Fearing the Yoga Dads the New Heights Hike and Bike Link Will Bring

FEARING THE YOGA DADS THE NEW HEIGHTS HIKE AND BIKE LINK WILL BRING The Houston Chronicle reports that the Bayou Greenways project is paying for a new 1.35-mile section hooking up the existing White Oak Bayou and Heights hike and bike trails. Part of completing this stretch will require replacing the bridge shown here, a burned-out trestle that butts up to the former Eureka Railyard. Psyched about this new link that, when completed in 2014, will get cyclists from Downtown all the way out to Antoine Dr., Houstonia’s John Nova Lomax still seems more than a little ambivalent about losing the blackened thing: “The eastern foot of that bridge has been a meditation zone / power spot of mine for the last few years, my own trash-strewn bayou-pungent pre- and post-work Eden. No more — soon it will teem with with yoga dads and crossfit maniacs and their occasionally ill-behaved pooches.” [Ultimate Heights; Houstonia; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Patrick Feller [license]

34 Comment

  • Your fears are justified… the eastern end of the park along White Oak Bayou east of Houston Avenue used to be a hidden gem of greenspace with a view of downtown, enjoyed by a few dogwalkers, hikers, and the occasional fisherman, but was empty most of the time. Once the White Oak Bayou concrete trail was connected through, however, it became a highway of fast moving cyclists, many of which seem to intentionally harass the pedestrian trail users.

  • Question. Does anyone know what the story is about the random single tree in the middle of white oak, just east of where main goes under I-10?

  • It sounds like since this is already a mediattion zone/power spot, it is truly ripe for the yoga Dads. Embrace the change/gentrification, gather round with all the other Dads and beat the drums.

  • Do Yoga Dads wear expensive Lululemon see through yoga pants like Yoga Moms wear?

  • @Rex…..It’s a 90 year old Cypress Tree planted by none other than Johnny Cypress Tree before the revolution. A real gem of Houston History, displayed prominently in the middle of White Oak Bayou.

  • This will be great!–but yeah, I hope the cyclists respect the pedestrian’s–on the Katy Trail in Dallas the police ride bikes down it and will ticket bikes for excess speed –a lady was killed by a cyclist last year near the Highland Park end –cautionary tale for White Oak

  • Rex: I’ve wondered the same thing for many years.

  • I look forward to taking a walk all the way to downtown…now, if only someone was there to bring me back.

  • So, Lomax is complaining about the encroachment of yoga dads and crossfitters in a glossy mag read mostly by yoga dads and crossfitters. I think Houstonia is actually the name for a condition: the reticence to see your city improve because it is an admission that what was there before was a dump that no one but you appreciated.

  • UG is dead on! I am a jogger and frequent the trail Nicholson down to I-10. Not looking forward to more of the aggressive obnoxious Lance Lie-strong bikers. I notice these trail warriors more on weekends when they fly by you so close you get sucked into their tailwind. Prefer the Yoga Dads!

  • Ugh, Mr. Lomax, get a dog. No idea there was a real story behind that lone cypress. I always love after a storm where there are three tons of garbage wrapped around it!

  • I haven’t read the longer article Lomax wrote here, but I’m guessing he goes on to recount his visitations with Lightnin’ Hopkins ghost while sipping Lone Star tallboys underneath that old bridge, to be followed by anecdotes about how Leadbelly named his grandpa’s cat and the time Townes Van Zandt crashed for a week on his mom’s sofa while composing “Pancho and Lefty” and trying to kick his smack habit.

  • It’s possible that John Nova Lomax was showing a sense of humor. A gift some posters here seem to lack…

  • There are a few hyper-agressive cyclists out there. As a runner I cross paths with them often. As bike paths become more useful and more used we will need to develop some etiquette before the culture of Houston’s freeways spreads to the paths.
    I strongly advocate that everyone get a bell for their bicycle and use it when you are approaching others from behind. Even when someone is actually a jerk, you don’t come across as one when your opening line is a gentle “jing-jing”.

  • Aggressive bike riders …. yeah, faced that issue way back in uni. Some “less thoughtful” students carried short bamboo poles with them which somehow always seemed to hang over the edges of the sidewalks … after a while the cyclists became more courteous.

  • I ride these trails all the time. I got snapped at by a jogger a couple of years ago for not calling out my (rather fast) approach from behind, and he was absolutely right. I think I startled the crap out of him. I have made an effort to do so ever since and frequently use my pleasant sounding bell. However, all the warnings in the world do no good when you’re approaching a walker/jogger, wearing headphones, in the exact freaking geometric center of these busy, shared, multi-use trails. Oblivious.

  • Crossfit Maniacs – LMAO

  • Bike/jogging trails = great argument for banning retractable leashes.

  • If it’s a bike lane, you shouldn’t be jogging on it. If its a sidewalk or hiking/jogging trail, you shouldn’t be biking on it. Not rocket science.

  • There’s a standard protocol for this in group cycling: The passer says “[Passing] on your left|right”. The passee either maintains their line or moves over if there is space to do so safely. The passer is responsible for completing the pass safely and without assuming the pasee will move over. This prevents surprises and crashes.

    It works well on multi-use trails, too. It doesn’t require a bell, and is more specific in its communication anyway. Most joggers on the trails have heard it before and instantly know what’s going on.

  • @anon: Topic is “hike and bike trails”. Also not rocket science.

  • Funny story. Many years ago (before there were Yoga dads), was riding on the old trail in Stude Park, when an unleashed dog ran at my bike from 20 feet off the trail, smack into my derailleur – driving it into my spokes. Ruined my wheel, and almost de-nutted me in the process as I flew off my suddenly stopped bike.
    The dumb-ass dog yelped out in shock, but wasn’t hurt. But did the dog’s owner apologize for wrecking my bike? No, he wanted to start a fistfight because I was, in his mind, going too fast. Mind you, all this happened about 15 feet from a sign that said that all dogs were to be on a leash. Bottom line is that everyone loves to blame cyclists.
    Multi-use trails require courtesy from all parties, including dog walkers and those groups of pedestrians who like to walk several abreast, oblivious to the yellow line running down the middle of the trail.
    The best solution would be to have a parallel decomposed gravel jogging/walking path. And maybe some random yoga mats…

  • Anse: Actually I commune with the ghost of Rocky Hill’s pet two-headed goat under that bridge all while sipping box Merlot and whistling the last song Steve Earle sang before he and my ex-stepfather got in a fistfight.

  • @passiveagressive- this is a great and well-known system, but still doesn’t address the fact that the majority of walkers/joggers (and many cyclists) use headphones during the activity, and therefore can not hear the call out. Can’t help but startle these folks.

  • Someone explain why retractable leashes are bad, as opposed to loose leashes flying and tangling all the place.

  • I guess my point is that the bike path protocol needs to be developed and spread somehow. I also think that we should make a serious effort to keep the culture of the bike paths decidedly more civil than our roads.
    I am a runner, cyclist and dog owner and I feel strongly that most dogs should be kept off the bike paths. Any safety/courtesy protocol goes out the window because dogs care more about smelling pee. Besides, it can’t be very fun for the dog to walk on a boring concrete path and get jerked around every 10 seconds because they are in someone’s way.

  • The agro cyclist are annoying, but at least they follow the rules of using a trail and are predictible. Side by side Mom’s pushing strollers occupying all 10′ of the trails width periodically stopping to talk to each other while being completely oblivious to their surroundings. I recently was longboarding down the trail and had about 2-3ft to pass one of these stopped stroller pairs, and right as I was coming up on them I shouted on your left… the one on the left turned to look at me and actually turned with the stroller turning the 2-3′ margin in to about 10 inches, causing me to nearly crash and then had the audacity to tell me to look out. Treat the trail like a road, slow traffic keep right. If your going to stop to chat, move off the trail (or at least as far to the right as you can get).
    – Yoga Dad

  • I’ve told this story before and maybe here, but one morning while biking to work I came upon two moms blocking both lanes of the path with their megastrollers stopped dead, chatting and showing each other kid pics on their iPads. Best part: one of them also had a vicious dog she couldn’t control, which broke off its leash, chased me down and bit my ankle hard enough to draw blood. Kind of awesome how they managed to break every tenet of path etiquette there…

  • Everyone needs to just unplug when using shared trails or at least listen to your “workout jams” at a volume that allows you to hear whats going on around you. This includes all “trails” in town and applies to all users. You can’t communicate with headphones turned to freaking 11! I can almost guarantee the people complaining about the cyclist are guilty of this on occasion and I have seen many cyclist doing the same thing. Unless I have an air horn, my bell and courteous “on your left” won’t penetrate your bubble of awesome, thus creating a conflict and unintentional startling of the plugged in user.

  • Frank_ announcing your presence with a bell is a great thing. I have a very nice bell, it’s been said that it’s a bit too loud, but it doesn’t matter when joggers are wearing ear buds. Or pedestrians out for a stroll decide to take over the entire path for their pedestrian task. Sharing goes both ways, and being aware goes both ways.
    No matter for me, since I stay as far away from these paths as I can. As surprising as it may sound, I find that drivers are more courteous than joggers or mothers walking a dog and pushing a stroller.

  • It would be nice if the city would post signs with a few rules/guidelines periodically along the path. I think the real problem is people are completely oblivious on how you are supposed to act on trails. I recently took a mild spill because of a careless dog owner letting their run across the path infront of me. Luckily I had a feeling they were oblivous (even after yelling on your left) so I was able to swerve off the trail in time to avoid collision but still had to run/crawl to a stop (longboard doesn’t roll well on grass). Is “sign bombing” a thing? It would be quite simple.
    1. Slower traffic keep right.
    2. Keep dogs on short leash (if on path)
    3. Step off path if stopped.
    4. Cyclist give right of way to pedestians.

  • OMG!!! Rules, Regulations, do this/not that, etiquette protocol, etc. Next we will have to get a license and photo ID from the Dept of Hike & Bike Trail in order to use it. Its just a matter of being courteous AND conscious of your surroundings. I know that is a hard concept for our individualistic society to comprehend but honestly! Just share the freakin trail!!

  • @Houcynic, well have you tried using “just being courteous AND conscious of your surroundings.” on the roads? It does not work. What you define as courteous can be very different to someone elses. So thats why we need standardized rules and regulations.