Today reminded me that there are thousands of miles of “nothing” between cities. And the cities are the dangerous parts of this ride. I haven’t been riding through anything even close to this big since Albuquerque last year, and to call Albuquerque close to the same size of Dallas is like saying that a lime is close to the same size of a watermelon. The greater Albuquerque area has roughly 887,000 people. The greater Dallas area has roughly 7,000,000. Salt Lake City is bigger than Albuquerque, but I have been riding for so long in the greater Salt Lake area (and it is super bike-friendly) that it is much less threatening. And the greater Dallas area is more densely populated than either Salt Lake or Albuquerque. But I digress.
Mom, you may want to skip this part. Or at very least remember that I am still alive to type it, so it all ended well.
Work hours riding through Dallas/Fort Worth is a lot like riding through any city. There was much beauty and lots of things to take in. There is a beautiful pedestrian path that goes through much of the city. Yeah, there are more cars, but for the most part they are in one world and I may as well be in another.
Side note: Texans take their football seriously. I rode past a football stadium under construction in Colleyville that both Randy and I thought was a professional venue. Googled it and the Grapevine-Colleyville School District is spending $18M to renovate their stadium.
At roughly 4:30 (when I was through most of the greater Dallas area – into Garland, but with 15 miles or so left of riding) the landscape changed. The sun started to go down, and what felt like every car on planet earth came to Garland. I had no close calls. Everyone was very polite, and I had some cute mini-conversations with drivers as we waited at traffic lights “together”. But being surrounded by people jockeying for position and paying more attention to other cars than cyclists – which they aren’t used to looking for much less seeing – brought up a level of panic I have seldom had during the many days on this ride. So I texted Randy and had him meet me at the nearby convenience store and we called it a day. With 15 miles to go.
I did make those 15 miles up in the morning, with Randy following me through the streets of Dallas, at 3:30AM. There were still more cars than I thought there would be, (seriously – what are y’all doing at that time of morning???) but it was an uneventful morning and I plugged away through the Dallas adventure.
Mom, again – I typed this with my own two hands. No need to panic. And Dallas is the biggest city I ride through, so it’s all done, as are more than half of my planned miles for this trip (as I have done 371 miles as of today) I’m also more than halfway through Texas. This is a crazy and amazing journey and I’m having a blast doing it.