Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gunnar Sport - Camino Bakery - Chocolate Cake - Nissen Building!

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Camino Bakery
After riding fairly hard ride, on Sunday afternoon, an easy site seeing ride was more appealing than another rip through the country side. Camino Bakery seemed like a fun destination. 

A friend of mine had introduced me to Camino Bakery around this time last year. The bakery is located at 310B W. 4th Street in downtown Winston-Salem, NC. This address is on the first floor of the Nissen building. Cary Clifford started the bakery in 2008 making treats for Krankies (coffee). Her business quickly grew and in 2011 the present bakery/cafe was opened. Baked goods, sandwiches, an assortment of coffee and beverages are all available in a wonderful atmosphere. Click here to visit the Camino Bakery web site.
Looking in the front door of the Camino Bakery
Nissen Building
The Nissen building, where Camino Bakery is located, is an 18 story building on the corner of 4th and Cherry Streets. Construction of the building was completed in 1927. It was the tallest building in North Carolina at the time of it's completion and the first air conditioned building in the southeastern United States. The building is named for the builder W.M. Nissen. He was the owner of the Nissen Wagon Works. Offices were rented out in the upper levels of the building and the ground floor was used for retail space. William and Ida Nissen lived on the 18th floor of the building until 1954. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Place in 1983. In 2004 construction began to convert the building to it's present 146 apartments with a swimming pool on the roof. Click here to visit the Nissen Building web site.

I have memories from many years ago associated with the Nissen Building. My first dentist's office, Dr. Zimmerman, was located in the building. It must have been my first visit to a dentist that I remember so well. My mother had informed me in advance that I would be going to the dentist. I was excited about that, and ran to tell my two older sisters. They had already been to see Dr. Zimmerman. My sisters said "you are going to have to ride in an elevator". As far as I know, I had never ridden in an elevator before. It all sounded scary to me. All of a sudden the trip to the dentist, that I had been so excited about minutes before, didn't seem like a good thing at all. Then they told me that the dentist had comic books I could read. Comic books made it sound like going to see the dentist was going to be fun. I like comic books! If I could only make it through riding in an elevator. 
The restored brass covered doors of the elevators in the Nissen Building.

I was terrified of riding on an elevator the whole way over to the dentist's office the day of my appointment. The doors of the elevators were covered in elaborately shaped brass and were all shiny. There couldn't have been more elaborate doors to look up at as a toddler. What a dramatic first elevator ride!

 Once we got inside the waiting area of the dentist's office, I forgot all about the elevator ride I had just been on. Comic books is what I was looking for. My sisters had told me they would be there. I found one and started turning the pages. I couldn't read, but I still enjoyed looking at the pictures. Once Dr. Zimmerman was through checking my teeth I asked him "where did you get your comic books". He took me to the window and pointed at the drug store on the corner of 4th and Trade Streets. He said "I buy them at that drug store right there". I still look for comic books when ever I go to visit a dentist, but all I find are a bunch of boring magazines. Nothing as fun as Superman, Donald Duck or Sad Sack.
Gunnar Sport parked in the foyer of the Camino Bakery
Riding into downtown involved riding primarily on Country Club Road. Country Club Road is wide with a center turn lane in the middle of much of it. It is a two lane road that has been a way in and out of the city for years. With rapid growth on the western edges and out lying communities of Winston-Salem, traffic has gotten very heavy on Country Club. It doesn't seem like it has been long ago that the road was resurfaced, but the steady stream of traffic has broken the surface up. It is especially rough on the outer edges where you are forced to ride on a bicycle. I have front and rear lights on the Gunnar Sport, more for visibility reasons than to see at night. I made it fine through the country club area, but it was not enjoyable. 

Despite there not being any bike lanes at all, maneuvering amongst traffic was easy once I reach the downtown area of Winston-Salem. As I looked across the one intersection, while stopped at a traffic light, I noticed a young rider on a fixed gear bike doing a track stand.

 A track stand is when a rider stops and balances his bike without putting their foot down. This is performed by holding the cranks of the bicycle in a horizontal position and keeping a slight pressure on the chain. Sometimes it is necessary to move the front wheel back and forth from left to right to maintain balance. Track stands are usually done with the rider standing so they can sprint away when the time comes. They are called track stands because they originated from track racing and track sprinting specifically.

Not to be out done, I did a track stand too. The other rider was on a stripped down fixed gear bike, while I was on the Gunnar Sport complete with fenders, lights, front rack and rack top bag. I think I did a better track stand since the other rider was creeping forward into the intersection and I held my position without advancing forward. 

Once I arrived at the Camino Bakery I noticed that they do have an artistically done bike rack out in front of the building. I had neglected to bring a lock with me and my bike has several fairly expensive attachments. I didn't want it to be too far away from me. I parked it inside the large foyer of the bakery. I don't think it was a problem during mid afternoon. 
Two Pieces of Chocolate Bunt Cake.
All of the goodies looked delicious at the Camino Bakery. I couldn't decide what to get. Under a glass dome was a beautiful chocolate bunt cake. My father is particulary fond of chocolate cake, so I order two pieces of the cake to go. One piece for each of my parents. I also order a big thick slice of cinnamon toast that was covered in thinly sliced almonds for myself. The plastic container the cake was in was a little larger than the front bag on my bike. I was able to bend the corners in slightly and fit the container in the bag without damaging the slices of cake. I ate my cinnamon toast and got back out on the road. 

Riding to my parents house to deliver the chocolate cake meant even more riding on Country Club Road. I arrived at my parents' house and had a nice visit. I had to cut our visit a little short so that I could get in before rush hour began. 

I enjoyed my ride and trip to the Camino Bakery. The bakery is a nice destination for a bike ride and especially on a weekend day, when there is less business traffic on the roads. If you ride there on a bicycle be sure to take a lock with you so you can secure your bike and spend a little more time at the bakery than I did. It's a nice place!
My father and mother with my Gunnar Sport

Poor ole' Joe was excited when he saw me returning safe and sound.

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