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First Downtown Skride Route Survey Skate

roadskater's picture

Last weekend, Monday, May 29 2006 was a cool day for three of us. Well it was hot but cool too. I had skated downtown over the years but never with the idea of making a route for us to skate or slow bike for a chill skride. So Elizabeth and I called Tim and he joined us, and here's something similar to our route:


[If you haven't used the gmap pedometer it's worth a look.] 

I'm sure I missed parts of it when Tim was picking some turns, but this should be very close to the route most of the way, and the distances should be somewhat accurate.

We started from the train and bus station and floated down Washington eastward looping around and under and up right past the old building at Bennett College called "Carnegie Negro Library." We continued on along Edward R. Murrow Boulevard (he was born in Greensboro, so The Good Night and Good Luck Skride may be what I call this puppy), crossing via Gorrell from the old "junkyard dog" passing (Tim's quip) over to new and newly refurbed areas in Southside and Old Asheboro Street (MLK).  

We briefly crossed over Lee and back then Elm and back and looped back around to make our way under the mainline tracks for a fun sweeping right down and up in some nice parts of town. South central GSO is looking nice and walkable-life like these days. Sweet it would be to live there, walk to work, mostly hang there, much of the time. Years from now, when the rail trail plans are complete, we think you'll be able to skate from downtown to Bur-Mil Park on Owl's Roost at least, maybe by then all the way to Strawberry Road.

Slowly historic preservation and bodily preservation may be coming together. I wonder is there reason to hope? It's not far from a link from my modest Glenwood neighborhood to UNC-Greensboro, and once there not far to downtown. With just a few safe passageways I could skate to Country Park instead of driving to skate there. Yes, I could make a route but I have not yet thought of one I thought very safe from vehicular intimacy.

Anyway, we had the pleasure of passing by Tim's former residence, where I remember helping (barely) him put in or take out an engine from his Fiat rally car (yikes I wonder if it was a Fiat now; I know I had 3 Fiat Spider 2000 convertibles or 2.5 I guess, but his was another style, and mine were rusty but great fun).

Elizabeth found an English garden substitute with a water sprinkler so I had to go back for some cooling, then we were off around Fisher Park a bit, nice and shady and fine homes. Back around to a better view of the nice church and up the hill Tim and I both remembered allowed from some painful running race decades ago. Nothing like pain to make you remember.

Earlier we had been around the Greensboro Historical Museum, a sweet building formerly the home of the same church that is so conspicuously not on a hill, but still taller than the hill next to it.

We had a nice jaunt (oops wrong way traffic here...sidewalk!) to get to the new baseball stadium, and hi to the police officer there, and back through downtown past the Carolina Theater to the brand new roundabout (one of 2 or 3 new ones here) for tiny laps and another down-up near the tracks and back to the car.

The route ended up just over 7.5 miles and tons of smiles despite the hot weather and a few moments of indecision or multiple different decision as will happen when exploring, and ends up part of the fun.

After a few of these fun skates maybe we can get the cyclists out, the ones willing to hang out and not use this as training or maybe not even very active recovery, just for the social aspects. I don't want to conflict with other great stuff like what Cycles de Oro offers via the Greensboro Velo Club, but I sure hope we can find a slot for a slow skride around historic Greensboro.

Hope you'll  join us!



timv's picture


Thanks for posting the wrap-up, Blake, and thanks also for inviting me to participate on Monday. For the record, it was a Datsun 510, a road-racing and not a rally car, and the engine was going in. (I recall that as being one of the less painful engine swaps I've experienced.)


Back to skating... Comments on the route are apt and I don't have much to add. Getting to see the latest progress in preserving and restoring the southeast area was great. As roadskating goes, it was pretty easy going with low speeds and not so challenging terrain, and might be a good experience for someone looking to go beyond the Country Park loop. Doing it again under similar nice-weather and low-vehicle-traffic conditions would be very nice.

roadskater's picture

Yeah Datsun 510 not FIAT Anything

I knew it was three digits but i didn't know which three, and I really didn't think it was a Fiat but went with that anyway. I seem to recall some distant connections with Yugos or some East European manufacturing involved but oh boy my brain's like fudge ripple at 90 Fahrenheit. And you know after I posted and was away from the computer I thought "rally car" has some meaning I'm missing the target with, and I was mixing SCCA stuff with other somehow. Anyway, the nice thing is I remember a yellow house with white trim and a friend since 1984 and a car he built to race and ferrets or cats or some such he had in the house as pets and Elsworth the roomie and a few other interesting and well-intentioned folk from a pretty nice time of life...except for me sometimes taking daywork a bit too seriously and stressing over magazines, books and programs that are distant memories but part of how we got here.
eebee's picture

First Downtown Skride

This was a very enjoyable skate for me, and I was going to post all about it because I loved it so much, then realised since I didn't know anything about the area I'd probably spend a whole day researching all the places I remembered. So thanks Blake and Tim for shedding some post-skate light on the matter.

What I loved about this skate particularly was how relaxed and fun it was. It reminded me of my ill-spent youth and all those lazy weekend days spent bumming around an old European downtown of somekind, just to look and linger long enough to make contact with other people. These days where I live people have their own large and small boxes (houses and cars) that they isolate themselves in. Community is gone.

This downtown hanging-around skate was a perfect speed to see a variety of sights from Baseball parks to Museums, but not to end up with that just-walked-for-11-hours-around-Paris/New York/London/Berlin feeling.

The memory of skating the wrong way down a 5 or 6 lane one-way-street makes me chuckle - although it didn't at the time. I was behind Blake and Tim and I vaguely heard Blake saying something like "Yeah but we're going the wrong way". Just when I yelled "Whadda ya mean, wrong..." a tsunami of cars raced around the bend towards us and we found the sidewalk pronto. Reminded me of the scene in Twister where their convoy suddenly dumps out of the cornfield onto a busy road. I think the near 90 deg F heat had curdled my brain, because I looked at a "Wrong Way" sign and thought to myself "We can't be going the wrong way - there's a sign facing us".

Since this was Memorial Day Monday, cars were at a minimum. Perfect! I'll be happy to explore some more downtown Greensboro during low-traffic times.

Jack's picture

Looking forward to

Looking forward to participating in the next G'boro skride, and taking in the sights and challenges that the urbanness provides. Ok, except for that wrong-way thingy.


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