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Country Park Friends, Skate Fascination, Schwinn Logos, Making it Look Easy Without Realizing it

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On Sunday I was still feeling good after 35 miles with pals checking out the Carolina Century western loop. But it has been a bit of a struggle of late to get everything done (OK to get half of it done) that I would love to do for Tour to Tanglewood, roadskating and the Carolina Century, plus junk I just have to deal with in real life...like getting a little exercise and a host of other not nearly as fun tasks. So off to Country Park I went to see if I could relight the exercise fire, and I wasn't all that enthusiastic about the same old loops, but when I got there I met a young couple just trying out some new Schwinn skates bought at Target (looks like she picked the adjustable men's or boys' version...$30ish...68mm wheels that probably won't go scary fast which is good). I was a bit happier just seeing someone new out skating, and seeing a young couple together, one skating, the other cheering. After being overfriendly with them for too long, I released them back into the wild. I drifted into musings on the adjustable skates...The $30 K2-alikes or pseudo-Salomons look OK for a starter set for kids and smaller adults. Even if you can't upgrade them, they cost less than a set of bearings in some people's skates. Ha! There's a thought. A set of 16 ABEC-5 Chinese bearings for $30 is not a bargain, but not really a ripoff either. Since they don't sell bearings around here, maybe that's a thought. Buy these, put my old bearing back in them, then give them to some kid at the park, clean and lube the new bearings, ha! After waiting for my Forerunner to shake off the cobwebs and realize where it had awakened, I moved to the imaginary start line in my head and began skating. Very soon I saw a green-shirted, smiling young fellow flying along from the other park on his silver Schwinn bike, happy and confident, outpacing his father who was getting his run in for the day it seemed. I waved and said hi and indicated where I'd be going. A half lap or so later, up at the top of the baseball hill, their family was there together regrouping, and the young guy in the green shirt said something like, "Thanks for saying hi! I met you when I was 3 when I was out here with roller skates. I have inline skates now and I want to come try them!" After the week I had, this was another ray of sunshine for the roadskater, so I was glad to have my camera so they could get a photo of their fun together. I've met all of these guys together before, and I look forward to it again. If you're out there looking in guys, now you're famous! I'm sorry it took me a couple of days to put you up on the internet (without names, with your Dad's permission). While adults sometimes "get" roadskating, and sometimes say they'd like to do that, there are layers and layers of the don't/can't fabric hiding their eyes. With kids, it seems almost ALL of the kids KNOW they'd like to do THAT. They understand that bikes are fun, push scooters are fun, other stuff too, but roadskating is a source of total amazement...everything stops...stare...point..."wow, look mommy!"...grin. That same day as I slogged up the same hill, two little guys were pushing their scooters up the hill and they said, "Hey, how do you go up that hill so easily on skates?" Well I didn't tell him how hard it was. I just said "lots and lots of practice!" I certainly didn't feel like any kind of god, but I was glad some other people had reminded me that roadskating is incredible and worth learning, and that no matter how hard it is, roadskaters sometimes make it look easy. It's nice to be remembered, guys. And I'll remember you too. Good luck with your biking and skating. Wear that helmet!
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