What’s the best way to snap out of a jet-lag-induced funk? 74 mixed-terrain miles on your ‘cross bike! The infamous Double Dam ride here in Houston is one of my favorite rides – between 60 and 80 miles (depending on where you start and finish your ride), 30 of which are on gravel double-track trails around Addicks Dam and George Bush Park. It’s one of the best ways in town to get lots of miles in on a variety of terrain away from heavy traffic and the hustle and bustle of city life, which exactly what I wanted to do after returning from last week’s hectic business trip to Singapore. My route can be found here. Every cyclist with a 'cross bike in Houston should know this route; it's a classic.
I decided to take my single speed Cross-Check for this adventure for no other reason than because I’ve been riding my Vaya so much lately and wanted to mix it up. Also, I love the way it rides, especially offroad.
This was also my first ride using my new Mountain Feed Bag by Revelate Designs. It was a great place to store an extra tube and CO2, my camera, and some snacks and have everything accessible while riding. There was no bouncing or movement while riding and being so close to the steering axis, there was no adverse effects on handling. It'll definitely be super useful for endurance events. A+ for Eric at Revelate Designs.
Now, for the pictures.
|Like most days, I started out by riding north through the Med Center.|
|Nice looking bridges over US-59 in the West U / Montrose area.|
|Sunrise over downtown Houston. It's going to be a good day.|
|Cool underpass below I-610 that includes a bike lane (that I'm not actually riding in).|
|Much of Westview Drive includes a bike lane. Nice touch!|
|Follow the signs for adventure!|
|Here we are! Time to find some dirt.|
|Ahh, that's much better. Addick's Dam in all her glory. Luckily, it wasn't windy that day.|
|This is the view you'll experience for quite a while.|
|Sweet, sweet solitude.|
|My steed for the day.|
|A small section of dam with pavement.|
|The trail through George Bush Park. Usually packed with Freds wobbling their way down the path tucked into their aerobars. Luckily, you can escape to the gravel to the right.|
|Back on top of the dam, more gravel. This section around GBP is rougher and typically a bit slower going than Addicks Dam.|
|This section has been leveled and graded. Are they going to pave this?! Ugh!|
|Stopped to refill and refuel.|
|The worst part of the whole ride: crossing Highway 6!|
|Make it stop!|
|Back onto the street, I stopped to grab a snack and top of my water bottles for the ride back into town. Snickers and Coke: the mid-ride snack of champs.|
|Thanks for the superb stoppage, Paul!|
|Back to "civilization".|
|Back in town, I decided to keep heading east through Spotts Park. That windy section of trail is fun!|
|Buffalo Bayou heading back into town.|
|They might only be drainage ditches, but the bayous can sure look good sometimes.|
|Back home via the Columbia Tap Rail Trail in the 3rd Ward.|
So there you have it! Computer said 74 miles with a 16.5 mph average. Not too bad, I guess!