Anyone ever bailed on a bike while riding what should be a simple part of a trail? I have. Anyone ever start riding a trail and then realize far too late that ‘Oh wait, I still have to turn around and go all the way back!’?! Been there, done that. Anyone ever been so pumped while riding a trail that you rode it way too hard and you almost threw up afterward but still think it was totally worth it? That’s me.
I am absolutely not any slightest form of a professional mountain biker. Nor an expert. Nor really good at it. I’m intermediate at best and can hold my own as long as the trail isn’t too steep, too rocky, too curvey….hmmm
Either way, I have ridden on the Northshore DORBA trail at Grapevine lake several times. I love this trail! For anyone who doesn’t know, DORBA stands for Dallas off-road bicycle association and they do an excellent job maintaining this trail. There are two sections to this trail, an East section and a West section. The East section consists of loops 1-4 and is approximately 12 miles and the West section consists of loops 5-7 and is approximately 10 miles. I have only completed the East section since I have been told that is the more intermediate route while the West loop is more technical and for more advanced riders. There are several trailheads allowing riders to pick and choose where they want to start. I felt like the trails were well marked and the trail easy to identify while riding, so I have never gotten lost. The DORBA website has a lot of great information about trailheads, bathrooms, directions, rules, and most importantly, when the trail is open.
For me, biking this trail is always a challenge. I consider myself in decent shape and I always end up huffing and puffing my way the last mile or two of the trail. Completely red-faced, sweat dripping (and I don’t sweat), dying for some cold water. Thus far, I have made it every time. I would not recommend this trail for those new to mountain biking as some sections are rather steep and rocky. There are places along the trail that I decide to walk my bike down simply because I don’t feel like careening off the path at lightening speed into a nearby tree or bush. There are places where the smallest puddle of water just simply got the best of me and I decided to abruptly lay my bike down with me still on it. And there are plenty of steep places where my legs tell me ‘absolutely not’ and I’m forced to abide and walk my bike up. Overall though, I find this trail system so much fun to ride! It has enough coasting parts to keep me happy, fun ups and down to keep it entertaining, and beautiful views of the lake. Afterward, even if I do feel like throwing up, I always feel so accomplished.
The trail itself is gorgeous and does not have to be experienced via mountain biking. If you are into trail running or just want to walk your dog, I highly encourage venturing out for the day. If you are looking for views, I recommend staying on the southern sections of the loops. Only bikers must go one way. By staying on the southern section, you will catch really beautiful views of Grapevine lake, one of my favorite lakes in the area. If you are just looking for some quiet time or a place to eat lunch with a view, check out the Rockledge Park portion of the trail. It’s a neat area with some big flat spots perfect for just hanging out on, doing whatever makes you happy. If you decide to hit up the trail for an adventure, please be safe and have fun! Definitely make sure to wear your helmet when biking and please please please bring plenty of water! This is Texas y’all.