Tour to the Lake 2013
For the past several years, Switching Gears Cyclery has hosted a “Tour to the Lake” overnight camping expedition (also known as a “s24o“: sub-24 hour overnight). This year I was finally able to participate and enjoy the weekend escape. The crew meets up at BuzzBrews in Deep Ellum, home to Fixed Touring‘s weekly rides, and sets off for a 35 mile ride to Cedar Hill State Park at Joe Pool Lake.
I was uncertain of going until I got Saturday morning calls from Clifford and Zach, so I quickly took my pup to boarding, grabbed some essentials from the grocery store, and loaded up my trailer.
Since I was running behind, I took my own route and just met everyone up at the lake. Along the way, I stopped to check out the DFW National Cemetery.
The dark clouds of heavy rain started to roll in while I was riding south on Mountain Creek Parkway. After a nice drenching and a major temperature drop, I met a few hills that caused me to really think hard about how much I had brought. Since I was riding alone, I could also play with different route options.
Cedar Hill State Park is located on FM 1382 without any direct neighborhood or low-speed road connections. The popular route is to approach the park from the north, by riding on the shoulder of the divided road from Eagle Ford Dr (illustrated in green on my map below) to the park. However, I dislike riding on the shoulder because of flat-tire causing debris and riding in any roadway position that is irrelevant to motorists.
So, I planned on approaching the park from the southeast direction (the purple route) as that section of FM 1382 has no shoulder and is curbed. In my experience on these types of roads, motorists are courteous and safely pass when there is no shoulder; when there is a shoulder and I am not riding in it, then they will often honk and be obnoxious about me not being “in my place” on the shoulder.
I missed my first turn, though, and ended up riding the blue route and met up with the purple as intended on FM 1382. My ride in to the park was all down hill and was a blast. Some motorists passed, but, as predicted, they were courteous and did nice lane changes far behind me (this is a perfect example of Helping Motorists with Lane Positioning). The common misconception is that a large speed differential voids the usefulness of techniques like this, but, in reality, they work just as well on a 35 mph road as they do a 55 mph road. They are even more important to use on a high speed road, in fact.
At the campground, we set up tents during breaks in the rain, had a great campfire, roasted marshmallows, cooked some great camp food, talked about bikes, and enjoyed each other’s company.
Thanks to Switching Gears, Fixed Touring, and all the good folks in between that made this a great weekend.