October 24, 2014
By Simon Grayson

Last weekend saw me trying out for the first time both cycling in Dallas and the "new" bike in order to see a bit more of the wider area surrounding Downtown. Rather than looking to the Trinity River trail I decided to head out in the opposite direction east, with an aim to use the Santa Fe railroad to head up to White Rock Lake" and back again.

It turns out that Dallas has some really well developed recreational cycle routes. An on-road cycle route (less of a mess than most in London) connects Downtown to the start of the Santa Fe Trail, a paved recreational path along the route of the old Santa Fe railroad route. This then links up to a similar path running around the large Whiterock Lake to the north east of central Dallas, and it appeared that this is the place to be on a sunny weekend in order to escape from the bustle of city life.

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The ride also took me through a real variety of neighbourhoods, heading first through Deep Ellum where the boutique stores, bars and live music venues reminds me of Camden in London, then through the immediate suburbs comprised of quintessentially American single-storey houses complete with porches, and later to the large immaculately kept houses that sit on the Lake.

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  Whilst the bike turns out to be a bit of a beast to pedal (although hub brakes and hot concrete produce the most amazing skids), the Santa Fe Trail and Whiterock lake, coupled with a bar directly accessible on the route back which served amazing Mexican brunch,  made for a thoroughly enjoyable day out.

Thanks also this week to Hutch's hospitality and skills with a grille. I was too busy salivating to take a picture of the steaks he casually knocked up on the BBQ, but trust me they were very Texan!

Passing mention should also be made to the 7-11 shop assistant who quizzed me about David Cameron and took me completely by surprise...

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