Where To Skate
Planet news and articles about places to skate, listed in reverse order of publication.
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.) (Dec. 6, 2005)
Michigan Sports Dome Offers Free Winter Skating - Is cold winter weather keeping you off your skates? ... If you live in the Detroit area, head to the Blue Water Entertainment and Sports Dome in Fort Gratiot. For the time being, it's free. (Go to the Planet storylet.) (Nov. 11, 2005)
Rollerdome Opens Its 15th Season With Healthy Crowd - More than 200 skaters "rolled the Dome" Sunday as the Rollerblade Rollerdome opened its 15th season in Minneapolis. Rollerdome owner Mike Cofrin said he expects attendance to grow after he mails out 30,000 fliers next week. Rollerblade founder Scott Olson hired Cofrin to start the Rollerdome in 1990. Since then, more than half a million skaters have rolled through its doors. Rollerdome makes use of the concourses of the Metrodome stadium. The upper concourse is reserved for serious fitness and speed skaters. Rollerdome will be open 70 days this fall and winter. Adult admission is $6.50; skate rentals are available; and skate lessons are free! (Go to Rollerdome site.) (Nov. 1, 2005)
Skating With Alligators - You are likely to see all kinds of wildlife as you roll through Florida's Green Swamp on the Van Fleet Trail. Armadillos, snakes, deer, tortoises ... and even alligators. But not to worry. So far, no skaters have been eaten. Apparently, gators don't like the taste of urethane. (Go to the Planet photo story, pictures by Ilene Kummer.) (Sept. 23, 2005)
Become an Advocate for Rail Trails in the United States! - One of the great resources for inline skaters in the United States is the ever-spreading network of rail trails. These paths and greenways follow abandoned railway right-of-ways and provide some of the best skating in the country. But they don't just happen on their own. They are work of dedicated people working together with progressive communities. If you would like to get involved in this great work -- or find out how to create a trail in your town -- consider attending the TrailLink 2005 International Trails and Greenways Conference in Minneapolis-St. Paul. It starts tomorrow, runs for four days and includes a skate tour of some nearby rail trails. (Here's where to sign up!) (July 26, 2005)
Rubber Surface Ruins Trail for Korean Skaters - City officials in Gwacheon, South Korea, recently opened a $5.5 million bike path, which they said would allow commuters to cycle or skate into nearby Seoul. Only problem: they paved about half of the 5.7 kilometer trail with a "high-impact condensed rubber," which is like "skating on a blanket," according to the intrepid JinWoo Lee, who toured the trail for the Planet! (Here's the Planet story ... with photos!) (July 12, 2005)
Favorite Places to Skate! - Skating with the land tortoises at Withlacoochee Trail State Park in Florida; becoming an artful dodger (and bikini watching) at East Coast Park in Singapore; looping lovely Lake Harriet in Minnesota; and gawking at the beautiful people on Miami's Lincoln Road Mall. We're developing quite a list of places to skate. Be sure to add your note and enter the Planet Sweepstakes! (June 6, 2005)
Black Ice Alert: Maryland Rail Trail Adds New Stretch of Fresh Asphalt - Two miles of new asphalt has been added to the Western Maryland Rail Trail in the rolling countryside northwest of Washington, D.C. The trail now stretches 22.5 miles between Big Pool and Pearre. Skirting the foothills of the Appalachia Mountains (but almost entirely flat), it winds along the Potomac River through farmland, forest and rural towns. The new 2.1-mile western extension starts at Polly Pond and ends at the Pearre train station. If it's quiet you are after, start there or in Hancock, the halfway point of the trail. The east half of the trail, from Hancock to Big Pool, parallels Interstate 70. So it can be noisy. (Here's the official site for the trail.) (May 20, 2005)
Paris, France: Former Grand Prix Racer's Current Exercise Routine: Skating Paris at 5 a.m. - Former Grand Prix driver Francois Hesnault left racing 20 years ago to start an import business. But he's as fit and trim as ever, according to a report at grandprix.com. His secret: "I get up at five o'clock every morning and for two hours, I rollerblade on the streets of Paris. Paris is always empty at that time. You know, you get down low, like a speed skater. I like it very much." (Here's the story about Francois.) (May 18, 2005)
Washington State's Centennial Trail Just Grew by 10 Miles - Looking for some smooth pavement and great scenery in the Seattle area? Head south to Snohomish County and the newest section of the Centennial Trail. Completed last month, the new 10.3-mile section includes rolling hills and views of the Cascades and Olympic mountains. In all, the Centennial Trail now rambles for 17.5 miles, making for a 35-mile round trip. (The trailhead for the new section is on 20th Street Northeast just west of North Machias Road.) (Here's a Seattle Times story about the new trail.) (March 30, 2005)
Snowbound Michigan Skaters Flock to the Silverdome - The upper concourse at the Pontiac Silverdome provides near perfect conditions for inline skating. It's smooth, 25-feet wide, about a half-mile around, and, of utmost importance at this time of year, it's heated! ... So it's not surprising that the Silverdome's winter skating sessions have proved popular. "There's no other rink that compares to this," one skater told the Oakland (Mich.) Press. ... The Silverdome has four skating sessions a week and even provides free beginner lessons. (Here's the Oakland Press story about skating the Silverdome.) (March 5, 2005)
Tahiti Marathon Morphs Into a Four Race, Three Island Extravaganza! - Wow! The Tahiti Marathon has gotten a makeover and does it look hot! ... Organizer Christopher Pierre has renamed the event the Tahiti Aito Inline Skate Challenge and has turned it into an island-hopping string of events spread over four days. ... The action starts with a half-marathon on the island of Moorea. Then there's a 20 K on Tahaa; a criterium in downtown Uturoa; and finally, the Temehani Marathon on Raiatea. ... Pierre says the series of races is designed to lead participants on a journey of discovery of the beauty of the Tahitian islands, their people and traditions. ... You can sign up here, but don't pack your bags yet. Pierre pushed back the date of the event a few months. So it won't happen until February 19-22, 2006. (February 13, 2005)
Looking For a Great Skate Trail in New Mexico? - Jim Safianuk at About.com has a nice piece about the scenic Bosque trail in Albuquerque. The 16-mile trail winds along the Rio Grande through lovely stands of cottonwood and willow. ... As a former Albuquerque resident, my only word of caution is this: Don't subject the inflatable wheels of your off-road skates to this trail: the goatheads will eat them up! (February 10, 2005)
Where to Skate From Arizona to Australia ... InlineNow has a Where-to-Skate section that lists popular routes all over the United States and half-way around the world!
Where to Skate When The Weather Turns Ugly? ... Here's the Roller Skating Associations Indoor Roller Rink finder. It will help keep you skating even when it's raining outside.
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