In northwest Denton County, Clear Creek dominates the topography. Whether it is the main channel or a major tributary, the most pronounced ups and downs are related to Clear Creek. Rolling hills are typical in this area and those rollers get notably larger as one rides closer to Creek. When riding the fixed gear bicycle, one is very aware of his surrounding topography.
I’ve named another cycling loop near our place; Cowling Road Loop. Cowling Road is an old, poorly maintained roadway that roughly parallels IH-35 south of Sanger, Texas. In this loop, Cowling Road approximately represents the southeastern limit (in which my home is near the northwest limit). Cowling Road also crosses Clear Creek and (according to Google Earth) the bridge deck represents the lowest point of elevation of the ride at 583 feet. The highest point on this loop is probably the farthest point away from the Creek bed at 817 feet. The road in front of my house, for comparison, is at about 778 feet. Here is Clear Creek flowling lazily by on a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon.
It is a 22.6 mile loop that crosses Clear Creek twice and a major tributary one time. That means, on average, that there is a fairly steep climb of more than 100 feet every 7-8 miles. The Cowling Road loop is not a unique challenge for a cyclist. Many ride in mountainous terrain that poses much greater challenges. However, compared to my former home on the flat Gulf Coast, this area is more interesting and an aid to regaining fitness. Three weeks into a base miles program and I think there are few signs of progress.