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Sparky's Tater Ride Greensboro NC Triad Free Weekly No-Drop Bike Rides Skates for Beginners, Restarters & Leisure Cyclists

roadskater's picture

Are you sitting on the couch wondering how to get started? Would you maybe get out there if you could get out there with people like you instead of people who were like you a few years ago and now are all obsessed with speed on bikes or skates and have mostly forgotten the idea of leisure or beginner or restarter rides and skates? Well, Greensboro is lucky to have a guy who's doing what I would do if I were a cyclist or could get them to come out and ride with the skaters: 

Sparky's not getting faster at these rides, and that's the point.

Many have tried to help the slow as they get faster. They remember that people helped them. But then they think that if they take a day or two out for slow rides or skates, they're missing out. They'd rather do recovery rides or skates too hard or recovery days by not riding or skating at all. Even some who offer getting started rides or skates can forget as they bring out their expensive lightweight road bike for the beginner ride. 

One of the biggest mistakes we made at our "social skates" in the past was bringing the fast-looking skates...even if we were not too fast, we looked too fast. How about bringing your worst bike, or a cheap mountain bike, or worst skates, if you're going to be riding or skating to "help" beginners?

No matter what the equipment, it's important to wait on them, then wait again for them to be ready to go. Waiting for beginners to group up then leaving them again without a rest period doesn't really help them want to come out again. It's hard to wait, then wait, but that's what you do if you want to grow the beginners in the sport. Nobody's making you do a beginner ride or skate, right?

What Sparky does right is keep in mind that these rides are not for him. He rides to the ride and back from the ride for him. When he's at the ride, it is about the group, and he takes the lead, but it's about all the members in the group, too. While others are worried about proving something at every ride with mph or bpm, Sparky focuses on a fun ride with flexibility and rest built in along with some challenges as well. 

If I could get cyclists (or skaters!) to come out for beginner skrides, I'd hope to do the rides like Sparky does. I always wondered why nobody was doing that, even when they said it was for beginners. And of course there's nothing wrong with competitive or intermediate or any other kind of ride or skate. But while other skrides may eventually be better as riders and skaters improve, there's a huge need for a ride group who keeps it at the level a serious starter or restarter can keep with. 

And SERIOUS doesn't mean FAST, it just means really ready to START or RESTART cycling or skating regularly, but still working from a position of perhaps being overweight and certainly undertrained. 

How good is a no-drop promise that comes with a minimum mph? I guess it's nice, but it's no longer for someone afraid of being abandoned on the highway. 

So if you are anywhere near Greensboro, NC, and you want to go ride with a group that will not leave you, no matter how slow you go, check out Sparky's Tater Rides. I've done one and it was a blast. And since we all finished together, we actually talked and enjoyed some time afterward. 

I'm hoping to get Sparky to join and give some updates here, and this would give people a way to use the contact form to reach him using his contact form here. 


Sparky's Tater Ride Tuesday & Thursday Bur-Mil Club Barn
5834 Bur-Mill Club Road
Greensboro, North Carolina
United States
36° 10' 9.1344" N, 79° 52' 2.1864" W
Sparky's Tater Ride Sunday Panera Bread New Garden
604 Highwoods Boulevard
Greensboro, North Carolina
United States
36° 6' 45.2808" N, 79° 52' 44.8932" W


roadskater's picture

Latest Info on Sparky's Tater Rides Schedule

These basic notes from Sparky but remember LOCATIONS AND TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE:

  • Sparkys Tater Ride all rides start at 1pm. 
  • After May 1st start time 10am. 
  • Tue and Thu typically meet at back of Bur-Mil Park. 
  • Sun typically meet at Panera Bread New Garden. 
  • All rides 20 miles or so, 10-12 mph or so. 

Sparky posts to local ride lists and keeps a private list going too for the taters. I think there's a slighly different ride memorial weekend, as mentioned here:

"Also this Sun May 30 meet at 9am. Old Battleground and New Garden.  Last change I promise."

Sparky's Ride - Aug 23, 2010

8:00 a.m. - Meet at McDonald's -7069 Albert Pick Rd, Greensboro, NC.  approx 20 miles at 10-12 mph.

timv's picture

Two hour ride on Monday morning?

Is that date correct? Am I forgetting an upcoming holiday?

roadskater's picture

Sunday I think it was

Hey jack rabbit thanks for posting that ride. I think you were meaning the ride this morning from McDonald's. By the way you can use create/event when there is a set date (if you like). Thanks for starting to post. Btw I replied to your other post by phone but goofed and lost it. How was the ride today? How is the condition of the trail...skateable.

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