, the building does look like it is going to fall on you!
This is the view from the starting line...it looks like a sea of cyclist...but I commented to Rhonda that while there were about 4000 cyclist here, at Wichita Falls there will be about 14,000 for the Hotter N Hell Hundred in August.Our starting position was between City Hall and the Library. This is a picture of the picture that hangs on the side of the library, encouraging use of the facility by children. Aren't you glad we have such a nice library in Ennis that gets so much use by our youth?
The City flags showed how little wind there was this morning, so different from the gales I have been riding in all week. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride...YOU should'a been there!
In the shadow of skyscrapers, the camera flash reflects off of the luminescent cycling gear.Riding one's bicycle with a large group of cyclists with varying degrees of experience requires concentration, at least until the crowd begins to thin out. Rhonda is concentrating on the other cyclists, as well as the road conditions. All of the precipitation and cold winter has caused significant road damage in Ennis as well as Dallas. We saw one of the biggest bike wrecks ever on one of the Dallas bridges two years ago when the cyclist front wheel went into a crack in the road surface, stopping the bike abruptly and sending the cyclist over the handlebars.
This photo is looking across the viaducts towards the Dallas County Jail.
The city architecture blends the old with the new.
Since we only rode 20 miles, we stopped at only one rest stop. Most bicycle rallies have a rest stop about every 10 miles. The Tour Dallas always has plenty of wonderful volunteers serving at the rest stops, and this one was well stocked with water, gatorade, fruit, cookies, trail mix, etc. You meet the nicest people on these rallies also.
These two photos are of "finish line village", back in front of Dallas City Hall where we started. They had delicious pizza for all of the participants, along with other booths to visit and entertainment. Bicyling as a sport and/or hobby is really a pretty inexpensive proposition. Bicycles are really not too expensive if you use them for transportation to replace your automobile for short errands, and going to a rally like this is a lot of fun. Rallies usually cost around $25.00 to enter, and most of them give you a tee shirt, perhaps a water bottle or some other useful souvenier, plus many of them feed you afterwards, not to mention the goodies at the rest stops. Try it...I think you'll like it!