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Clemmons Bicycle 2007 Tour to Tanglewood TR Bike Ride Inline Skate Photos

roadskater's picture

As I've often said, the Clemmons Bicycle T2T TR route in the mid-30-mile range is my favorite, and this year I'd say that is still true, despite some nice routes at other shops. So when the weather turned out cooler it looked like another relatively easy day compared with what might have been. This summer we've been very lucky at least three times, maybe four (Tour de Lions, Tour de Kale, Cycles de Oro T2T TR and Clemmons Bicycle T2T TR), to have unseasonably cool temperatures.

However, sitting on the bumper dealing with my skates as we prepared to roll out, I looked down to see 120 on my HRM! Sitting! I'm used to averaging a fairly high heart rate for my age I guess so about 100 is what I get when I've put on my skates on a normal day at Country Park and I'm at my imaginary start line there. So I told eebee it looked like it was going to be a long day for me and that I hoped I would settle down later. Could it be the massive sweet tea and two bagels I had on the way? Unlikely, as that's my ritual. More likely it was my poor sleep management during the week, after having done a better job for some events this year, and really making an effort to rest the night before...but it's too late to rest then it seems!

We rolled out ahead of the fast bunch so we could avoid a tricky downhill and to get some pics. I hope they came out ok for some of you speedsters. It's fun being passed by the really fast folk so we get to see them, and finding our place toward the back along the way. More below, but here's a link to my photos...


We started out in the streets behind the bicycle shop and made our way around to the long road that runs along the train tracks and is part of the usual first day finish and the second day start. At the end of the road we turned left across those tracks and I guess that's where it becomes Dock Davis Road, and instead of flying down that road, we got to climb it, then meander our way down to the Angus farms and wineries of the Yadkin River Valley. This is the site of the famed peanut butter and jelly sandwich stop on Day 1 of the tour, and part of the second day route often. It's sweet stuff.

We worked our way around counterclockwise on what I think was much of Loop 3 from Day 1, but in retrograde, a route from many painful days past, and while I was ticking at 20-30 above eebee (who is normally near my heartrate much of the time), on the flats and gentles, I was in nowhere near as bad condition as I have been on some scorching days, and eebee was stronger and faster than in past years too. On the steeper hills I was doing fine and maybe even to 5 over her rate, after the first few miles, but on the glide she was dropping fast in her very fit way and I was barely dropping and doing so slowly. I'm usually slower to drop and don't drop as far and that's normal, but on this day, wow, I was ticking away rapidly the whole day. Unfortunately, I don't have the data, as I must have just hit the start button once on my HRM at the start! Arrgh! I had data all day but it wasn't recording because of my mistake, and I was looking forward to comparing notes.

Anyway, we made it through the Moravian Cookie Factory stop, coming in from the other side compared with Day 2's exhilarating downhill then left, and Elaine and Valerie and another volunteer were doing their usual amazing job for everyone. I remember saying it would be good to die eating a cantaloupe, a peaceful sweet way to go. Please don't test me on that.

We said hi to some goats and horses and did a long slow climb that always hurts us more that we think it looks like it should, but really we were doing pretty well, and eebee better than me on this day. I remember a windy stretch and not enjoying that too much, and a couple of times of saying "I just don't care." But that's a good thing, as I really was not ever hating any of it; there were just some hills I didn't care enough to try to spank. But I don't think we had to stop for any of the hills.

There were a couple of really sweet, long, safe downhills, and one amazing glide that's worth 35 miles of skating to get to enjoy. Other than a couple of places where people seem to want to make this place look like Atlanta, things were looking pretty good out there. Atlanta is already there for you, if you'd like to go check it out. See what their ring road has done for them, and you might think again on what we're trying to do here in Greensboro. Anyway...

I think I was not reaching my potential most of the day except maybe on some uphills, and it was thus an easy one for eebee. But that's good too!

We had a bit of a shocker when we got to Rest Stop 2 as they were packing up at 11:11 a.m. and we knew we weren't last. They were out of skaterade and just had water so I shaved my legs for this was what I thought briefly, thought that wasn't even true. I think if rest stops opened late that'd be better than closing early, because the skinny folk in the morning with the light bikes can usually deal, whereas the more normally configured among us out in the midday sun might be about to get some brainbake any minute. I know the tour volunteer stop wouldn't close until everyone was through, so we can only hope the bike shop will either commit fully or explain that the tour needs to provide people for that stop. It's a free ride but it's also a couple hundred cyclists' chance to find out where the bike shop is and how civic minded they are, so I think the bike shop will come through next year, and I know they've been super nice to the skaters (so I feel bad mentioning this rest stop but think I should).

We carry 100 oz. with us so we were half full at least at this point, though a cool reload would've been sweet, along with some watermelon and cantaloupe perhaps! Nevertheless, aside from wasting the effort turning into the stop, it was no harm no foul and we went on our way.

We had the usual blast returning via Dock Davis Road and the usual are we there yet along the train tracks and back into town, but overall the traffic was nice and we had a cyclist nearby but not so close and I think that helped as well. We looked back over our shoulders so cars would know we were there and tried to wave at them (not wave them past) before they'd usually tend to honk and that seemed to help. Still there was one woman I thought eebee was going to chase down for a moment. Good thing she didn't stop at that yard sale!

Back at the shop the usual gang of great folk greeted us home and we were in pretty good shape. I was trying to remember that we had gotten by with a not blisteringly hot day and that it would have been much tougher were it hotter. No need to think too well of oneself, or too poorly.

Given everything, I can say that the Clemmons TR is a great one, with my personal favorite route. There are so many memories of the T2T route, either the same direction or the opposite, Day 1 or Day 2, plus some truly great rolling on non-T2T road. There's one spot where I remember panting and sweating with others in years past, and I didn't have to do that this year mostly because of the temps, perhaps, but it's still a fond memory of shared pain with others trying to burn some calories and get ready for the Tour. Other TRs have their great features of course, and that's the genius of the training rides: we get to ride various terrain in several counties, get to know the other riders and staff and volunteers, and we learn where every bike shop is located that is charity minded enough to sponsor the Tour to Tanglewood...which is good for us and for the bike shops. Thanks to Clemmons Bicycle for a nice day out. I'm looking forward to next year already.

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