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Heelys, Childhood Obesity, Adult Prosperity, Botox, GB The Queen

roadskater's picture

With a couple of Roadskater.net team members hailing from the British Isles, we must keep up, we must, especially when the headlines are so dog-gone fun! At first it was an article on how Heelys (skate shoes) could be the answer to childhood obesity (question mark for safety).

It turns out the piece seems like fluff to me, trumpeting the massive sales of one store, and of another individual. I'm all for safe usage of these pups of course, as I like to occasionally skate into a store (when I'm out skating already on me inlines). But really, it seems there's more exercise to walking than Heelying (or will they be upset if I don't say shoeskating?). But please check it out and read all the comments, as there's nothing like a good mix of strong opinions, respectfully expressed. Methinks the comments may be better than the article! Don't you love it when that haps? Here's the link:

Of course don't miss this one...hmm...spot on perhaps?

But don't miss the chance to go to the main page of the Daily Mail and read the titles. Hot stuff!



timv's picture

Supermarket Skating and the Risk of Bodily Ham

Interesting mix of stuff there, Blake. And I'm probably not the only one who's noticed that one article says how dangerously overweight kids today are, while another complains that kids are starving themselves to death because of unhealthy messages from the fashion industry. I don't doubt that a lot of kids have problems knowing what a healthy lifestyle is and what a normal healthy body looks like, with the botoxed and liposuctioned figures in the media, but also all the sedentary and overweight classmates--and more importantly!--parents and teachers in their immediate personal lives.


I wish I had the residual brainpower to put together a proper rant on this. I have a bunch of fragments of thoughts which won't gel into a coherent argument. But I don't get the impression that the public discussion on this is even headed in the right direction. Perhaps it won't be so long as the issue is dominated by industries committed to promoting the idea that a healthy lifestyle is something one buys, by purchasing the right sports equipment and gym subscription, buying the best vitamins and supplements, subscribing to the right healthcare plan and taking the latest and most powerful prescription drugs for all of the newly invented diseases and syndromes and disorders. Or maybe I'm full of it.


roadskater's picture

My Stuff My Stuff My Hump If Only Purple Spider Bike

Not to be confused with My Hump, that remake of the old crooner of Notre Dame's hit, this from a line in the movie, Dead Again, featuring the Henry V pair, ahh I'll go look it up...

Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh who paired mostly very successfully for

  • "Fortunes of War" (1987, TV miniseries),
  • "Thompson" (1988, TV series),
  • Look Back in Anger (1989),
  • Henry V (1989),
  • Dead Again (1991),
  • Peter's Friends (1992), and
  • Much Ado About Nothing (1993).

 Uhh. Anyway. My stuff. Yes I agree timv that late night tele and much of the day in the world is clear evidence that we like to try to buy our fitness and health of all sorts and beauty. It was humorous to me that someone would say Heelys were increasing levels of exercise. I'm willing to be educated on this and I'm sure it sometimes happens, but overall I think it provides less. Still, if safely done I'm all for it and hope it leads them to real (ha) equipment like inline skates for roadskating!

But I think the backlash has begun in earnest, and if not that, at least the effort to say it's time to get helmets on these kids if they're going to roll around. And actually I agree with that.

Having just missed out on a bid for a NordicTrack exercise bike somewhere in NC on eBay (not hearing back from the seller in time to bid, only finding it when playing with skatebay.com searches), I know this thought that...again...


...the best codependents license plate I've ever seen...if only I bought this AND made room for it where I would see it AND use it AND the stars align I would be perfect!

The main thing I notice is the dominance of organized, uniformed, fenced in, pro-style sports, as opposed to the pickup game, meet in the grassy spot and we'll hit the ball and throw it and try to hit the bat, or we'll play kickoff returns in the front yard just two of us, or ride the bike out to the creek to fish awhile, or we'll make a ball out of masking tape to kick around, or hey let's play putt putt in the living room (boy did I get in trouble for that one once when it turned into carpet "ice" hockey).

No everything wasn't better then. I got my can creamed a bunch being a little kid who was a little out of place among those particular peers (more on that some other day). But boy did I ever get the exercise. Later, when the Dialing for Dollars movie showed up on TV, with Star Trek and The Wild Wild West reruns on, I was a bit happier snacking at the TV table!

I sure did love that purple sparkle spider bike though, even if it wasn't a Schwinn. My buddy was so proud of his Schwinn. Silently I'm so confident. Who cares! Mine's sparkly purple with high rise handlebars and it can do a wheelie further than yours as long as I'm on it!

I was not competitive, however, of course.



timv's picture

Major Heely-ing, Danville Training

I thought I'd attaboyed your observation that walking through the store would be better exercise than heely-ing, but I see that it didn't make it into my reply. Yes, I agree. Perhaps there's a case to be made that kids will enjoy rolling/crashing through the supermarket aisles enough to want to also skate at other times when they wouldn't be walking or exercising at all. But I'd say the burden of proof bears on the person making that claim. It seems like a bit of a stretch to me.


Yes, I had those health & fitness & beauty TV ads in mind, but not just that. The same outlook seems to be there behind most magazine and newspaper articles on those topics: less about what to do, and more about how to spend your money. Having been in that racket for a while myself, I can understand the influences brought to bear, the degree to which--intentionally or not--coverage can be bent to fit the messages of advertisers; and how much easier it can to base your stories on press releases from corporate PR departments than to seek out a story from people who are just doing stuff with no commercial ax to grind. And if they're any kind of writers, they're probably seeing the same late-late-night TV ads that we do.


I'd like to think that there's a line to be drawn between spending money to keep up interest in an activity that you're doing or enjoying--a nice helmet, a gps watch, a new cycling jacket--or to reward yourself for an accomplishment in it, as opposed to buying something in the blind hope that you'll (er, I'll) start using it when it arrives. It's so easy to imagine that latter kind of thing working out, and yet it so rarely does. And if there is such a line, I've probably fallen on the wrong side of it more often than the right side. (With bike stuff especially! At this point I can't imagine what I'd need to finally start cycle-commuting daily, that I haven't already bought.)


I have to say though that some of those meal-plan diet systems don't seem so crazy. There've been times (not lately) when I was easily spending more than $10/day eating out, and eating badly. And if that's really what it costs for their pre-prepared meal plans, it might not be such a bad idea. (Just don't make the same mistake I once did. I mistyped a URL and accidentally went to nutriasystem.com, and for a month all I had to eat were these large South American rodents.)


Your purple-bike recollection definitely brings back memories for me, and it points to an interesting socio-economic divide. (I'm a little vague here but I think the Sears bikes were the Italianate "Spyder," not the Little Miss Muffet-ate "Spider.") But in this town, whether you call those 20"-wheel/high-rise-handlebar/banana-seat bikes "Spyders" or "Stingrays" today depends almost entirely here on which side of the tracks you grew up on, the tracks in this case belonging to the very same "Danville train" asmentioned in the song, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down."


If, fleeing south from Richmond in April 1865, President Jefferson Davis could have seen your home or its future site through a window on the right side of his private rail car, then your bike was from Schwinn and you rode a Stingray. If your home was on the train's left, you got a Spyder from Sears--which came home from the store in a big cardboard box and was assembled on the family room floor with a Crescent wrench, one flat-bladed screwdriver, and a pair of slip-joint pliers.


kjg's picture

All I remember about my first bike...

is the rainbow colored streamers in the handlebars! Did anyone else have those? Maybe they weren't cool for boys!!

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