I’m not sure how big deal is death of Michael Jacson back in Slovenia, but here in the states it seems quite a big thing, with all the news talking about it all the time while internet keeps generating more content and links to YouTube videos that have something to do with Michael Jackson.
As I’ve written before, Friday Night Skate has a big music element and today most of the songs were from Michael Jackson, mostly older recordings. There is also traditional Thriller dance at the Union Square, San Francisco which attracted quite a crowd and made everyone really hyped up and dancing!
I tried recording a video of it, but you unfortunely can’t see much. I’ll try to figure out something better for next week:
In short, lots of hype around MJ’s death and an interesting way how a group of people reacted to it. A bit bigger crowd this time – 40+ skaters.
San Francisco looks like a city where one could really enjoy roller skating, if one didn’t mind hills, and can venture on the road once in a while because of the busy streets. It’s not surprise that Friday Night Skating started here 20 years ago! and they’re still continuing with the weekly events. Their page – California Outdoor Rollersports Association – talks that 300 – 700 people come to skate every week. In the end it turns out that they’re about 50 now, but still a big group.
I’ve only participated on Ljubljana’s Night Skate events, so I don’t have much to compare this to. It’s quite different in format in execution. Firstly, the group meets at 9pm, when it’s already fairly dark. It’s also quite cold, about 12 degrees Celsius and windy. But you dress well and it’s not a problem.
Once David “D” Miles arrives with his beat box, the serious fun starts. The whole group moves down the Pier to the first stop, where you have a really nice view of Alcatraz. There are also people with normal skates, as well as guys on bikes. The most fun was probably the soap bubble bike, full for lights that was making bubbles along the way. Lots of fun skating behind her in cloud of bubbles
The whole event lasts for three hours and it feels more like a moving party on roller skates then the sporting event that I’m used to. People dance at every stop, often random people from the street spontainiously join the fun. They even turn Union Square into one of their stops. Everyone takes the whole event in good spirit and even the random police that you meet tries to help and make sure everyone is safe.
The lenght of the circular path is about 20km and it’s not trivial, mostly because of hills and of pretty quick moves between stops. You skate a while, then have a 10 min stop for everyone to catch up and move on. While it doesn’t seem much during the skate, you can feel your legs at the end of the night.
To learn more, you should check their page: San Francisco’s Friday Night Skate that very accurately portrays the path and the events that happen, down to the tricks on the escalators.
Overall, the feeling is amazing. This was the most fun and intensive way to get a feeling for San Francisco, while skating by the pier, through the tunnels, across the hills and between the office buildings.
It’s something you need to experience, next time you’re in SF and can skate well enough.
Ever since I went to the hike around the wire (Pot ob žici), I’m wondering if it is possible to roller skate roughly the same path. Basic idea in creating this path around Ljubljana is to find 30km+ path that will get me to the starting point while still maintaining interesting and reasonably safe roads and walk ways. The quality of road is also taken into account as it’s one of the most important factors to make the whole experience enjoyable.
Before I write anymore, here’s the proposed path:
There are a few parts of the paths that go by the road but it’s not too bad. It’s basically the routes that we take at group skating, just stitched together to make it a circular.
The most strange part is around Rudnik (south-east), where I propose making a loop through the shopping area. That could be easily cut to save 2km. Alternatively the whole Rudnik can be cut off, saving about 5km and making the whole path under 30km. With a good speed the path could be then completed in a good hour.
Do you have a better path or idea what can be improved? Let me know as I’ve been working just with roads that I know as on such map everything looks fine until you actually go there.
If you stroll around Ljubljana in mid-week evening, you might have been scared by a bunch of people on roller blades speeding around the streets and screaming at people to move away and stop blocking the road!
While roller blading gets really fun when you’re skating in pairs it gets really wild when you are in a group. It becomes even easier to skate for longer time and a bigger group can protect itself better as the first person can stop the traffic and ensure others can cross the road more safely. Cars also notice you more and reroute the traffic accordingly.
How to join? The best way is to drop by Kotalkališ?e Tivoli (next to Hot Horse) on Monday at 19h. You can also join Facebook group Nightskate Ljubljana if you want to get reminded. There are a few other smaller groups that have different days, but Monday group is the best to start with.
The routes are not difficult and the group really makes sure that the speed is suitable for everyone. We usually finish around 20h on Prešeren Square for finishing ice cream. The group usually has between 10 and 15 members.