Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Every Super Neighborhood in Houston - Trip 5

Ok, now that the excitement is over from Alabama, I can finally finish up my Trip 5 post from two weekends ago.

This trip was the best one we had ever had. Since we're doing the trips within some kind of close frequency, our endurance levels are definitely getting up there. At the end of this one, we even took a detour to try to pick up some missed neighborhoods because we had so much energy left.

Anyway, here is the route we took.

The day started out with a knock at the door. It was Drew. My alarm didn't go off. I apologized, rushed around and got ready, printed out maps, and we left about 20 minutes later.

We decided to remedy three mistakes we made on the last 30-miler. The first was the butt soreness. We both went out and bought $70 bike shorts to wear under our regular shorts (we're a little self-conscious). The second was sunscreen, but it was cloudy and threatening rain, so we didn't bother. The third was extra water, which we brought. And the last was to actually draw the neighborhood boundaries on my printed out map so that we won't have a repeat of last time of not actually being in the neighborhood.
It was long straight ride all the way down cavalcade before we turned on Hirsch, and it wasn't long before we at #48 Trinity/Houston Gardens.

So far no rain

As we get further and further out, we have to deal with fewer and fewer bike-friendly roads as we leave the marked bike path area. I anticipated this and had us drive through many neighborhood roads to stay off the main thoroughfares with fast vehicles and no room for bikes.

We went north to #47 East Little York/Homestead. It would have been very easy to snap a photo of Little York road, the major street through the neighborhood, but I was really trying not to do that. So we went all the way up to Homestead Barber Shop. One of the patrons or possibly the owner was standing outside. We threw the "scavenger hunt" excuse at him (which works very well) and he smiled and said go ahead and take the picture. I had a great impression of this neighborhood. It's and older, nicer, black neighborhood (82% black). This is basically where the poorer people from inside the loop come to when they can afford it.

I was very tempted to get a haircut at this point

Next we took some more neighborhood roads and went over our first of many 80 foot railroad crossing bridges. We went past an elementary school where East Houston middle school was supposed to be. Right as we were about to turn around and look again, I spotted this sign for #49 East Houston.

There was a guy behind me that didn't pay much notice

We took a wrong turn (but still in the right general direction) and it wasn't long before we were at the small community of #50 Settegast. I had planned to go the Settegast apartments further down, but a "Welcome to..." sign always gets more cool points.

I'm willing to bet that civic club isn't so new anymore.

So that was it. We hit the four that I had planned to hit and we started riding back to Cavalcade. The next picture shows you what much of the area near Cavalcade and Homestead looks like. Plus I had to get at least one pic with Drew in it.

There was an eerie sound coming from out west, like a whistling ghost or something

After we had a medicore breakfast at a donut place at Cavalcade, I said to Drew "I still have a lot of energy... we only have 6 miles left." He said, "yeah me too." I can't remember whose idea it was, but we decided that we were so close to 5th ward, that we would give it another shot. On the way into 5th ward we went over our 3rd railroad bridge for the day. At least this one had an awesome view.

Drew, trains, and Houston.

I love this town!

So when we were on our way all the way to nearly I-10 to see Fifth Ward Library, this sign caught my eye right as we entered #55 Fifth Ward. It wasn't too far from the library, but it did save us a few blocks. At this point it was getting really sunny and we regretted not listening to ourselves and putting sunscreen on. I ended up a little burned at the end of the day.

Take two successful

Not knowing exactly which way I was going to Northside, we went back over the train bridge (my legs were finally starting to get tired after that one) and took a left on Liberty. As we were riding along, trying not to stare at all the poor people that were loitering on the street and giving us dirty looks, we turned the corner and saw a crowd of people and flashing police lights. Given the location we were in, we assumed the worst. As we got closer, we saw a podium with a City of Houston and a bunch of well-dressed people sitting in chairs. It turns out it was a dedication ceremony for a new historical marker for "Frenchtown". I asked Drew if he wanted to stop, and he said sure. It was a really great presentation, with live Zydeco music and accounts of residents who had lived in the area nearly 80 years. City councilman Jarvis Johnson was there, as well as a representative from Sheila Jackson-Lee's ofice. It's a good thing we went back the bridge way!

Jarvis Johnson speaking

Right after the unveiling

Closer picture with all the politicians and organizers.

After the great break listening to music and watching a historical marker be unveiled, we continued on to find Northside Baptist Church. The first church we went to (where my map said Northside Baptist was) was actually called something else. Drew took the woman's way out and asked a guy there if he knew were it was. I have to admit it beat spending 5 minutes looking it up on my phone. We went down 5 blocks and saw it. Unfortunately, it was not in Northside Village, but it was still in Fifth Ward. I though Jensen Dr. was the border, but I was mistaken.

If only I knew, I wouldn't be smiling.

Even after we were riding back, we passed a construction sign that said Northside on it. But we didn't stop because I thought we already had it. We'll just have to do take 3 this weekend when we go out to the Galena Park area (way out east).

We took a break and grabbed a celebratory beer at Onion Creek on the way back, and were home just before noon, when it started really raining. The final distance for the trip was 31.4 miles

We're now up to a total of 29 super neighborhoods totalling 89.2 miles on the bicycle.

Next trip is trip 6 on Sunday, all the way to the furthest reaches East and back.

I've re-routed the proposed trips, because of our increasing fitness levels. So take a look at the changes as http://careyj.com/sn/ We're now down to 12 trips instead of 13.

No comments: