Monthly Archives: November 2011

The real Tour de Dallas – 100+ miles of Big D by bicycle

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Strava. It’s easily the best social/motivation tool for cycling and helped with my recovery from an unplanned layoff. Rapha, another of my favorite cycling brands, ran a very cool contest on Strava during Thanksgiving.

The Rapha Turkey Takeoff challenged riders to burn 9,000 calories between Wed. and Sunday. More than 2,000 Strava subscribers took the challenge and hit the pavement. To normalize the results for type of bike, rider weight, etc. the contest used a simple formula of 36 calories for every mile ridden. So to succeed, and receive the coveted badge, you had to ride 250 miles over those 5 days.

I was able to get lots of riding in over the break (thanks to my wonderful wife and in-laws). As a result, I passed the 9,000 calorie plateau on Saturday. However, my buddy Peter needed to get in 100 miles on Sunday to hit 9,000, so I agreed to do a Sunday century with him.

Given the weather at the start (low 30s and 20+ mph winds) we decided to do a leisurely ride around Dallas (in lieu of the normal loops heading out to the quiet country roads of North Texas).

We started in our hood, Lakewood, and did a lap of White Rock Lake. Then . . .

  • down the Santa Fe Trail to Deep Ellum

  • through Deep Ellum and Downtown Dallas to Oak Cliff

  • Around the Bishop Arts District and back to Downtown Dallas
  • Up the Katy Trail to Highland Park

  • Through Highland Park to Bluffview
  • Through Bluffview to Bachman Lake
  • Around Bachman Lake and back through Bluffview to Greenway Parks
  • Through Highland Park to Knox St.

  • Short coffee break on Knox.
  • Back down the Katy Trail to Downtown
  • Through Downtown to Swiss Avenue¬†(passing Dealey Plaza and seeing the Christmas decor at the original Neiman’s)

  • Through Swiss Avenue back to Lakewood

  • Through Lakewood to the White Rock Trail
  • North on the White Rock Trail to North Dallas
  • Back down the White Rock Trail to the Cottonwood Trail

  • North on the Cottonwood Trail and back
  • back down the White Rock Trail to the lake for 2 more laps

I finished with 107 miles, putting me at almost 14,000 calories and good enough for 9th in the Turkey Takeoff Challenge.

This ride was a great change of pace. No worrying about speed or watts . . . just soaking in some of my favorite parts of Dallas. A great finish to a great holiday weekend and a very cool virtual event.

EDITORS NOTE: Rapha and Strava, please do more of these types of events!

I might buy a Garmin for my car now . . .

One of my favorite characters in pro cycling, Dave Zabriskie, is one of the new voice options for the Garmin nuvi system. Dave Z is known for being a little quirky (i.e. the name of his chamois butter is DZ Nuts), but I have a similar sense of humor and can only guess what shenanigans would ensue with Dave Z as your navigator.