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Photos and Maps for Paul's Cycling & Fitness Winston-Salem NC 2009 Tour to Tanglewood Training Bike Ride & Inline Skate

roadskater's picture
Six of us started out on the steamy morning with hundreds of cyclists and made our way out from the shop on a nice route out of town, especially if you have Police support for the left turn onto Silas Creek Parkway. Coming back is fine without support, as it's basically gently downhill and the only major inroad along the downhill is from the left, at the ramp from I-40. It's a T with nothing coming from the right and there's a shoulder there that provides comfort if needed. Once you get to Buchanan Street, it's an easy level stoplight with no stress. As usual I was burning up batteries and heartbeats with that old irrational exuberance, staying up front longer than I should at the very beginning (it's a bit easier to take photos without looking for circle-D backstrokes in front of me). A bunch of happy people saying hello gets my adrenaline going too, and I was redlining early so I could play the rabbit and drift off the back like the left over orange peel I truly aspire to be. Once again, I didn't bring my one minute repeat beeper watch, which helps remind me to get off the front early and lets others know it's OK to do the same (if they want). This way if we stay together we share the load and have a chance to take turns setting the pace, not based on one fast and strong person who pulls a long time (and not burning up one slow skater without his watch who is dropped after a long first rotation). One minute rotations at least make the faster ones go off the front quicker and produce a gap big enough that they must decide if they want to rotate back and share the shelter with a slightly slower pace than they could do at the moment alone, or break away in a subgroup or solo. (Some faster skaters will stay 30 feet in front no matter how fast the slower ones go, speeding up when the slow ones do, which doesn't help the slower ones...rotating helps figure that out too, since you can quickly tell you're too fast or too slow to be able to bother with rotating.) If this decision-making happens quickly, this ultimately helps the slower ones for the rest of the day by keeping them from anaerobically frying themselves chasing the fake greyhound racetrack bunny they can never catch, because it'll just speed up. That's why I think minute rotations are important, because they work, and when they don't work, they sort out the not working rapidly. The longer the distance, the more important not to be in irreparable distress early on in an unsustainable chase beyond your limits. It's also important to catch or keep a pack that's temporarily going faster than you could sustain, as long as you back off when you have to if the pack doesn't. In any case, I've been on many skrides where I was the only skater, so I love having more skaters around even part of the time, and the longer the day the better the chance that I may catch some of the other skaters if they don't take the short course...but that's more likely if I'm not alone of course. It's great to have a teammate you know will rotate with you all day at whatever speed you both can make, and often the case that skaters group by twos, which makes the biggest difference I guess, reducing time up front in the wind (all things being equal) by 50%. A solo off the front alone is a tough thing indeed, and by the way, so is one off the back! On the way out I was expecting we'd make that tricky turn left onto Cassell Street, and I had not looked at the turn sheet because I don't know the street names when I'm away from my browser (ha!). So when we got to the downhill that bears slightly right as Cassell Street goes left, I warned my fellow skaters and any cyclists who cared to listen, but I was wrong about the turn, and am afraid I spooked more than one person in being wrong about it. I'm not sure but one skater decided not to try that turn before finding out it wasn't necessary. My bad, and I'm sorry if that's why they didn't continue! I remembered the turn anyway and realized that like the Moravian Cookie Factory hill in the Tour, if you stay right you can bail straight if you need to at the bottom, then roll back. We've always made this turn in the past, but it's a bit of a thrill. I think Cassell Street leads to a more interesting route, too, than Old US 52 (though we had no problems with drivers or dangers on the route...we did use the whistle once to make sure traffic noise didn't keep drivers and cyclists at the bottom of a hill from noticing us!). I think a good double-chamber whistle (storm whistle) is a nice safety tool, just not to be abused or used in a rude way). I was doing OK in the steamy heat and feeling happy and safe rolling along alone even on the Old US 52 route, mostly keeping up with some cyclists along the way, and looking forward to the first rest stop, as I was seeing familiar territory. About that time the supersweet jersey was wide open and the fabric felt like a Sham-Wow from my own lost water weight, then the gentle and slippery rain began. I knew I had to climb a hill then turn left across a double train track to get over to the Midway school where the rest stop was, and I could hear some squeaks of lost muscle power with every stroke. This rain was not enough. It needed to be more or less, but not this. As I took the left around some cars at the tracks, I could feel myself slipping and I tried to shut down the movie in my head that had me sprawled along the tracks. It was good, and nice to know there was a Fire Department there with excellent publicly provided medical care waiting were it needed. As I turned right into the school parking lot, I could see all the skaters were still there. Yay! Then I realized the rain was getting harder (good) but there were some electric rumblings in the distance too (not so good). I enjoyed the wait too long, and starting thinking I might SAG but really only if they called the ride officially off. JonathanS said "I drove a long way to skate" and I also thought it would not be slick any more after the dousing, so it was a matter of checking radar on the phone. It looked like a red wave was going over us but there was calm behind it, so we decided to return to the shop by the short route. I was a bit concerned about going down Friendship-Ledford Road in a full storm were that required, but I couldn't recall if we'd be going down the fast hill (or up the same very slow hill). If you go down that hill, there's a street crossing there, and it could be a trick to navigate that if there were any slippery spots there. I also was worried that we'd return way later than the cyclists that would typically NOT abandon. Later, about an hour after we were back, I decided I had been wrong to worry over that, because most of these cyclists had been caught in the same red rain coming down at different points on the routes. So apologies to JonathanS for opting for the short route, but I guess we'll never know how badly that might've turned out. I'd like to know, though! We wasted probably ten minutes more than needed to make sure the rain had passed, but once we got going it was great! The temps were better and there was enough rain that it was mostly not slippery...well, it felt a bit slippery in my mind when we hit 38 mph or so coming back in on a slightly bending curve. We had told the BRTs that we were going on and figured they'd catch us on the way in, and that was the case indeed. We had a nice time chatting with those guys as they ribbed me for being too slow, then we passed a rider who needed help so JonathanS and I came back in duo. Once I could see the building of Winston-Salem I admit I was a bit sad to have taken the short route back in, but it was nice to come down along Silas Creek Parkway feeling so unspent and underheated. My early average heart rate had been 2 or 3 beats into unsustainability, but the rest stop quickly covered that, and coming back in was just fun socializing (still in my upper range while JonathanS could have been eating bon bons and smoking cigars at that pace I'm sure). I think it was great how many people were able to choose a ride back, and how many others decided to stay out and do their 30 or 36 even if it took longer. Back at the shop there were one or two folk worried for their companions or who didn't come across one of the Paul's trucks that were out ferrying people in, but overall it seemed like a safe and fun day for all. And the Tour folk were checking the list to make sure everyone was in. Clearly, Paul's put in a big effort on this one, and even though I think I prefer the old route to this one, I can see they keep making changes to make things as good as possible. Since I've complained several years ago about their rides, I think it's only fair to say now that they really have made this into a good ride. Since I've been doing the Paul's WS ride, they've eliminated a fast downhill at the end dumping into Silas Creek, eliminated rocky and poorly pave roads north of the shop, added Police support, and made changes that are clearly focused on balancing safety and scenery. So thanks, Paul's Winston-Salem, for sticking with it year after year to make your ride quite nice. Here are the 285 photos Thanks BladesoFire and eebee for catching the missing photos link and providing it, respectively. Many times I have stayed up late making photo pages, maps and such, only to muff the link or leave it out. This is a good way to get a comment on the photos, however.
Check out the Google Earth 3d route map with thumbnails

Location

Paul's Cycling & Fitness
2405 Buchanan Street
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
United States
36° 4' 0.7752" N, 80° 15' 6.0048" W

Comments

BladesoFire's picture

Saturday Photo's

Are you planning to post photo's from Saturday?  I saw you taking pictures of those of us who allowed the inner whus to take over and rode in the back of the truck!

eebee's picture

Photo link

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