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Robert's Cycles de Oro Saturday Morning Coffee Shop Ride

roadskater's picture

Hey can you imagine? We got up early, got there early, found out we were an extra half hour early, found out we were waiting on one more rider, and had our gear and gadgets on and booted in plenty of time! I had my Etrex Vista GPS clipped onto my Salomon Palm Sliders, which was a pretty good solution I'll say. I'd been to the Dollar Tree and purchased some cell phone holders, the leather ones with a clip on the back, and the GPS fits in there pretty well. I didn't have the Polar heart rate monitor (720i) on, thinking this was just going to be slow and easy stuff, but I did carry along the plastic rear view mirror, also attached to my left back of hand. cyberskater!

In my other hand? The trusty Sony DSC-S50 digital camera of course! I'll have photos (somewhere somehow someday), as I took maybe 100 or so.

We started at Cycles de Oro of course, and worked our way down Westover Terrace to the linear park along Benjamin Parkway, bearing right then left under what had become Aycock, riding toward town. We stopped and sat outside at a little cheesecake, muffins, coffee, etc. place across from The Book Trader. I'll try to get the name and add it here later. We sat with Robert and talked for awhile and that was a pleasure of course.

Off we went, south on Elm the right, in front of the old, old, Southern Railway station, which I have somewhere in my mind is the oldest building still standing in Greensboro. I think Tim may have some trivia on this one. We also saw some cool faded painted with advertisements buildings as we wound our way through College Hill Historic District, eventually crossing Tate St. into the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is where we think Robert had a little fun with us skaters!

It started off simply enough, or simply enough with rec skates and a fine ankle! We wound twisty up and down through some walkways, crossing a fine bridge and circling under a round tower of sorts which had an open circular plaza under the tower. This is all modern stuff, not historic yet. Next we crossed some very fine packed gravel that was skateable, and then we saw STEPS! Ha! I think this was a nice little adventure for all the new and renewed riders and the skaters too. We sidestepped down through pine bark and made it well, and all were happy for a diversion methinks.

We went along the Dorms, Jamison and Bailey being ones I recall, which once overlooked the open meadow of the little 9-hole golf course I used to play when teaching Writing and Literature there. I think it's a 7-hole course now, or so, still with no fee, available to students, staff and faculty, as the old meadow and cabin there have given way to less leisurely and relaxed sports facilities, including the soccer and softball stadiums.

We crossed Aycock on Walker and wound through more of what's great about Greensboro...tons of houses, in some areas small ones even, that are not all alike, on streets shaded by tall oaks and wonderful sugar magnolias. We wound along over to what must have been Elam, or close, and briefly down Friendly west to the linear park trail again, running alongside Wendover at this point. We thought we'd be heading back up Aycock/Westover to Mill, but no! We went along to the Battleground Crossing and up to Latham Park, across the creek and left under some of my favorite trees in Greensboro, bending left and up the monster hill (or it seemed like it today) we used to run up on hill repeats day when I worked at Compute! Publications long ago.

After climbing this hill, some went on for what set for 40 minutes or so, and with my ankle a bit sore, having helped my back be sore perhaps, and definitely helping with creating the hints of blistering on the other side of the heel on that foot, we bailed back with others to the store.

Ahh, Dale had it nice and cool in there and we wandered around in a daze marveling at the huge selection of useful and beautiful goodies cyclists can enjoy as accessories of their pastime.

After a few moments of chatting with Dale Brown in between the many customers, we set out to be welcomed at Moe's Southwest Grille, where the Wifi is free and the steak burritos are good (steak joey with black beans and rice).

After much loitering, we headed out into the sun again, and feeling the heat we were glad we hadn't taken up that 30-miler at pm from the store.

What Robert does, and what the other members of Greensboro Velo Club Rec do, is nothing short of wonderful. They get it. They understand without new people being attracted into and encouraged along in your sport, your numbers can fade quickly after jobs, families and other pastimes come along.

And of course Dale is a key ingredient to making many good things come to pass.

We noticed that Robert fully played shepherd in the most generous and gracious way, not seeming upset at all to wait on others who were behind us, but happy to be sharing something he loves in a non-training way, that's likely good exercise for his soul when mostly rest for his body. Of course, he's not accustomed to the quirks of skating downhill and making 90-degree turns, and we spent some effort governing our speed in case we'd be turning soon, but we had no hard stops at the bottoms of hills. There was one stretch of old sidewalk in Lindley where we'd happily have taken Cridland under more sweet overhanging trees, but those little root bumps would've been nothing on a healthier ankle with more training in my legs.

The ride was gentle on speed, at 8.6 mph after all the twists and turns, and easy on distance, at only 11.9 miles. I had been pondering a city skate and slow bike starting from the train station and now I'm sure I want to try to do that. We'll see if anyone joins in!

We had a great time with the group of cyclists, and we didn't see any evidence of nasty moods (except a few winces and rapid heavy breaths out of me on that last big uphill) in the group. The age and gender mix was great, and it was a fine day made finer by an overlong nap that zapped our chances of heading out for Country Park today. Ahh, perfect.

Skateylove, Blake


timv's picture

Thanks for the ride report,

Thanks for the ride report, Blake. I've done that one once and yes, it's a very pleasant super-low-stress event. Very social, no pressure... I really did give serious thought to joining you folks this morning, but it was just too early. I really needed to sleep in and I'm glad that I did.


Regarding that old train station, adjacent to the new Smothers Place condominiums on S. Elm St.: it's old (circa 1899) but far from the oldest. Apparently some parts of Blandwood are late 18th century for instance, and both the current Buffalo Presbyterian and the former First Presbyterian (now Greensboro Historical Museum) are from the early 1800s.


But the old station is something I bring up now and then because of its current humiliated state, minus the turret and verandas that originally distinguished the building. Quite a shame.

eebee's picture

Robert's Sat. a.m. Cheesecake ride

That Cheesecake place we stopped at (in downtown Greensboro) to carbo/fat load, was


Skate-friendy patio, people and store-interior floor, plus yummy baked goods. 

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