Well, it's a long time coming, but it's finally here. Trip 4. Now that marathon season is over, I'm hoping to do these at least every other week. Drew and I have all the way up to Trip 11 by the end of April scheduled.
I'm going to have to stop doing a regular google map, because there are too many points to fit all in one. You can still view the Super Neighborhood Map of the trip.
The day started off with Drew and I messaging each other that we both wanted to start about 30 minutes late, so that's what we did.
The first stop was an easy one, I drive by this sign almost every day. It's for #14 Lazy Brook/Timbergrove, right across from my grocery store.
Less than a mile from my house
The neighborhood was a lot nicer than our previous rides through impoverished Houston. The small two bedroom houses around here go for about $280k.
Our next stop was at Houseman Elementary, which is in the Spring Branch school district. We rode up and down and all around the school and didn't see a single sign that said Spring Branch ISD on it. Since it wasn't that far from my house, I wasn't going to freak out about having to pick it up later. We continued on down the route and came across the sign below practically smacking us in the face. I wasn't completely sure it was in #86 Spring Branch East, but when I got home, I verified that it was.
I hate deed restrictions almost as much as I hate zoning
We decided to take a shortcut on a busy road instead of taking the marked bike route. The shortcut saved us about a mile and a half, but we had to ride on a 40 mph road (where people go 50) with no sidewalk or shoulder. We survived, but I don't think I'll be doing that again unless I have to. In one of the detours from the main road, we went up to Langwood Baptist church, which was supposed to be in Langwood, but was actually a block away from Langwood. We're going to have to revisit this one in trip 6 when we go up to Willowbrook.
It took us a while to figure what the sign meant. Stupid church not being in Langwood.
Along the main fast road, I came to a screeching halt when I saw this place, since we were supposed to be looking for #4 Fairbanks/North Crossing. I wasn't sure if it was actually in Fairbanks, so we continued on to Dean Middle School, which had "Cypress Fairbanks" ISD in the title, like schools should have (stupid Spring Branch). So we got this one twice.
There was actually a guy hauling trash behind the fence, but he didn't seem to take notice of us
This is about the point where you can see me progressively getting more and more tired
After a serious wrong turn which added about a mile to our trip, we got to Carverdale Community Center in #3 Carverdale. We were starting to get really tired, because the 20mph winds were no longer at our backs, but we were going directly into it. You can tell from the next picture, I look a little more worn out.
"I can't believe we're only half way"
Drew pointed out this sign was more interesting, so I took a pic of him with it.
Back into the wind, we went south toward #8 Westbranch, intending to go into the subdivision and look for the Westbranch Recreation Center, but luckily found this sign early and saved a little bit of precious milage.
Is it over yet?
We definitely needed a break to recharge, so we rode down Gessner (on the sidewalk, because it was very very busy road) and looked for a place to eat. We found a little donut shop called Donut World, which had amazing donuts and good kolaches. The donuts were all warm and soft but not undercooked *drool*. Although we made the mistake of both of us getting orange juice, which was not a good choice with 12 miles into the wind to go.
We went back to kempwood, seeing Spring Shadows signs everywhere (but I didn't feel like stopping because I knew there was a school ahead and I knew it was in the superneighborhood). After getting nearly all the way through the super neighborhood, we came across Spring Shadows Elementary in #84 Spring Shadows.
It was an uneventful quater mile to the next stop at #85 Spring Branch Central
Getting tired again.
And just for good measure, I got this one on the way back in Spring Branch East, just in case.
My sweat pattern looks like Kazakhstan
The ride home was brutal. We had a wrong turn which took us to Ikea (all in 20mph head winds). At some points it felt like if we stopped pedaling, we would roll backwards! But we finally made it, crashed on the couch with a lot of water, and that was it.
It took about 4 hours and 30.1 miles to pick up these 7 new Super Neighborhoods. Next trip is going to be roughly the same distance, but only 3 new Super Neighborhoods. It's also going to be back out in the east (low-income) area.