I've been having fun with Google Maps. I am hoping that the Dallas Bike Route system can be incorporated into Google Maps someday. In my shallow research, I've seen several folks post their favorite bicycle journeys. In that spirit, here's my standard bicycle commute following the Dallas Bike Route system.
There are several variations on this, some faster, some more direct. They're all fine.
It's a fairly easy commute, at the outside edge of the distances I recommend for people and planners. Ten miles is generally the maximum distance I suggest as a reasonable commute (although many of the most dedicated bicycle commuters easily double that distance). I prefer to focus on five miles, and I dream of the day one and two mile commutes make sense in my community. A one to two mile commute means you live and work in very close proximity, and that a bicycle will take about as long as a car trip, and will be considerably faster than walking. This requires urban high-density situations.
Many people still misunderstand the purpose of a bike route system. Lingering in the backs of our Bicycle Inferiority Complex minds (down near the "eat or be eaten" lizard brain) is the idea that bicycle routes are somehow "safer", or "the best". While either could be true, it's not necessarily the case, because the primary variable – the cyclists – have to make that decision themselves. The route system shows how many other cyclists navigate the same area. It's a suggestion that will get you where you want to go, but it never really rises above the level of a recommendation... after all, every city street is a bike route, even though many cyclists want to surrender that very basic right.
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