Monday, May 4, 2009

Cycling the Bull City Slowly

Durham is a city that rewards cycling slowly. One of my favorite pastimes -- and I believe Pirate's, before he Yankeefied -- is to take a slow weekday dusk and ride through downtown. Head down alleys and up parking ramps you've never explored and see what you find. Sometimes you discover that Bulls games are free after the sixth inning. Sometimes you discover "Door 13" in the Creepiest Parking Garage in the South (unofficial title, but those who've rolled through it know what I'm talking about). And sometimes you find a beautiful fragment of Durham's decaying industrial architecture, like this 86-year-old welding shop that I'd somehow missed all these years:

Edit: wow, that parking garage gets even creepier.


DukePirate said...

I know that shop well, as it was a part of my 'hood when I lived on Trinity. I think Chris also incorporated as a part of his sprint/cooldown workout that I joined him on a couple of times.

I'd like to say that the Oprah building's owner's death surprises me, but that place was just begging for a murder. Definitely one of the creepier places in D-town.

Long live slow rides!

curveship said...

I figured you'd know of it. I was surprised how many times I'd biked around there and never headed up that little climb behind the Farmer's Market to find it.

I couldn't really tell just looking around if it was still in operation or not. From the N&O article, it sounds like it was at least 3 years ago. Cool.

co2cycle said...

That's the only other place in Durham that can bend a 4" steel plate (other than Adam, when he winds-up for a sprint). The shop actually looks quite quiet--maybe it's time they switch over to some frame building.

nicomachus said...

I hear 'ya... that kind of weekend ride is my favorite too. John Stilgoe has a great book on doing just that, called Outside Lies Magic.

DukePirate said...

I'm not sure if it's tragic or ironic that the Oprah-building's owner was killed only a few days before Oprah really did come to Durham to speak at Duke's commencement. You have to wonder if anyone pointed the building out to her and told her the story.