Skating indoors, how I’ll win the fight against winter

In addition to planning my novel writing ambitions over the three day weekend I was active with the gym and skateboarding. Skating indoors on both Saturday and Monday has inspired me to keep going in spite of the weather outside.

About a month ago I realized that the indoor Oil City Skate Park is in Oceanside Long Island. I took this commute in the fall for a bachelor party and then a wedding, so I knew the commute was not that bad. With the holiday hoopla and a naive hope that the snow would melt and the temperature would rise I procrastinated by simply not going until this weekend. Before Saturday I did not skate for three weeks, which was a long stretch. With no plans on the three day weekend I decided to go to the indoor skate park.

Some research was involved, on the parks website it states that the sessions are for two hours, and I decided on the 3 to 5 session in the afternoon. Then I had to look at the times of the Long Island Railroad site. Before I left my apartment I wasted time looking for my helmet and I was lucky that I made the train after the twenty five minute bus ride to Woodside Queens. On the Long Island railroad the seats are comfortable; it’s quiet, not overly crowded, and pleasant compared to the normal NYC transit lines.

On the commute there I read a newly purchased Thrasher magazine. In the skateboard magazines today, they write of the sponsored skaters as if they are celebrities. The coverage is not only what tricks they do on the board, but what they drink or what drugs they do, or if they get laid on tours. As a working adult I should be appalled by that way of living, but it is very entertaining to read. Thrasher does have actual articles, and seems more of an attempt at documentation and journalism than the family friendly Transworld Skateboarding which is the other mainstream magazine. I guess these sponsored skaters live quite the life, but they get paid well for it. However reading this as an adult I’m glad I was not involved with the skateboard industry. I love the act of riding, but I’m okay that I’m not part of the scene. Still it doesn’t hurt to read Thrasher once in a while.

Okay, once I got to the Long Island spot I took a cab to the Oil City Skate Park. The signing in and payment was relatively quick. At first the floor felt super slippery, and I slid out on a lot of simple stuff. The park is a large indoor park but is separated into two street areas and a large mini. Once I got used to it, there are several small obstacles that are good for practice. They have the standard ledges, but one starts low at about 6 inches and then rises up to about two feet. I was able to frontside grinds on that easily because the metal edge was fast. When I go back I would like to try manuals up it and would be happy if I was able to do that. I tried that, but was unable to get enough speed for it. My one complaint is that with the layout you would really have to think out how to get speed for some of the obstacles. This happens to me all the time, even with my expensive bearings, where I slow down easily. But I think gauging speed takes time. My friend that went there last year said they have a dinosaur vert ramp there, and it does look ridiculous. I would say that it was an 11 foot vert ramp or higher. No one was skating it like it was suppose to be skated, but skated from the flat bottom onto obstacles on the edge of it off of it onto the floor. So the flat bottom of the ramp was probably 8 inches off the ground. They had an orange road barrier set up to ollie. From the ramp it was about knee but the landing was lower. I’m happy that I could ollie it with ease from the flat bottom. A kid was trying to kickflip, and I tried a few too. I got the rotation fine, but my front foot landed way off to the side. I don’t know if I was coming close because a step off is different from a land, but I was happy I could flip the board over something knee height.  After about ten minutes of trying to land that I decided to let it go, and not spend my whole time there on one trick. The mini ramp was about 4 or 5 feet high with an extension a couple of feet higher. I skated this a little bit, and found it easier than the KCDC ramp, but not as easy as the smaller Forest Park ramp.  After that I skated the other street course and concentrated on a mellow A frame that had no transition. I’m glad I could ollie onto the other side with ease, but after a few kickflip attempts I fell on my elbow hard after the board shooted out away from me. A few days later I just have a bruise, but it got my attention when it happened. Some of the skaters at this indoor park were really going big, and that was fun to watch. On the downside it was also very crowded, which can be aggravating because I feel like I’m getting in people’s way or people are getting in my way. The worker there said that on Tuesday nights they have an older crowd and a more mellow session. That would be hard to make it there on a weeknight. But if I got a car it would be very easy.

On Monday, two days later, I decided to skate the KCDC ramp. I skated there for about an hour, and it was a fun session of about 5 or 6 people. I was by far the worst of the group, but I feel I made progress. The people at that shop are really friendly too.  On both days, Saturday and Monday, once I warmed up I had fun. So those are two places I can skate on weekends. The plan now is on every Saturday go to the park in Long Island. This well cost some money but I think it’s worth it. And on every Sunday before I meet my sister for dinner I will skate the KCDC ramp. If I can do this or do this most of the time I’ll be stronger when April, spring, and the skate season comes along.

Also Friday, Sunday, and tonight (Tuesday) I really pushed it with the aerobics at the gym. I think I’m happier when I’m active, and it’s a way to pass the time this winter. Besides, other than writing a novel what else do I have to do in my spare time.

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