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Skate DC Weekend: Washington Area Roadskaters (WAR) Free Inline Skating Roadskating Festival

roadskater's picture

It is a little late to be posting about SkateDC weekend but in case someone is in the mood for a last minute change of plans, here it is. (My excuses are laziness, and hoping someone from DC might fill us in and grab the skateylove points, ha). For me, I think travel costs and Mother's Day and an all-genders new parents' baby shower knock me out of contention. I hate to not be able to go see everyone and take photos. As important as my family events are, it's a shame to miss the FREE Skate DC weekend. Thanks to Washington Area Roadskaters (WAR) for putting this on each year! This is great fun for roadworthy skaters and I hope it will continue.

One tip for the newer skaters is that the DC folk have in the past perhaps forgetten how difficult parts of the area are for newer skaters or flatlanders, so check with the route leader and bring some flip-flops along in case you want to bail and catch the metro or get a cab. I see from the FAQ that they are aware of this and are noting all skates as Intermediate or Advanced. This is great of them to realize and publish the info. Maybe they can add one or two beginning roadskater level skates in the tourist areas later, if there's enough interest...skates for those skilled on the street but perhaps not up to the intermediate pace or steep hills. We've talked with some skaters who felt the wanted more mellow pacing, and at least one skate this year mentions this.

Great work, WAR and SkateDC. Thank you for making this a FREE skate (just find a place to stay and buy your own food).

Last year they combined (or conflicted?) the festival with race oriented events and I think it may have hurt attendance to one or both type events. I think people traveling for a festival want a full weekend of street skating to justify the trip. Racers seem content to travel if there's a chance to grab some hardware (medals)! I hope both events draw well this year. I'm pretty slow, so the festival is the best for me, but Skate of the Union will be great for those who love to race laps and a mostly flat, very nicely cared for track.

Anyone going to SkateDC? And if reading afterward, did anyone go to SkateDC weekend 2008? We'd love to hear how it was and have some photo links (or photos) here.

Check out the awesome no-nonsense web pages for the weekend...




Skateylove, SkateDC! roadskater


Bryan's picture

We’re up here now waiting

We’re up here now waiting to see if the streets dry up enough for the Fort Dupont Skate that leaves the White House in ninety minutes… kinda dicey, but it may happen. Even if that doesn’t, the 3:00pm Train Skate oughta be just fine, so if any of y’all wanna drive up here…
roadskater's picture

Oh Yeah You're Killing Me! Enjoy DC for All of Us

Hey! Hope you got to do the morning skate. Looks like by now it has cleared up nicely. I'm very interested in the train skate (actually in all of them) and how that goes. Thanks for posting about what's going on. It's really fun to read what's up. Would LOVE to drive up, but the calculations don't work especially with one in the car. So I'll console myself with lower carbon emissions and head to the park for some laps I guess. I've skated several days in a row now using the "principle of least work" (my version) to make it more likely for me to get there...just show up and skate a little, however it comes out. Sometimes I actually skate faster when not trying to. I'm sure DC will be energizing in every way. Enjoy it for us all!
Bryan's picture

Yeah, this morning got

Yeah, this morning got rained out. Serious bummer. About to gear up for the Train Skate, which I didn’t do last year. It will take me through some neighborhoods I lived in as a small child, so I’m really looking forward to it. Good news is that the forecast for tomorrow has cleared up so we should be able to do both the morning and afternoon skates. Hopefully.

 Practicing some of the stuff I learned from Eddy recently made for an interesting skate last night… I was cruising along at what seemed like half the cadence of the others and still kept having to stop and wait. Which isn’t to say that I’m now some sort of speed demon, but that I’m starting to get the hang of using the falling body weight to get more efficiency going. Also, it’s kinda nice skating somewhere with hills… I think I’m gonna petition the Wilmington City Council to put some on campus.

 Jenn didn’t feel that her stamina was where it was last year, as school has taken away most of her skating time, so she’s on a bike this year. But the upside to that is that I made a handlebar mount for the video camera… expect some interesting footage from us soon! 

roadskater's picture

Hope Saturday Eve in DC Great

Thanks for the update. Glad Jenn is along on the bike and that you didn't miss an opportunity to have a video sherpa with a steadycam of sorts. Hope the train skate was fun! Sounds like it. Tell us more details when and if able and interested. Really glad to hear that the info and practice in the Eddy Workshop has come in so handy. I think some of it is sticking for me, but my bad habits are still there of course. But it's good to have these ideas and drills to go over again and again when in the mood. And even better when I feel one of the ideas kick in. Please say hi to any who might still remember us up there and I look forward to going back again, hopefully next year, if not before. DC has always been a fun time...excepting one trip that was somewhat rain drenched when I tried to combine camping in the parks there with a skate trip...and it was mostly soaked that weekend. It was still worth the trip and I had a great day afterward just skating around the monument areas (the ones that allow it) and taking photos. Careful when coming back to be sure to check for severe weather, especially back closer to Wilmington. We're not sure which way that low pressure system is going to come through. Overnight predictions are for some activity in Georgia, but the line of storms is presently cruising along and above the lower Tennessee state line. Keep us posted on how it all goes. Skateylove, roadskater
Bryan's picture

Ate dinner with one of the

Ate dinner with one of the organizers last night, and he definitely remembers you. We joked about the fact that if you tell people you come from one of the larger states in the nation, one that takes over eight hours to drive across, people will ask “Oh, do you know Blake?”

 Due to the fact that I rendered one knee unskatable yesterday (worst fall I’ve taken in about two years), we’re having to skip today’s festivities. So we’re moving our Day At The Zoo up to today and coming home a day early. In light of all that, I recommend we organize a special NC Skate Weekend; we can schlep a half dozen or more from NC up to DC and drag them around their city all weekend long. Because, frankly, I haven’t skated nearly as much of DC as I’d hoped to this weekend and I need to balance the cosmic scales somewhat.

eebee's picture

Sorry to hear that!

Sorry to hear about your fall. I hope your injury is only skin-related and not at all structural. Not that skin-related is anything to sneeze at. Have fun at the zoo - maybe you could skate through it! I remember my legs hurting from having walked so far through the zoo, but I think that was after 3 days of walking to all the sights in DC. Gaah, I'm so American-suburbified! BTW: If you find a black metal Vietnam War Memorial Bracelet inscribed with something like "In memory of all those who gave their lives to the war", it's my son's, which he lost 3 years ago :-)


Great idea about an NC invasion on DC!

Bryan's picture

The knee seems to be but a

The knee seems to be but a flesh wound, although a fairly deep one. I’m afraid to remove the bandages at the moment, but that has more to do with hairy legs than the injury itself.

As for the zoo, it’s paved with hexagonal brick, so even if I had been feeling frisky, it would not have been enjoyable. I wasn’t sore after walking it, but I am usually sore after a day in the museums… marble floors don’t do my feet or lower back any favors.

roadskater's picture

Ouch and Yum

Well that is a bummer about the fall. It happens most when learning but that's not much consolation indeed. The zoo will be nice if you're not hurting too much, and maybe even if so. Along with Biltmore Estate grounds, Central Park (Manhattan, CP Skate Marathon), Riverside Drive and Riverside Park (Manhattan, Skate of the Union Marathon), Prospect Park (Brooklyn, NY100K), Piedmont Park (Atlanta, A2A), Pinhurst, NC and the US Capitol grounds, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park is yet another great landscape architecture work of Olmsted et. al. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Law_Olmsted). It's marvelous. I found my way inside there once almost a decade ago, very late in the day, after skating up from the mall area, and skated around a small portion of the walk. I was somehow left alone to wander in my K2 Flight 76s methinks, sticking to the main wandering walk and being careful not to get in the way...mostly seeing the grounds and not the animal exhibits. It was getting dark and perhaps there had been a brief afternoon storm that cleared the place out somewhat. I don't recommend trying this at all, and I had expected to doff my skates, but I think the staff was so ready to get out of there that I met with their indifference, especially since visitors had cleared out. In any case it was a tiring but wonderful day when we saw the zoo later on the trip eebee mentions above. DC is a great place to sightsee on a tight budget, especially if willing to stay out of town and take the metro in. I hope consolation in the form of good dinner and company sufficiently numbed the pain of learning yet more about the gravity of our sport and the fall of humankind and all that. Thanks for your reports. I was concerned over your travels should you have been returning yestereve, with weather concerns and all that. Hope all are safe and well.
Bryan's picture

Oh don’t worry, the

Oh don’t worry, the weather caused us all sorts of hell. It took us around ten hours to get from DC to Wilmington (but two of those hours were waiting out the worst of the storm at a Starshmucks north of Richmond).

As for the knee, two factors caused that (apart from bad luck): I ordered new pads right before the trip, and they were out of L, so I got XL. That was why they slid down as I landed. The second factor was that the section of old trolley path we were on was just rough as hell. I was t-stopping across random chunks of asphalt patches when it happened. So perhaps if I’d had enough sense to put my brake back on before leaving the hotel, I wouldn’t be walking funny today. I talked to one of the organizers afterwards and he said all the alternatives to that section were worse. The rest of the skate was awesome though, and I was the only one who lost it on that portion, so I’m not complaining.

roadskater's picture

Dreaded Slip'n'Spin; Storm Reports

Ouch. T-Stopping asphalt bits on a railroad track waiting on the Double-E ("poor poor pitiful me") sounds more like a Warren Zevon song than a fun time out on skates. I'm glad the rest of the skate was amazing, and can't wait to hear or read what you remember at some point. I am certain SkateDC did their best to plan routes for safety, but sorry this part caught you. There's no predicting when even a slight patch of sand might catch us...we we might catch it...ending in a tumble. Tracks are particularly tricky! When people ask about pads I generally mention how hard I found it to be to keep them in place when actually needed. It was, for me, a choice of continuing to allow blood flow in lower extremities, or tightening them to the point where they wouldn't slip or slide or spin on impact. In early days, when I fell almost every time I skated, the discomfort was perhaps worth the protection, but later and at higher speeds I found them less often needed, and less effective when needed. I've seen some Salomon pads that look lighter, better designed, gel-padded, and perhaps less prone to slipping, but I don't know how much of that would be true in a crash. It was great you had the pads on at all and I'm guessing you feel they softened your first bounce. Good idea to have them when skating on new and more varied terrain than usual. And as much as it's a bummer to deal with, a brake is a good thing often, giving another option for stopping in addition to the knee-torsioning ones. Glad you had the information and safe harbor to miss the worst of the storms yesterday. Not far from I-95 on the one side, and Sans Souci ferry crossing on the other, they had "grapefruit to softball"-sized 4.25" diameter hail yesterday. There are lots o'dots on that map between DC and Wilmington! [There's the term, sans souci, again...I believe I first heard the term when looking at ferry schedules while traveling about eastern NC doing solo car camping trips mostly in our great State parks, but that's another set of another stories.] http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/080511_rpts.html Best of healing for the road wound! Did you make it out for the pajama skate?
GustavoAMH's picture

2009 Skate DC Weekend - Opening Night

Skate DC Weekend is a free annual street skating event that attracts intermediate and advanced skaters from all over the country. There are no police escorts, no sag wagons, just many miles smooth city streets along the Potomac river, the US Capitol, the Smithsonians, the National Mall, the Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and many other DC monuments. Skaters meet and return to the White House. This is a video of the opening night! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TstfI783B_Q GustavoAMH
GustavoAMH's picture

2009 Skate DC Weekend, Day 2

A free annual street skating weekend which attracts advanced and intermediate skaters from New York, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Baltimore, Miami, Pittsburgh and other far away cities. No police escorts, no sag wagons, just many miles of beautiful city streets, bridges and many historic monuments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIkzPFOh5WU I created this video as a small token of appreciation to thank the event coordinators who really went out of their way to make it a memorable experience for us. We crossed rivers, climbed mountains, skated across the state lines of DC, Maryland and Virginia and visited many monuments in 2 days! GustavoAMH

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