Wednesday, July 23, 2008

10-wheel drive...

That was the title of an Outdoor Life article about Eddy Matzger that totally turned me onto road skating. See, at the time, 5-wheel in-line skates were speed skates. Speed. Yeah.

I got my bad self some plastic-booted jobbies from Performance Bike (Yes-- them) and wore them out. The wheels, anyway. The first pair developed a crack in the cuff-- split. I had only had them for a few weeks and Performance has the sooper-dooper "return-it-whenever" policy. So-- for the first time in my life I took a company up on their ridiculous return policy. When I took the skates back to a Performance store one of the clerks asked me if ran small wheels to increase resistance. Actually, I had skated on them so much in such a short period of time that I had literally worn the 72mm wheels down to 50mm nubbins.

Well, whatever. The store manager gave me a dirty look and swapped my skates. I felt guilty as hell.

Pretty soon I installed the largest wheels I could in there-- 76mm whoppers. On the first skate I felt like I rolled from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds. Without even pushing.

Immediately I was hooked on speed. I skated everywhere and got pulled over by the cops. I found little residential loops and skated laps until I was dizzy. I lost so much skin off my ass it wasn't funny. Well, to my "friends" it was funny. The best one was when I was booking down a street and my feet shot out in front of me and I just went ker-plunk on my butt. I skidded to a stop immediately, got matching abrasions on my two all-beef patties, and my shorts were yanked up in an atomic asphalt (no pun intended) wedgie.

Yeah, okay. Shaddup.

So where am I going with this? Last Monday, when I went early to the MTB short-track with my son we caught the last of the speed-skaters milling around after their turn on the PIR asphalt. Awesome. Speed skates look a little different now-- 3 HUGE 100/110mm wheels instead of 5 smaller 80mm wheels.

I want to skate again. I want some fast skates. I don't think that I want actual speed/racing skates since I don't want to be limited to smooth asphalt, but I do want something fast fast fast.

Time to start selling off stuff I don't use anymore...

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