Planet News Archive

For the week of Dec. 4 - 10, 2005

(Dec. 5, 2005)
Never Mind! ... Wheel Size Limit Was A Mistake, Organizer Says - Not to worry. The wheel size limit for the World Inline Cup was just a translation error, the organizers say. "There's no limit of wheel size," said Daniel Wagner of Iguana Think Tank. ... Earlier today, the 2006 World Cup rule book posted on Iguana's web page included a "Wheels" subsection that said: "Wheels with a diameter of 80 mm to 110 mm will be allowed." By early afternoon, the wheel subsection had been removed. (Go to Iguana's message.) (Dec. 5, 2005)

World Inline Cup Sets 110mm Limit on Wheels - Last year, organizers rejected the idea of limiting the size of wheels for World Inline Cup races, such as the Northshore Inline Marathon. But this year, for reasons so far unexplained, the organizers have set a cap: 110mm. The size limit is one of the more interesting changes to be found in the ever-lengthening World Cup rule book. (Go to the Planet story.) (Dec. 5, 2005)

(Dec. 6, 2005)
First South American Cup Draws 1000 Skaters, 40,000 Spectators - The organizers of the newly created South American Inline Cup must be feeling pretty good today. Their first-ever event was an apparent success. A thousand skaters laced up and 40,000 spectators lined the 2 kilometer road course. (Go to Planet story.) (Dec. 6, 2005)

Bikes, Mangos and Speed Skates: A Skater's Visit to Medellin - Skating may not be what made Medellin famous. But it is what drew retiree Jim White to the city best known as the home of the world's largest cocaine cartel. ... The intrepid Wisconsin skater visited Medellin to officiate at Colombia's recent national speed skating championships. What he found was a friendly city where bicycles and mopeds outnumber cars, mangos grow wild and skating is taken seriously. (Go to Jim White's Colombia report on Grow Inline Speed.)

Indian City Gets World Class Speed Skating Rink - Inline skating appears to be coming into its own in India. Amid sporadic reports of skate clubs forming comes news today that a new "speed roller skating rink" has been opened in Chennai, a city of 4 million on the Bay of Bengal. Few details are available about the new rink. According to news reports, the chief minister of the state of Tamil Nadu inaugurated the "world class" rink today. The rink was apparently a bargain. It reportedly cost only 1,200,000 rupees (about $26,000) to build. (Go to Web India news report.)

(Dec. 7, 2005)
Northern Europe, Asia May Be Home to New World Cup Events - According to the newly posted 2006 World Inline Cup calendar, China will have its own event next year. So will Sweden, Denmark and the beer capital of Germany: Munich. ... But don't start dreaming of beer mugs yet. It's all very tentative. (Go to the Planet story.) (Dec. 7, 2005)

Catalonia's Bid Failed Despite Effort to Influence Outcome - Catalonia paid the way for foreign skate federations to attend last week's congress of the International Federation of Roller Sports in Rome, an official said. But nonetheless, the autonomous region of Spain was unable to muster the votes to win status as a separate country. "Catalonia paid for many countries to come," said Valerie Leftwich, the federation's first vice-president. "We saw people there from Africa, Pakistan and many other countries that we never see at a congress." The vote was 125-43 against Catalonia. (Go to more stories about governing bodies.)

On the Forum
Inventor Has Doubts About Electronic Skate Brake - Ezskater says an electronic hand brake would weight a lot, and he doubts skaters would want to be wedded to the controller. (Go to his post.)

(Dec. 8, 2005)
Holiday Gift Idea: Chad Hedrick's Instructional (and Sometimes Goofy) DVD - Got a speed skater on your list? If so, here's a great stocking stuffer: Push, Chad Hedrick's instructional DVD. It's short but worth the price. Not only do you get to hear the 50-time world champion explain his signature technique — the double-push — but you get an introduction to his wacky sense of humor. (Go to the Planet review.)

California Man Invents the Roller Blade Bike - California inventor Larry Harris thinks his new Roller Blade Bike could be a hit with the BMX stunt cycling crowd. His invention is a marriage of inline skate and bicycle. It consists of a modified bike frame atop four undersized wheels. Riding it, he says, is "like sitting on a big Rollerblade." ... Harris hopes to have the bike ready for the holiday shopping season. But it doesn't look good. Christmas is only three weeks away, and he still hasn't found a manufacturer. (Go to the story at

New Helmet Will Keep Those Wheel Suckers Off Your Back! - Well, not exactly. It's the helmet that the Sparks of Passion inline skaters will wear at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Sparks will shoot out the back of the helmet as the eight skaters perform at the opening and closing ceremonies. The skaters, most of whom are hockey players, will reportedly reach speeds of 43 mph. (Go to Torino story about the Sparks of Passion.)

(Dec. 9, 2005)
K2 Says Skaters Like Radicals Just the Way They Are - K2 has decided not to make any changes to its Radical line of marathon skates for 2006. The decision will come as bad news for skaters who like innovation but good news to bargain hunters. Retailers are already slashing prices on the 2005 Radicals to make way for next year's models. (Go to the Planet previews of the 2006 Radicals.)

Hurricane-Delayed Half Marathon Gets New Date, Name - One of the casualties of Hurricane Wilma was the second annual Halloween Half Marathon in Coral Springs, Fla. It was scheduled for Oct. 30th and for the first time was opened to inline skaters. But after Wilma made a mess of South Florida, organizers put the event on hold. Today, they announced a new date for the event: January 22nd. They also gave it a new name, the About Family Fitness Half Marathon, in consideration of one of their sponsors. ... If they had waited another couple of weeks, maybe they could have called it the Valentine's Day Massacre. (Go to event web site.)

On the Forum
Chad's DVD Is Good ... But Don't Forget Eddy's - Mikedita likes Chad Hedrick's Push DVD but not nearly as much as the Eddy Matzger DVD that comes free with ILQ-9 bearings. "Eddy's charisma, creativity, instructional skills and overwhelming joi de skate are fantastic," he says. (Go to his post.)

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Copyright © 2005 by Robert Burnson

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