Off-Road Riding in the Heart of the Metroplex

If you’re looking for a new adventure, how about starting with something we all remember how to do — riding a bicycle. If you’ve got balancing on two wheels down, let’s upgrade from that big-box store bike to a more dependable mountain bike.

Here’s a few specialty cycling stores to browse in the Dallas-Fort Worth area: Bicycles, Inc., Richardson Bike Mart, Transit Bikes, and Bonzai Cycle Werx.

And don’t worry, whether you’re hitting the trails as a beginner or an experienced rider, the DFW area offers a variety of off-road adventure. Click HERE to check out the Dallas Off-Road Bicycling Association (DORBA) for a trail near you.

I began mountain biking over a year ago. Here’s my bike (and yes, I highly recommend the brand TREK).

JLS - Women's TREK MTB

All photography captured by JL Smith

Some of the dirt paths this bike and I have pounded are: Cedar Hill State Park, River Legacy, Rowlett Creek Preserve, and my personal favorite, Northshore Trail. You’ll find certain tracks more hilly, rocky and built with rigorous switchbacks, while others are more level, yet filled with ramps, narrow bridges and other miscellaneous obstacles.

Believe it or not, my first-time mountain biking was on one of the most difficult ranked trails in DFW — Northshore. I rode 13 miles that day without an injury, which is a pretty big success (every other trail I’ve rode I’ve earned my fair share of bruises, scrapes and tree-branch encounters).

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Which leads me to some imperative advice — wear a helmet! As well as padded cycling shorts (your tush will thank you later). I also suggest always riding with a buddy, whether you’re male or female. Mountain biking is dangerous. Also, before you know it, you’re out farther in the woods than you realize and your pal lowers the odds of you getting mauled by a bobcat. I’m just kidding (they’re more afraid of you than we are of them, right?). Plus, you’ll need a witness’ account that you jumped that six-foot ramp.

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If you’re up for a bit of a challenge, I endorse Northshore’s intermediate to difficult trails located south of Flower Mound and north of Grapevine Lake. The views are spectacular, it’ll get your adrenaline pumping and there’s enough shade in the summer time to protect you from the Texas sun. It’s also swarming with friendly passersby (be mindful of joggers and hikers).

So, what’s keeping you from feeling like a kid again? Grab your helmet, a water bottle and prepare for quite the workout. Just don’t forget to use the restroom before hitting the trails…

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I want to hear about your first time or most memorable ride mountain biking! Let me know in the comments.

For further information on Northshore trail and mountain biking in Dallas-Fort Worth, visit: www.dorba.org.

JL Smith


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