I hadn’t heard of Canopy Hotels until the company I just went to work for told me that’s where I’d be staying this week in Dallas. Intriguing name, Canopy. I wanted to learn more so I headed out to the website and wouldn’t you know it…they have bikes.
I came to Dallas fully expecting my 600+ day streak would be broken and it still may be, but I was able to cycle last night after work and again this morning. The streak lives on. More importantly, I’ve discovered a new bike friendly business to rave about. I really like this place. I’d go out of my way to stay here again.
They say it’s the little things that make a big difference and that’s certainly on display here. The room is not exceptionally spectacular but it has a contemporary edge that just feels good. It’s clean and quiet and has a great view of the skyline. The coffee machine makes espresso. You get complimentary orange socks so you can get your Dutch cyclist on.
The staff here is exceptional. They go out of their way to make you feel special and it’s all very sincere and real. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever stayed at a place where they force it. It’s so obvious when someone’s heart just isn’t in it. Here it feels like everyone’s heart is in it.
Speaking of hearts, the hotel sits in the heart of the Cityplace West development in Uptown Dallas. This is a genuine, walkable urban village. There’s a streetcar (DART M Line) that you can catch downtown. There’s also the Katy Trail, which is lighted and open from 5:00 AM until midnight, which makes it easy to get some miles in before or after work. You can head southwest towards downtown. The trail ends at the American Airlines Center, home of the NHL’s Dallas Stars and the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. From there you’ll find protected bike lanes that take you right into the heart of the central business district. Head the other way and you’ll end up in Highland Park.
The bikes are Dutch cruisers, akin (although a little less robust) to what you’re likely to find in most bikeshare programs. Bring your own lights and helmet if that’s important to you. I wouldn’t recommend riding after dark without lights here. You’re going to be on the road for a few short stretches and traffic is relatively fast and heavy. I rode sans helmet as I didn’t have room to pack one. It wasn’t a problem for me.
If you’re used to riding something a little sportier, be forewarned. This is not that. So what? It’s a chance to ride like they do in the old country. If you haven’t yet experienced that, you should. It’s so different. You sit upright and speed is pretty much out of the question. I averaged a little over 10 mph this morning and I really worked at it. I had a little bell and I rang it almost constantly. It made such a happy noise.
For me, there’s no better way to explore new urban places than on a bicycle. Thanks to Canopy, it was easy for me to do so in Dallas. If you find yourself in a city they serve, I highly recommend them.