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First time skating on the road! So long driveways and parking lots!

I hope this is okay to post here, and if it needs to be moved somewhere or not posted, let me know. I thought I would just say Hi to those who haven't spoken to me, and let everyone know I went out after work today, braved the cold and decided hills be darned, I was going to skate on the road and start practicing.

I got my gear on and headed out the driveway. I was skating on smooth flat road and felt a little wobbly but managed to start gliding after awhile, then a car. So I stayed on my side and acted completely natural and focused and waved at the car and the car didn't laugh at me! By the time I was over the "Oh my goodness a car!" I started focusing on my skating, realizing it was very easy. This is mostly because I was going downhill. DOWNHILL?? Crap!

So I applied my brake and slowed down and kinda did a curvy movement or two and inched down the hill. With just a little more to go and a turn ahead, I decided to "Let go" if you will. :) First turn and hill navigated and I was still ALIVE! Before long I was even going down a little and pushing forward, getting some speed up. It felt great! Then i saw people walking... so I made sure my knees were bent, I leaned my head down and looked upward... did my best impression of the videos I've watched. When I waved hi, they looked VERY impressed.. (or amused! haha) and I was skating my heart out.

Then came time to go up a hill. So I started skating, and skating and skating. You know, skates don't roll uphill very easily! As I reached the top I was panting hard but feeling good. My lungs weren't used to the cold air, but I still felt great. By the second hill I was feeling very tired. I reached a half mile mark and was very glad to go back the other way. This time I was taking the hills cautiously, but a little faster because I was very tired and couldn't help but to enjoy a nice relaxing roll. Knees bent and ready for anything I coasted again, feeling like I was letting go. It felt nice after awhile!

The last hill got me as the cold air was a little much for my lungs. Since this first mile skating, I realize I may need to stop by the gym more often and start hitting the treadmill now so when the time comes to really get out there and hit the pavement I can last more than a mile without feeling like I need a nap. All in all I had fun, it took about twenty minutes, and for someone who's not much of an athlete, I think I did well for a start. Any suggestions are always welcome.

Once again, I hope nobody minds me posting this here, but I thought maybe if other newer people read this they would know someone out there is nervous and thinks silly things when they start as well. The trained people can read this and laugh, remembering their first times skating as well. Which I hope you all will share!

Also, what does everyone do when it's freezing outside to stay in shape for skating?


Greensboro, North Carolina 27455
United States
36° 9' 24.1452" N, 79° 48' 23.184" W


eebee's picture

It's more than okay to post here!

That's perfect, Aziblue! Post away. In fact, as a somewhat 'trained' person, I'm reading it and thinking of stuff that happens to me now! The bit about the car not laughing at you gave me a chuckle.

What do I do in the winter when it's freezing?

I get out of shape.

Case in point: today my son wanted to find out how fast he could run a mile. So we went to the track and he wanted me to run with him. Here I am, 14 lbs heavier than normal, asthmatic lungs in 46 deg F temps, healing hamstring and all, thinking "How disastrous could it possibly be?". It was nothing but demoralizing! Thank God it was too cold for anybody else to be out there. My hamstring complained, my lungs choked and shut down, and my heart rate stayed around 177 for the full TEN MINUTES AND SIXTEEN SECONDS!! I can't believe I just posted that. After sitting on my butt eating potato chips for almost four months straight, I added a full two minutes to my mile 'run' time.

Many outdoor skaters go 'indoor' to rink speed teams and chase around in circles for a killer cardio workout. Living in GA, I get 50, 60, even 70 degree days over the winter, so I try to skate outside then. If you can stand the gym, then go for it! Spinning is excellent cross-training for inline skating.

Great job to you for getting out there on the roads! I hope they were quiet neighborhood roads! Good job on the braking, too. I remember the sheet for the first month of my first training schedule. It said "Tuesday: 4-6 miles". It seemed very daunting. At this point I was still wobbling around the local high school parking lot. The good thing about skating (and probably cycling too), is that with regular practice, 3+ times a week, your mileage will increase to impressive levels in a short time, e.g. "Oh I just skated ten miles last night...".

Hopefully others will post with what they've been doing to stay in shape, because I'm hardly the shining example here (wheeze).

Memories . . .

I can remember my first "taste" of the road, and it sounds like you were pretty brave. Another roadskater was born . . . welcome!!! Ask a more experienced skater to show you the "ropes", like dealing with crummy road surfaces, train tracks, sand, etc., and as many different stopping techiques as you can learn for those surprise moments. My personal favorite was loose cobblestones during the Tour de Brooklyn, a story for another time, but you get the idea. There's nothing like a blind downhill in front of you with a stop sign at the bottom of it! It's often helped me to follow when uncertain so that I could see what to do at that particular moment. Stay in your gear and enjoy skaterdom . . . Claire
roadskater's picture

Survive Winter, Skate and Thrive in Daylife Saving Time

Hey! I forgot to reply until I saw these other two replies. I was head-down in work when your article hit, but I loved it. You get it exactly what we are about here. We're here to be found, to be Googled, to be there for those who are afraid or who have forgotten, and to hope to encourage and remind them that ordinary people got past the fear of purchase (eBay helps, especially with rec skates there are awesome deals), and past the first day of OMG these things are really fast and my neighborhood is hillier and busier than I ever realized! "Jane! Stop this crazy thing!" as George Jetson might say.

So yes, post early, post often. Your piece was fun for all of us who have our own stories of great crashes, buttburger, roadrash, skinburn (indoors), downhills to railroad tracks (A2A), big black Explorers that have to pass then brake in front of us at a barely-two-lane bridge, a cyclist joyously passing us and turning around to watch us fly on in a downhill train of six, not realizing we will have to pass them again somehow with that car coming along beside any moment, meaning no harm of course, but forcing a shotgunning of our orderly pack as the less experienced are seriously shocked out of their wits for a few seconds...OK, all of us variously shocked almost out of our wits...but nobody hurt and all feeling very much alive!

Congratulations on your first voyage onto the roads. We'll have to get together soon at Country Park or at Bur-Mil for some easy skating. It's about all I can handle now. Like eebee, I'm extra voluminous in winter, no matter what I say when the Daylight Savings Time goes away. It just kills it for me when the days are getting shorter and then on top of that, there's the insult of shifting the sunset an hour earlier. I fear that early birds rule the calendar, and I can only hope they are the same ones to get caught going for the cheese first in the trap, too (figuratively of course...I wish them no long-term harm, ha). Yes, braking is skill one, after the skill of wearing helmet and wrist guards. I have heard beginners say, "I'm not fast enough for all of that gear." Of course I just laugh remembering how often and clumsily I fell when I was learning...for years, really, as I kept trying to learn.

I will say that I used to go over on Saturday mornings to the Skateland USA "West" as the call it, in Greensboro (there's a "north" one too). They had a "C" team session that was mostly kids and a few newbie adults trying to keep up. I enjoyed it a lot but I liked crashing indoors less than out doors, preferring to "grip'n'roll" on the asphalt better than "glide'n'burn" on the indoor surface. But it did keep me more fit that doing nothing. I'm just not much for indoor exercise except for basketball, perhaps, and as an adult, it seems to me that basketball is mostly for getting creamed by people who "coulda been a contender." Maybe there are some friendly not so competitive basketball games somewhere, but I haven't come across that in a long while (having not looked). Then there's the thing about paying to go indoors to do things that are free outside. Yeah I know it's fair and they have expenses to cover, but I look at it from the enjoyment per dollar side and it doesn't compute.

So I try to get out when I can in winter, but it's hard to do with cold mornings and short afternoons, even with a flexible schedule. Once the days sunsets get noticeably later, it's much easier to get out, and Country Park is a good spot. Unfortunately it is nestled in a shallow valley (which is why the water makes a lake there, ha) on the eastern side of a sun-blocking ridge, so the sun sets a bit sooner there even if the sky stays bright. Down around the bottom of the 180 (degrees, that is...a left down left back in the woods a bit) seems the spot I notice it getting dark in winter, cool in summer.

Regardless of my ramblings, well done to become a roadskater! I'm sure you felt the thrill of freedom and the fear of commitment too! It's always great hearing how people fall in love! If you didn't fall and get hurt, I call that a great success. You don't think so now, but by the end of the summer you might be skating 30 or 40 miles or more on a Saturday.

Love skating and it will love you back! And without noticing you'll be out there for an hour, then two, then three, or more.

There's nothing like a blistering hot day of hills with some skaterade or cokes or shaved ice treats at the park (even with that crazy headache!), sweating out the sorrow, rejoicing in well-earned pain, a salty tongue bathed by sugarwater, a breezy downhill, friends feeling good about themselves too, and landing in the shade looking up at the green trees backlit by blue sky, knowing for once you did a good thing that wasn't so easy and hurt nobody...or maybe even helped by raising or donating some money. And of course, after the quick carbs...some barbecue or a blackened salmon sandwich or a steak burrito with fresh jalapeños or a garlic and onion pizza or roasted chicken with basil, lemon and pepper...need I explain further...and rockabye sweet baby james. 

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