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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I set out this last Saturday for my regular ride to regain sanity after the work week. It was raining, so I didn't have the camera. As always, I enjoyed the ride, but I noticed something... Progress!!! The inevitable march of progress that is eating away at the country side like a cancer. I had to ride over 10 miles to approach anything near the country, and it was only that short because I live at the north end of the Dallas metroplex. As I rode by the fields, the smell of Texas prairie filled me with that serenity that only a field of wild weeds, grasses, and flowers after a rain can do.. but yet it was tainted by housing developments, car exhaust, and progress. I decided to ride the route again on Sunday while it was bright and sunny so I could take a few pics to share. I apologize in advance to those who live in beautiful homes like the following ones. Maybe I'm just jealous. Maybe I just think that nature is better than any stress-relief program or medication. Maybe I'm just concerned that the next generation won't know what a field or a forest is. In any case, on with the pics!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Only a few years ago, both sides of this road were just fields wrapped in barbed wire. Now, they've walled it off so that a new development can take over - and I saw a sign that suggested the other side of the road will be developed as well.
 

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And the homes aren't just places to live! They are absolute mansions! Maybe I'm just clinging to my spartan ways, but does a single family really need this much house?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
and they really do mean castle hills: here's an entrance to the neighborhood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I rode on. This is one of my favorite roads for bicycling and motorcycling. I get the feeling that in a few more years, it won't be anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There's a great bridge over some railroad tracks along that road. I love to look out over the tracks as I crest the bridge and day dream about how far they go. Now, they've torn down the trees and bulldozed the field so that as I look to the distance I see a golf course, houses, and a scarred landscape. I suppose I knew it was all there before, but it was so nice pretending it wasn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
It was about that time that I realized a couple things. One, I had a smudge on the camera lens, so I cleaned that up as best I could on sweaty bike clothes. Two, I found what I wanted to show off: that Texas isn't just a bunch of flat hot pavement. Honest to goodness wildflowers! Beautiful fields in the summer sun! Gratuitous bike porn! I knew there were reasons I still love riding!! :-D

ps - thistles have very sharp needle-like spikes on them. use caution when handling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
And from there, it was back toward home.

Actually, the first pic was on the way out, just forgot to post it until now. That grain silo looking thing is actually the tallest indoor rock climbing gym in the world (or was at one time) at 110 feet of sheer vertical miniscule holds. I haven't been there in a long time, but it is definitely an experience.

Then, I'm back in Dallas area traffic again. No shoulders, no bike lanes, no wide lanes, no mercy. Just ride like you own the road, and you won't have many problems. Most of the close calls are a result of driver stupidity, not malice.

And in case you were wondering if it is hot here, I can tell you that it truly is. And humid too. Thank goodness for camelbacks!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know it pales in comparison to some of the other threads that have been posted recently, but I gotta work with what I got! Hopefully it didn't come off as too bitter, because it really was a nice ride - it's just changing with the times.
 

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You gotta like any post that includes flowers.

re: those McMansions look stupid in the suburbs on new lots with no plantings but they look insane in the city when they build 4 of them on a lot that used to have a small house and a couple of big trees.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.............
 

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nonsleepingjon said:
I know it pales in comparison to some of the other threads that have been posted recently, but I gotta work with what I got! Hopefully it didn't come off as too bitter, because it really was a nice ride - it's just changing with the times.
Here's a little piece of local activism that the local Sierra Club Chapter does each year.
http://northstar.sierraclub.org/campaigns/open-space/tour-de-sprawl/2006/index.html
Tour de Sprawl, they lead a group ride in areas where growth and development are occurring in damaging ways and talk about alternatives to what's seen on the tour.

Nice report

Scot
 

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When I first moved to Oregon ten years ago, the libertarian in me felt that the rigid urban growth boundaries here were draconian. But whenever I return to my native Minneapolis I am dismayed by the burgeoning sprawl which gobbles up countryside there at an alarming rate. I am not a good libertarian anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
undies said:
When I first moved to Oregon ten years ago, the libertarian in me felt that the rigid urban growth boundaries here were draconian. But whenever I return to my native Minneapolis I am dismayed by the burgeoning sprawl which gobbles up countryside there at an alarming rate. I am not a good libertarian anymore.

As much as I'd like to not share a wall with my neighbors some day, some times I think that everyone should live in apartments so that there would be more open land. I agree with the personal liberties ideals of libertarianism, but I think that preservation of nature should probably be handled by an arm of the government. Private industry doesn't have much incentive to preserve the land, at least not that I can think of.

And the countdown begins until this gets moved to the politics forum :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Scot_Gore said:
Here's a little piece of local activism that the local Sierra Club Chapter does each year.
http://northstar.sierraclub.org/campaigns/open-space/tour-de-sprawl/2006/index.html
Tour de Sprawl, they lead a group ride in areas where growth and development are occurring in damaging ways and talk about alternatives to what's seen on the tour.

Nice report

Scot

What stumps me is that often the draw of moving to the outskirts of town (and even marketed as such) is that it's less crowded, maybe there's a view of some sort. But usually the entire area is marked for development, so within a few years it's crowded, and the scenic view is now of the neighbor's living room.
 

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Oh gosh no.

nonsleepingjon said:
.....should probably be handled by an arm of the government. Private industry doesn't have much incentive to preserve the land, at least not that I can think of.

What has the government ever not messed up? Sure a new agency may be productive and useful for one generation but agencies never die. The main job of a bueraucrat is to extend their reach, pay and control and they have the power and they will take your money.

Most private industry is at least honest about their profit motive.

BTW nah, I don't move stuff like this to another forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
MB1 said:
What has the government ever not messed up? Sure a new agency may be productive and useful for one generation but agencies never die. The main job of a bueraucrat is to extend their reach, pay and control and they have the power and they will take your money.

Most private industry is at least honest about their profit motive.

BTW nah, I don't move stuff like this to another forum.

Ok, probably not the govt., but at least some group that has a vested interest in the land and the power to protect it. Couldn't think of any off hand that has both qualities. Maybe I was thinking of some altruistic idealized version of the forest service or something. But, considering the "improvements" I've seen to the state parks around here essentially turn them in to giant RV parks where people come to park their monstrous gas-guzzling home away from homes with satellite TV and full bathrooms for a weekend getaway.... but I digress.
 

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nonsleepingjon said:
What stumps me is that often the draw of moving to the outskirts of town (and even marketed as such) is that it's less crowded, maybe there's a view of some sort. But usually the entire area is marked for development, so within a few years it's crowded, and the scenic view is now of the neighbor's living room.
Self fullfilling cycle.
I see it amongst my co-workers. They moved to the 3rd ring to escape the crowds and the the traffic, but now the 3rd ring is crowded and full of traffic (road infastructure takes a while to keep up with us mobile human beings). Solution move to the 4th ring, aka Sprawl.

Put your stop watch on this dymnamic. When most boomers are over 65, these sprawl communities will be ghost towns. I think you'll see the migration reverse. People will be moving towards the urban centers to be close to transit options and to simplify their lives. McMansions in the 2nd and 3rd ring will subdivide and condo convert. I'm sure you've got late 19th and early 20th century mansions in your town. Many of the ones in mine have subdivided and gone condo. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Scot
 

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MB1 said:
What has the government ever not messed up?
Rural electrification, the world's largest national road system, WW2, the Moon landing, National Parks, tsunami relief, national standards for water and food quality, ultra-low automobile emissions, the Internet, the monuments of which you like to take beautiful photos...
 
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