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Especially but not exclusively for those over 30 trying to get into or stay in shape. Discuss bicycle riding and cycling issues, golf, body-building, whatever


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New in Lubbock? Looking for a Place to Walk/Run/Ride?

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Welcome. Lubbock has some very good places. Lots of small parks and some larger ones.

There is what amounts to a greenbelt running from NW to SE along the Yellowhouse Canyon; trouble is, this greenbelt is not exactly continuous, so you cannot kayak, hike, or cycle without having to portage or detour to avoid major roadways, railroad lines or the interstate.

If you are looking for hills in and around Lubbock, the only ones you will find are in the canyons.

Here are my favorite places for walking, hiking, running or riding a bike:

1. Jim Bertram Canyon Lakes Park, a/k/a Canyon Lake #5. Extends East of Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard just south of East 19th St. The paved road circling the lake measures abouit 2.8 miles. There is parking on the road and parking lots on both north and south sides. There are about 12 miles of mountain biking trails north and east of the lake; you can hike/jog on those offroad trails, but watch out for cyclists, thorns, prairie dog holes, and rattlesnakes.

The mountain bike trails vary but can be quite a challenge. What gets to me are steep descents and trails that are ruts in the caliche. The time or two I've been on those trails I've run up and down the harder parts--which I guess means not that I'm chicken but training for cyclocross. Laughing

How safe it it at Jim Bertram Lake? IMO, safe enough for lone men and multiple women. I have seen women and even men walking with baseball bats in hand. In some cases groups of black women followed by a man in a big luxury car; don't know if this is for protection or a sag wagon for those who collapse (why doesn't the guy walk too? Is it unmanly?). For that matter, many young and attractive women of all races walk, run, or bike alone there all the time. I've seen Shanna Armstrong do both there, as well as ride a mountain bike on the trails.

IMO, there is no safer place in Lubbock to ride a bike on a road or street than on the paved 2.8 mile Canyon Lakes Road loop. The only danger is losing it on the short steep hills if you go too fast and are not a skilled rider. I do get bored just circling around, so have done no more than 7 laps.

The one time a vehicle almost hit me was when a police car about to roust out a bunch of motorcyclists in a parking lot drove directly at me in my lane.

I would avoid the park after good dark. You should be aware that people have been killed there, two that I know of. One murder happened when a man and woman argued and the woman got stabbed, near the porta potty at the trees on the SW side. The other killing occurred in the wee hours when a man sitting in a car was shot by young men trying to rob him. Few years ago two bodies were found in a Saab driven into a canyon off Canyon Lakes Drive, that of a medical school libarian and a prostitute. Turned out they were killed elsewhere and the murderer drove the car there and left it.

Once I had an encounter with a dog pack; had to hop off the bike and keep it between me and the pack. Fortunately, the aggressors were not the pit bulls in the group but some little dogs.

From my many loops around this lake, on a bicycle or on foot, I have some especially fond memories. Here are some.

It was walking/hiking around this lake that motivated me to learn to ride a bicycle. At that time, the Caprock Multi-Sport Club still existed and was active in arranging bicycle races and rides at the lake, on and off road. I watched them as I walked, and thought how much fun they were having. Since the Multi-Sport Club and their website went belly-up, there have still been races and a lot of cycling activity, but it has never been the same.

I first managed to ride a bike on a Sunday. (It was Oct 9, 2005, a date I wrote in my bike helmet.) The following Wednesday, I loaded up a Trek bicycle (not the one I first rode on, which was a Raleigh M-80) and drove to the lake and rode/walked a loop, walked part because the Trek was not shifting well. Few days later I took the Raleigh there, rode a couple of laps, staggered back to the truck, and lay doen in the truck thinking I was about to die; when death didn't come quickly, I decided to drive home and die there.

One time my bike was passed by a little pit bull with only three legs. (Embarassing to be riding a bicycle and get passed by a litle dog with only three legs. Glad we are anonymous here.) He was followed by his owner driving a big SUV. The dog was in good shape but the owner was a blimp; pity she could not exercise with her dog. Later I saw the door of the SUV open and the dog, 3 legs and all, jumped in.

Another time there was an attractive young woman jogging and walking, pushing a baby carriage up and down the hills. She was also leading a big dog on a leash and talking on a cell phone. Talk about multi-tasking!

2. Mackenzie Park. Entrance north side of east Broadway east of fairgorunds at Broadway and Ave. A.

3. Tech Terrace Park. Extends west of Flint at 23rd and 25th streets. This is a very pretty park with a walking jogging track next to the curb. About a mile around. Excellent place for dog walking, girl watching, man watching. Bike lane on Flint. I like to incorporate a loop or three into my TTU bike rides.

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