The multi-use path along Braes Bayou is certainly nice, but it is not the prettiest of all Houston rides. For one thing, Braes Bayou is one of the least natural of Houston's bayous, having been completely lined with concrete:
The path exists on two levels, one about half way down the bayou at the junction where grass turns to concrete (shown above) and one along the top of the bayou, shown below:
In most place, the path takes either the upper or the lower route, but occasionally both are available and the rider has a choice. Similarly, over most of its route, the path is on one or the other side of the bayou, crossing back and forth as it follows the bayou.
As can be seen in the above pictures, this tends to be a sunny ride. There are a few trees, but over most parts of the trail they provide very little shade. There are, however, a few stretches of this trail that are more wooded:
Despite the somewhat industrial and barren look the concrete lining gives the bayou, it is home to fish and water birds. (Houston is perhaps the best place in the United States for bird watching due to our location on many of the bird migration routes.)
Upgrades are constantly being made to this (as well as other) trails. Recently, a series of very attractive steel brides were added to the hike/bike trail to allow pedestrians and cyclists to enter and leave the trail from neighborhoods on the opposite side without struggling with traffic:
The following picture shows a much more spectacular hike/bike bridge currently under construction:
This will replace a current bridge which is somewhat daunting on a bicycle:
...with something which will be much more attractive:
I for one am grateful for the many bicycling opportunities available in Houston as exemplified by the Braes Bayou hike/bike trail. Although I certainly believe that bicycles belong on the roads, having the opportunity to relax and ride car free is much appreciated.