Assigning me once again with a pretty laborious task, on Saturday I had to engage another group of riders at one of Cabot Community Tour’s final stops in the Triangle. This time we had to have beer, and ice cream, and more cheese and conviviality. I’m starting to understand now why bikeway infrastructure isn’t already completely developed – people would get sidetracked by pleasantries and friendliness on their daily commutes.
But really, Saturday was a lot of fun. I got to meet with some of the leaders from Oaks and Spokes as well as Crank Arm Brewing’s owner Dylan (who leads a pretty awesome city cycle every Wednesday and Saturday).
I wasn’t sure why I hadn’t met a lot of cyclists my age yet. Turns out it’s because the greenways are just a path for them to get them to coffee shops, bars, and other social occasions. Even more reasons why the trails are important though, I’d say: gets them to their destination without having to wait in traffic or battle for room on the road, keeping spirits high and extracurricular time plentiful.
A lot of the people were Raleigh residents on their first ride with the group, and a number of them seemed excited to meet up with everyone again subsequent weekends.
We pedaled off on an 11 mile ride, most of which was on the East Coast Greenway. We took a tour through part of the city then hopped on the Art to Heart trail, making our way across town to the North Carolina Museum of Art park. It was a beautiful afternoon – there were families and cyclists and runners and pet owners of all sorts on the greenway.
On our way back, tempting us of the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and beer waiting for us at the finish line (free ice cream and service donated by Ben and Jerry’s, by the way) we rode past one of their shops, through some nice low-traffic streets, then finished up with some fair-paced sightseeing. Once back at the brewery we played some life-sized Jenga, pleasantries were mentioned about the East Coast Greenway, then everyone settled down to their local-brewed pints for the rest of the day.
On Sunday I was invited to a final banquet at the King’s Daughter’s Inn, hosted by Habitat for Humanity, with hors d’oeuvres and refreshments provided once again by the Cabot Community Tour group. Many thanks were exchanged by the upcoming occupants of the houses, to Cabot for celebrating communities, and to all the volunteers that have been so engaged in these events. Our Executive Director, Dennis Markatos-Soriano, also had a chance to talk about the ongoing success of the East Coast Greenway’s vision and pass along his appreciation for all the involvement and help from everyone at Cabot, Habitat, and from the local community. Another great weekend for me, and a great start to a summer of greenway awareness.