maybe moving to Dallas from NJ. lots of questions!
Hey all, I may have the opportunity to move to Dallas for work. I'm not thrilled about uprooting, but I'm trying to eliminate emotion and weigh the pros & cons. I figured you guys might understand the importance of riding and outdoor activity in my decision. Having a variety of riding close by is crucial to me as, with two small children, my weeknight rides are so much easier if I can be on the trail within 30 minutes.
So, I've seen mountainbiketx.com, but I'm completely unfamiliar with the area. I'm having a hard time piecing it all together. Thanks in advance for having the conversation.
I lean more toward the all-mountain & DH side of the spectrum. I do enjoy the challenge of a tough climb, and "cardio" rides are fun once in a while but definitely the exception if I can help it. How is the terrain in the Dallas area?
Is Dallas an outdoor-activity/fitness friendly city? Thinking about their attention to the park system, bike/jogging paths, hiking trails, lakes, rec. sports teams, etc., playgrounds for the kids? Safety?
What are a few towns & areas where a run of the mill, upper middle class family with young children should look for housing? Good schools are crucial and I'm not sure we could afford private schools.
I'm very interested to hear from like-minded people.
Hello from Texas!
We just relocated to Dallas our selves but from West Texas. Anyhow, Dallas believe it or not is a fairly healthy city and the area is dotted with trails. Your best source for trail information is going to be Dallas Offroad Bicycle Association (DORBA). Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association
As for being on a trail in 30 mins, that depends on your proximity to a trail and traffic conditions. I live close to downtown Dallas and ride every morning out in Garland TX (Rowllett Creek Perserve/RCP). It takes me roughly 30 minutes to get there and my return trip varies from 30-50 mins depending on traffic. I sometimes finish early and catch the tail of the morning rush hour...everyone trying to get into the city for work.
Now I haven't ridden all the trails, so I can't say if and which trails would be closer to AM/DH. I can say Loop 6,7,13,14 out at Rowllett sounds more your speed. Rowllett is probably one of je loger trail as well.
FYI: trails are closed when wet and muddy. Dallas however has a flat and paved trail called Katey Trail. Katey runs from Downtown to the Highland Park area. It's nice to ride on when the other trails are closed.
Hey there! The Dallas / Ft. Worth (DFW) area is a large metroplex. The area/city where you plan to work will have some impact on where you live. You don't want a 1.5~2.0 hour commute each way, you know? Will your job be in Dallas? If so, what approximate area of Dallas?
I'd also recommend joining the DORBA website and looking at the trails page. I can't personally speak to every trail in the area. But, there are forums on DORBA and in there you'll find someone that has ridden every trail (and has an opinion on it). ;)
I live in a far north suburb of Dallas and work in a different 'burb. I'm out running or riding just about every day of the week. We also have three little kids so time is at a premium.
If you'd like to ask anything via PM, please feel free.
Unfortunately the best concentration of trails IMHO is in oak cliff with 4 great trails oak cliff, boulder, big cedar( the trail that will fit your bill) and cedar state park within 15 minutes of each other. I say Unfortunately because the schools not so hot down there. Most people live in the burbs to the north and there are a few trails to the north but it puts you a long way from the southwest part of town. We live near white Rock lake which is the aerobic hub of dallas, gives us pretty good schools in Richardson isd and leaves me centrally located with one exception to most of the trails (30 minutes away). To be honest the traffic is so bad down here it is going to depend where your job is. If it is downtown,central or lbj live in lake highlands. Los Colinas live in grapevine or coppell, Plano or legacy live in Plano, Allen Frisco or McKinney.
First, to be clear, Big Cedar and Cedar Hill State Park are not located in Oak Cliff. ;) Some folks that live in the north parts will lump everything down south into categories. There are great schools "south of 635." Any idea where you would be working? That would give us locals a better idea of what to suggest.
As for all mountain/DH type riding, don't kid yourself.... this is North Texas and there aren't tons of mountains (actually, there are none). Big Cedar is just about the only trail that has anything close to downhill and some folks from DORBA have been working on that trail trying to improve the DH type section (and it looks like they have been doing some good). Cedar Hill SP is a good ride, but it is definitely cross country. For every downhill, you have a decent switchback climb to make.
Like I said, this is North Texas and you won't find any mountains here. You will find a great biking community and plenty of folks to get your ride on with. I can't think of anywhere in the area that you are not 15 minutes away from one of our trails, so riding after work is easy to do.
Once you find out where you'll work and possible school districts, take a look at the below linked map of Texas trails and zoom in the Dallas area. You'll see some bike trail(s) that are close or on the route to/from home/school/work.
On "cardio" rides in the metroplex, the primary trails with elevation change in Dallas are Big Cedar (far south Dallas) and Sansom (northwest Fort Worth).
RTM, need more information, where about will be your work location...with out that, as you can see the info above is all shot in the dark......so far DORBA site is your best bet otherwise...
oh, can you get me a deal on some latex?? j/k....
Thanks everyone, I'll be moving to Dallas Area in July so all this info will help!
Work would be right in middle of the city.
Originally Posted by Jasontamu
From what I'm learning the commute in and out of Dallas is rough. That's a major factor (among many) in my decision.
Then lake highlands would be a good spot. 20 minutes by car to downtown probably 30 by train. I know doesn't make sense. 30 minutes to five trails and 5 minutes to one. That is if you have kids. If you don't have kids I would live in oak cliff.
Traffic is only going to get worse before it gets better...well that is what The Department of Transportation said when they announced their plans on future road construction. The plan is simple, over haul the main arteries flowing in and out of downtown. The project is scheduled to start this Summer and last 4yrs...probably 5-6 yrs lol
Originally Posted by RTM
Now with that said, normally it takes me 20mins from Downtown to my trail.
Say VanDeLay! Say VanDeLay!!!
Originally Posted by Jasontamu
I'm not aware of any scheduled projects for the mixmaster?
Three areas come to mind right off if you are working in or near downtown. Highland park/University hills is the ritzy area, but still might have some affordable stuff. Probably the best schools in the metroplex. Oak cliff is like part hood, and part really nice and seems to be cleaning up quite well lately. Nice areas around downtown are very well patrolled with fairly low crime. I like Oak Cliff because the views of downtown Dallas are awesome and is being developed quite nicely because of that. I know of a good real estate agent that has an interest in that area, along with the highland park area. Downtown has some interesting condo/apartment properties. My favorite is Deep Ellum, old warehouse district changed into an arts type district.
I have to agree with Tangyman, Oak cliff is the best bet for commute to trails, and to downtown Dallas (I'm thinking work-to-home-to-trail commute). I would disagree about the schools though. It depends on the district. It is just a nicer community close to downtown that you can actually commute to other areas from. All other nice areas around Dallas are bottlenecked with traffic. You can't go anywhere without it being a "road trip" pain in the rear, even on weekends.
Of course you can move to the suburbs, but traffic is hell, and harder to explain. If you are close to a train route, it could make commute much easier. Anything on the north side of the metroplex has really nice places to live, but traffic is hell, especially coming from the Flower Mound area (they have 3 good trails up there around Grapevine lake). Nice area, but how to get home... The northeast side is really nice, but only 1 notable trail up there. Forget about commute to other trails except weekend.
Check out Lee Widmer Properties on facebook and give her a call to get more info on the Oak Cliff/Highland park area. She is a friend of mine and will help you a bit more than most agents. If you want to know schools, family friendly community type information, she is the boss. Tell her Tommy sent ya. I'm not making this an advertisement, I like my bike and come here for exactly that, but it just so happens that I could help you out since I know a little about property here :D
By the way, I was an OTR driver recently for 6 years. I spent a lot of time in New Jersey in both the urban and rural areas. I only went to the shore area one time though, that was fun. I think you will like it here. The weather will not be much different, and probably a bit less humid, depending on where you lived and we get a few more warm days during the winter. It still gets cold here though. The neighborhoods aren't much different and you would be suprised at how many people you will meet from different areas.
You definitely wanna check out dorbaDOTorg also, texasmountainbiketrailsDOTcom is a good site.
You can hit a trail within 30mins of anywhere in DFW, there are that many. Once you find a place to live, you will get to know your home trail soon. They all have something cool to offer.