Let's go and skate the American Tobacco Trail (http://photos4.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/3/b/f/7/highres_49095351.jpeg). The trail runs for 6.5 miles from Southpoint to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park; there's a bunch of road crossings, but all are easily navigated. Any style of skates (http://www.inlinewarehouse.com) are welcome.
What: A no-drop skate of the American Tobacco Trail.
Where: Directions to the starting location - Southpoint Crossing Shopping Center (http://triangleskateclub.com/directions_SouthpointCrossing.php).
We meet in the parking lot directly in front of the Souper Salad, NOT the detached parking lot directly adjacent to Fayetteville St. Here is a link to a map (http://g.co/maps/bp65v) that very precisely shows where we park our cars, the starting point of the trail, the route, and the ending point of the trail where we typically turn around and head back. Please allow enough time to find the parking lot. Call me on[masked] if you get lost. When: We'll meet at 8.15am and start skating by 8.30am. If you can't arrive early, please try to gear up as quickly as possible. Yes, this is an early skate! The hope is to get done before it gets too hot to skate!
Distance: 13 miles. The trail runs for 6.5 miles in one direction.
Ability: The trail is built on an old railroad bed that is relatively flat and straight. Any hills are very gradual, although a couple are long enough that you can pick up some speed. Moderate braking skills are required.
Safety First: Everyone is required to wear a helmet (http://www.inlinewarehouse.com/Helmets/catpage-FITPGHELMET.html), and wrist guards (http://www.inlinewarehouse.com/FitPGWrist.html) are recommended. Pro-tec (http://pro-tec.net) brand gear is very good; available online here (http://www.inlinewarehouse.com/Protec/catpage-PROTEC.html).
Hydration: Bring a water bottle, or hydration back pack (http://www.inlinewarehouse.com/Hydration_Systems/catpage-FAHYDRATION.html). I recommend a 2 liter Camelbak (http://www.rei.com/product/811608/camelbak-rogue-hydration-pack-70-fl-oz) that carries enough water for 2 hours. There are many more choices at the CamelBak (http://www.camelbak.com/) and REI (http://www.rei.com/brand/CamelBak) websites. You may wish to use an electrolyte additive (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018N27UY/) too.
Bathrooms: There are bathrooms at the Kroger (http://goo.gl/maps/WWC3x) near to where we start. There are no bathrooms at the half way point, but in an emergency we can detour to the Bojangles midway! Yes, we've done that before!
Weather: In the event of questionable weather (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=35.98040&lon=-78.91500&unit=0&lg=english&FcstType=graphical) we will make a go/no-go call 90 minutes before the scheduled start so please check the Meetup after 7am.