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Thanks to Jeremy at Greensboro Country Park and the Awesome AgriMetal Blower

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I postponed some color madness and jersey decision and indecision for awhile in the hopes of some laps with pals at Country Park. On the way I realized that the party might be somewhat small in number, but that was OK, methought.

On arrival, I remembered I had forgotten to bring a push broom. Recent construction had left a minefield of dustcakes and gravel at the bottom of a small hill that serves as a crossroads and funnel for kids and their distracted parents and couples in love or temper and friends catching up and two groups of runners and some cyclists of various descripti. Hmm.

The desire to quit loomed, hovered, floated, tempted and bedazzled me as I went on wheels (skates) to check it out. Yesterday I had braved it as I found a couple of reasonable paths through. Today I felt it was too much, and a thousand dollars of various dental or medical or fashion costs had me rethinking bravery. "Dental work...expensive. Roadskater.net jersey 2009...Priceless (to me at least)."

I'm not one to fail to risk when the reward is reasonable to me at least, but this was dangerous just to go slowly (making it more dangerous).

I was bummerated to have forgotten the push broom. A trio of bike pals commiserated but I said go while I figure and decided to try the Java GoogleMaps app I had downloaded to my LG Rumor Touch. I usually had the Country Park on duty cell phone number but after mixing water and Sanyo Katana II those electrons had been rearranged.

Faithlessly I dialed the number as I had assumed I'd be greeted by a message. But Jeremy answered and I explained I was the skater (figuring it didn't matter which) and I wondered if he had a push broom I could borrow. "Oh I've got better than that" or similar was the reply. "I'll see you down there in a minute with a backpack blower and clear it up for you."

OK I was pretty happy with this, and took myself and my 32 oz. frozen PowerAde down to see if I might help somehow (knowing it was not likely I'd be much use). Jeremey started quickly with the backpack blower and I had said just a single pathway through would be enough, but he said something like, "This is going to take something bigger and we have just the thing...a blower that hooks up to the tractor." His main concern was that he'd blow a bunch of dust around the playground without really doing much to the road. It made sense to me.

Very few minutes later I could hear the tractor coming down the hill. After making a 180 so the offending particles could be blown the opposite direction from the woods and away from the playground as much as possible, we were in for a hardware demonstration indeed. I have to say it made a formidable cloud of dust, and I blamed myself to as many people as would listen, but folks were pretty nice about it and understanding that I just wanted to be able to go through safely for myself and the people walking and riding through. Hopefully many days of hellos and good to see you agains buffered the temporary inconvenience. It seemed so.

Jeremy came back afterward in the truck to make sure it was all good and I said, "Tomorrow, Google the phrase 'Jeremy Greensboro Country Park' and see if you get anything. That's why I'm up late writing this thank you note to the people at Country Park, who make it possible for me to pursue my passion in conditions safe for all.

It's impossible for anyone who doesn't skate to understand how that gravel makes every attempt to be polite and safe more difficult, but I have to say Jeremy and the rest of the staff seem to want to help out when they can, especially since they know I want everyone there to love the skaters, not fear or hate them.

Country Park is a community of people who want to be off the couch for a few minutes, an hour, a few hours, most days. I've been there when I wanted to hide, other times when I wanted to sing and play guitar, sometimes to exercise, others to sit in the car while it rained and have an electric conversation. It's a place to go when there's nowhere to go, in sorrow or joy, but knowing you belong as long as you do no harm, and if you say hi a few days in a row, you're are part of the place as long as you want to be. We make the journey together there, one 1.6 mile lap at a time. 10K is only 4 laps away, and a marathon, 16.

Thanks to Greensboro for such a great protected space. Remember this is one of those reasons people would live in and keep living in Greensboro. When I think of leaving, I think how much I would miss that loop of skating road and the people who share it.

I skated for an hour and have to say it made a huge difference. And I'm sure cyclists and runners and walkers all benefited from the cleared road, once the dust settled after a few minutes!

So thanks, Jeremy, for making the effort. And thanks to Larry (park manager) and the rest of you who watch out for the park and people there.

Location

Country Park
Near Lawndale Dr and Orman Rd
Greensboro, North Carolina
United States
36° 7' 40.7856" N, 79° 50' 10.2372" W
Rearranging the Particlulate Matter of Greensboro's Country Park
Jeremy at Country Park Brings Out the Big Blower
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