APRR WebLog Archives: October 2003
Friday, October 31, 2003
Our Participation in the Canadian Défi de L'Île de Montréal
On October 18, 2003
By Lisa B
POURQUOI CANADA ?
Is The Défi An Inline Skating Race?
The Défi de L'Île de Montréal (The Challenge of the Island of Montreal) is a 128K/80-mile inline skating event that tours clockwise around the perimeter of the Island of Montreal. This was its eighth successful year, and had the highest number ever to register (202), and the most to ever to finish (163). It is held every year on the third Saturday in October, and this year was the second year in a row that I have completed the Challenge.
The organizer, Robert Fortier, had inline skated all the way across the United States in 1994. After enjoying the long distance skating, the following year, he organized the Défi, which has been family operated and financed ever since. The event does not try to compete with bigger budget races. It is all done on a shoestring with a low entry fee (only $25) and no solicitation of sponsorships. There are extra nice family touches too, like a special greeting at the finish area by Robert’s wife, Diane Fortier. She graciously waits well into the dark for the last skater to come back home.
For many local Canadian skaters, the Défi gives purpose to yearly training, much like A2A does for a lot of us. Those finishing in under 8 hours are awarded the Gold Medal; under 10 hours, the Silver; and under 12 hours, the Bronze. These are not cheesy medals either but rather unbelievably big, beautiful, and heavily weighted ones (in fact, the medals are almost identical to the one which I won in the 1994 Winter Olympics, in Lillehammer). Finishers also receive a laminated certificate with their name and finishing time.
The Défi is not considered by the organizer to be a race, but rather an “event.” However, as much as Monsieur Fortier insisted it is not a race, I notice that when times are recorded and medals given out, any event can turn into a race! Some (mostly Canadian) top speed skaters, who show up, go all out. Other skaters are purely recreational, and take their time while enjoying the beautiful course.
(Photo by Eva M.) The winner, Medhi Cherif (2nd from
the Right) set a new course record of 5:06. This is the
Lead Pack, which came in three minutes later at 5:09.
They all would have broken 5 hours for the first time
ever on this course, but the police detained them in one
of the villages at 6:30 AM for 15 minutes. The winning
woman, Cathrine Grage (left), came all the way from
The Défi’s Great Website
The event’s website is extremely informative and well maintained by Rod W., an inliner from Sherbrooke, Quebec. Everything you need to know about the race during race day is well detailed. On the website and in other printed literature, the skaters are warned to be careful when in traffic, and to make themselves visible. Similar to A2A, the roads are not closed, but unlike most of A2A, there are no policemen helping the skaters through the intersections. Therefore, the skaters are instructed to stay on the route’s bike path, when possible.
The race kit contained two big reflective numbers, reflective tape, and reflective ribbons to wear. Some checkpoint stops consisted only of a helpful man, standing on a corner with plastic water jugs. The skaters carry their own food the whole way, or else stop at stores along the route. The lack of a huge amount of support is clearly explained on the Défi website. Click here to enter the Défi website
Défi Webmaster and Roller Montreal Guru - Rod W. Rod is
a very warm and hospitable person. He is also a published
poet, multi-lingual, and a great speed skater.
Manhole Covers and other Wacky Hazards
The Défi starts in the dark at 6AM. It starts on a smooth bike path which has flares lit to show the way, along with volunteers pointing out the turns. Skating in the dark, in a long pace line at 6AM, was really exciting for me (others found it scary). After the path, we reached a quaint village called St. Anne De Bellevue. Here the pavement varies, with some of it great and some parts horrible. I was skating with an old A2A friend, Ed L. from New York, during that stretch. There are manhole covers every 10 feet, and since a few of newbies in the paceline were not calling out the hazards, we both unsteadily rolled right over them. To quote Ken C., who was there from California:
“There were surprises like sand, dirt, ripped out sections, lots of manholes covers. I don’t know if it is a local custom or what, but when an obstacle like a manhole cover came upon our pace line, instead of dropping your arm pointing out the danger, they would attack it, jumping to the side at the last moment. So I ended up going through lots of crap.”
Although the Roller Montreal Club has organized a weekly group that trains skaters, many Défi skaters train solo.
The path is beautiful and follows the St. Lawrence River for many miles. Around 7:30 the sun rises over the water, which is simply a sublime sight. Skating past this stunning scenery is a unique way to see Montreal. This exquisite view, the big flock of skaters, and the background noise of bilingual chatting put me on a long-lasting, total high. I have rarely been filled with such moments of happiness. I wish I could travel to all the out-of-town skate races- but like a lot of us- I can only pick one or two per year to attend. It was during this surreal early morning segment that I knew I had made the correct choice, when choosing to return to Montreal.
Rod W, Ed L. (Empire Speed) and Frank C, also from
New York City, at the post race celebration.
Isn’t it Cold in Montreal?
A week before leaving home, I received my Défi T-shirt in the mail. Included was a letter from Robert Fortier that said, “Last year the T-shirts were sky blue and the sky was gray…this year the T-shirts are gray!” Of course, everyone hopes for beautiful “Indian Summer” weather. It was cold on race day but I felt just fine. On Friday night, there was a dinner held by the Roller Montreal Club for out-of-towners. The subject was the weather and how to dress for the big day. My main concern was overdressing and getting too hot, and then having to carry my discarded jacket. Rod, Ed, and Frank warned me to rethink that concern - because it was going to be very cold. I wore 3 layers on top (2 light and one medium), one pair of tights and a pair of gloves, and I never got too cold or too hot. The day’s temperature was 42-48F. When skating on a cold day, the danger is in stopping too long in one spot, because then you could become very cold from the sweat on your body.
Navigational Strategies: Forget the Turn Sheet
It is better to hook up with a local skater (if possible), because the map and directions given out are in French and not easy to understand. There is an English version on the website, but this must be printed out before you leave. Ken C. had some trouble figuring it all out and I can certainly understand why! Think of trying to skate A2A by relying solely on the turn sheet, and pretend you cannot read English. There are yellow arrows and “DÉFI” painted in the streets; but at A2A, the yellow “S”s are much easier to see. At the Défi, since the yellow markings are not nearly as big, the route can get confusing. To be fair, it is hard to compare anything to the Athens-to-Atlanta route markings, because those are the World’s Largest Painted Race Directions. (I still don’t know y’all get away with painting such big S’s in the street. Oh that’s right… Mark Day, Henry and others get out there at 4AM and bust their butts!)
I was with my friend Lisa P from New York, who was riding her bike and helping me, by carrying some of my food. The cyclists are welcome to come along, but are asked to start after all the skaters have left the start area. So she was behind me. She caught up to me at the 25-mile mark, where we stopped for a “Pipi-Stop” (Bathroom break as they say in French) at the “Couche-Tard”, a Canadian QT. As I was finishing up my pitstop in the gas station, I saw a pack of 12 skaters passing by and decided to catch up to them. I told Lisa I was taking off and left her in the store.
I skated as fast as I could, dodging cars and jumping curves. This part is called Château Pierrefonds Ave., and is in Section 2, which is a horrendously busy street. Worse, the bike path crosses an intersection every 1/10th of a mile. There are ridges purposely placed into the concrete of the bike path as it arrives at a street crossing (to aid the blind). Also on the ground were holes, gravel, cracks, sticks and sand. I finally caught them but was now out of breath. Here I met up with French Canadian skater, Simon D, of Montreal. He is a 5-time Défi veteran, and we stayed together until the end. I was lucky to find a local who knew the route: I could then ignore the arrows, turn sheet, and French map.
The worst part of the event is its Section 5, or the last 18 miles. It is a treacherous part the route, and since it is the final part of the course, it sticks in everyone’s head as an enduring memory of torture. Usually, there is an exceptionally strong headwind on this street too, but this year we were extremely lucky because it was not as strong. Due to the harsh winters, the skating surfaces you will find on rue Notre-Dame can be simply miserable. The bike paths here are buckled in places, where suddenly there is a series of tiny little rolling ups and downs, like being on a mini roller coaster ride. The path is full of bricks, cracks, gravel, leaves, bumps, holes, sand, and rocks. Did I mention bricks?
At the end of each part of the path where it intersects with a street, the path is paved with 10 feet of bricks before each intersection. Not only is necessary to make it over the bricks, but we had to watch for cars, potholes, and sand while crossing each street. Just as I hit each street- often just barely avoiding a car- it was time for another 10 feet of bricks! If you are lucky, as I often was, you get all those obstacles at once, along with the buckling fun! I did this for about 10 miles or so, dreaming of the smooth Gatorback in Georgia.
When your feet are in a lot of pain, and you’re already exhausted from having skated more than 65 miles, it becomes very difficult to concentrate on your X-Games, freestyle-aggressive, obstacle-avoiding skating moves - especially in speed boots! Hey Paul K, if you want a real “Tech Skate” come on up and try this!!!
I followed Simon. We were working well together, each taking pulls, and he knew the way. He usually told me what was coming next. This reminded me of all the years at Athens-to-Atlanta when I played host, by describing to the visiting skaters what is coming up. Where the bike path crossed the street, there was speeding traffic, and trucks coming headlong toward us at 70 mph. We crossed the streets swiftly, hopped the curbs and onto the sidewalks (at the last possible second before getting run over), and into holes, gravel, rocks and cracks. Ouch!
What Level Skater Can Complete The Challenge?
Although the course is completely flat, the Défi is very tough due to these rough surfaces. Having no hills made it easy on my heart rate, since I never exactly “bonked.” Some argue that having no down hills to “rest” on makes you more exhausted. For these reasons, even though the Défi is seven miles shorter than A2A, the overall finish times are generally slower. Then again, each year, speed records are being broken on the course, and will continue to be broken well into the future. The Défi is not for the beginner skater or for those who are uninitiated to street skating. The Pro Elite skaters may not feel an incentive to participate, because it is not officially a race and it is a tad hard on the body. A few pro-level skaters do show up each year too. If you are a more advanced recreational skater, a middle of the road distance junkie, or an advanced or fitness category skater, then you may find this a perfect test of endurance and skill.
Typical Street in Old Montreal.
When the Jacques Cartier Bridge comes into view, you are almost finished! This is when you can smile!
The last part is skating through the touristy Old Montreal area, where many of the buildings are just as they were in the 17th and 18th centuries. As we were passing through that area with just 3 kilometers to go, Simon caused quite a scene. As we were skating down a hill, he grabbed my hand to hold it over our heads together in triumph and starts screaming to everyone in French: “125 Kilometers! We did it! 125 Kilometers!! We did it!!” We got some stares along with a big ovation from the crowds on the streets, something I will never forget.
Typical Café in Old Montreal
Simon D. and I were really happy after finishing together
in 7:23. I was just happy to be alive after the daredevil
freestyle stunts we pulled in Section 5. Simon certainly is
a man of many talents: Not only can he keep his balance
on rue Notre- Dame but he can also balance grapes in his
I finished in 7 hours 23 minutes. Not too great of a time, but good enough for the Gold Medal. I was 74th out of 163 finishers. I know I can do it faster, but this year (as always), I have my lame excuses. I can wrap up my whining in one sentence: I have some severe ongoing injuries, no comfortable skates, and an increase in personal responsibilities, leaving me little time for training.
My right foot was in pure agony the entire 7 hours. My right foot felt like the bone was broken on the bottom. This was a classic Catch-22: If I tightened the laces, the bone felt much better, but tightening the boots aggravated my ankle, where I have a severe case of lace bite. Tightening the laces caused excruciating pain - a piercing stab into the front of my ankle. I had to choose the less painful of the two painful pains. I finally chose the bottom of the foot anguish because I could no longer even skate 3 steps with the ankle torture. Strangely, my left foot felt perfectly fine.
I actually wore my old Harper speed skates during the event. The “Lesser of the 3 Evils” I was calling these boots, because all 3 pairs of skates I own cause me problems. Having no other choice, I decided to wear the Harpers only a few days before I left. I did not have time beforehand to test them out. To help with the rough pavement, I would recommend soft wheels for this route: a 78 durometer would be perfect. I plan to use these wheels the next time I skate in the Défi. If you have comfortable rec skates that you just love, wear those. But keep in mind the pain of the feet, or to use an expression coined by Ken C, “The pain of ‘De-Feet of the Island of Montreal’.”
Why do I do it if it is so hard? Why do I go all the way to “cold freakin Canada” for this non-race, instead of attending a major race here in the States?
I like the non-commercial simplicity of the event. It is an enormous physical challenge, requiring a lot of courage. But mostly, it is because Montreal feels like Europe. I love the international, cosmopolitan atmosphere there. The steaming hot café au lait was delicious and authentic: it was served in a great big ceramic bowl, just like in France. All my life, I have schemed for ways to get over to Italy and Europe, because suburban Georgia bores me to tears. Montreal is sort of an easy way to pretend you are in an exotic city much different from your own, but that is because - it is. Pretending to be an international bon vivant has always been a hobby of mine.
I acted out two of my ultimate fantasies at the same time by imagining all weekend that I was an international jet setter and a world-class speedskater. I’ve made a lot of great friends up there. I am learning French, I mean really learning it! By Sunday I was thinking and speaking in French. I love the Canadian people because they offer a different point of view and a different way of life, which always leads me to re-examine my own culture. Vive la différence! I love the whole bilingual French-English thing. The language barrier excites me. I love having to be forced to reach deep into my brain to remember a verb that I studied, to make myself understood. I love when I can get my point across even with my poor accent and bad grammar. The bilingualism used by so many Canadians impresses me and makes me jealous.
Notice the joy on my face as I realize my life long dream:
combining my phony international jet- setting aura with
my fake speed skater persona.
Melanie Watson (RoadSkater.net), of Raleigh North Carolina, came to the Défi for her first time (She speaks such beautiful, fluent French that I immediately wanted to strangle her). Melanie has only recently started skating, and skated the Défi in her new Bont speed boots. Although she was still suffering from an A2A injury, through her sheer determination and stubborn willpower, she finished in time for the bronze!
Mark Sibert, who just took over 2 hours off his
personal best at A2A 2003, flew to Montreal to
find out if his newfound speediness was some
kind of fluke. But no, this guy really is fast: he
broke 6 hours and came in 11th!
The Canadian Welcoming Committee
On Saturday night, after the post-race dinner, we went to a Discothèque called Thursday’s. I cannot believe I danced for hours after skating 80 miles. I am sure that the Canadians put something in the wine. I am not really a Disco Chic but that place was hopping. There were many Toronto Maple Leafs fans celebrating their victory over the Montreal Canadiens, which took place at the Centre Bell Arena earlier right down the street. It had a general "meat market" atmosphere which I found most appealing.
Here I am with my best friend from New York, also
named Lisa. She biked the 80 miles. Les Deux Lisas
had a fabulous time at the disco. She came up with
a very effective pick-up line for use during our trip:
“Hi! You must be The Canadian Welcoming Committee!”
My Grandfather was Insane
The weekend was too short. I was just getting all Frenched-out when it was time to leave. I had to stop being a Cosmopolitan Globe-Trotting Skater and go back to being an American Suburban Soccer Mom. I experienced my usual reverse counter culture shock upon arriving back home. I was depressed on the plane because I had to go back to speaking English: “A Diet Coke Please, Thank You”.
At Montreal’s Dorval Airport it is necessary to go through U.S customs before leaving there rather than when arriving in the States. There is a painted line on the floor behind the ticket counter. As you cross the line, a sign says, “Welcome to the United States of America.” And then you are in the Good Old U.S.A. But technically, well geographically you are still in Canada, but politically, you are not; because our country actually owns this section of the airport, so it is U.S. territory. Even though I was still over the Canadian border, I was in United States!
I was still drunk from the disco, so contemplating all this gave me a mild headache. It also reminded me of the time my grandfather was beside himself with happiness when he went to Niagara Falls. He had one foot in Canada and one foot in the U.S.A, and always told the story about how he was flabbergasted to be in 2 countries at once. I believe I inherited my madness from him. After crossing the “border” in the airport, I was interrogated by US Customs Officials who ask idiotic questions such as, "What was the purpose of your visit?" … If they only knew …
Posted by marcstpierre @ 10:21 AM EDT [Link]
Monday, October 27, 2003
Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night – October 20, 2003
Tonight was simply quite fun.
Fetch a seat for everyone.
Sit down in it real slow.
Hang On real tight!
And Lets GO !!!
Jeff R is deciding which sleeping bag to bring to the November
14-16th camping trip, up at Amicalola Falls, which is just west
of Dalonaga, GA. He’s having to decide whether he should use
the really warm one, or let Dana use that one. As they’re now
married, the really warm one will of course go to Dana. New-
comer, Bob D, stands to the left and listens to Mark D’s group
announcements (standing at right).
Mark announced that he would like us to join him during our
Holloween Costume Skate – at 8:00, on Friday night, at the
Carter Center. If you’re a guy, bring lots of beer $$$. If you’re
a woman – you can be Mark’s cowgirl ! If you become Mark’s
cowgirl - - don’t expect to inherit lots of $$$. If you inherit lots
of $$$, Mark will be needing another beer!
Beth D and Don R heading down North Highland Ave.
These two were goofy with each other all night long.
Our gaggle of APRR skaters at Little Five Points.
Uwe demonstrates that green means “GO” in his new
Pinnacle boots and fast-green 84mm wheels. While at
the intersection of Hurt Street & Edgewood Ave, Uwe
scoped out every nick and cranny of the intersection,
and investigated each and every side street – while the
rest of us were catching our breath and recuperating
at the intersection’s red stop sign.
No Butts about it - - Sergeant Fuentes, of the MARTA Police,
wants to skate too. He’s been actively trying to get a skating
unit together at MARTA. “They have something like this down
in Miami,” he mentioned to us. “And it would be a whole lot
better than leaving a $1,600 bicycle against some fence while
chasing after a perpetrator. Besides, you can’t jump over a
fence on a bike like you can on skates. Skates are great !!!
They’re very stable. You can fight while on skates, and you
can carry a gun & fire one while on skates. It’d work nicely.”
But Sergeant Fuentes was fairly observant too. He quickly
noticed that I had gotten low and behind him to fire my camera.
He became verbally concerned about saving his butt. Sorry
Sergeant Fuentes, I’ll shoot this next shot at a more strategic
Sergeant Fuentes chatting with APRR. Had I not eventually
blurted out “Lets Skate, Skate, Skate !!!,” we’d probably
have been there all night long chatting in return with the
JenniX had introduced us to her roommate, Sara M. And ever
since, Sara has been a real trooper in providing a good pace
for us. Try to sprint against her … and she’ll beat you every
time. But let her do her own thing, and she’ll keep us going
… all the time. And do we want her along side us … yes! …
Dana (on North Highland Ave.) has a smile bigger than all of
Jennifer had just gotten back from Long Beach. Her smile
is very much like the size of California.
Kim’s smile is as big as Texas.
Thomas’s smile is long and intricate, much like Cape Hatters.
Picking up massive speed as we head toward downtown Atlanta.
(Thomas P at extreme lower left, Jeff S in white, Mark D, and Don R).
Elizabeth conquers the long and arduous hill on North Highland Ave.
Mark R had just gotten back from all over. During the two weeks
previous to this, he had been to: Rochester, NY; Portland, OR;
San Francisco, CA; and, Detroit, MI. “I also went to the Occoee
River area, in Tennessee, over the weekend,” he continued. “Lots
But being back now, and being with us once again on his skates,
everything is ALL–OK !!!
Dana R & Debra R
Bob D surprised all of us. For being with us for the first time, he
had no problems hanging with us on our “intermediate” skate.
“This is much faster than an intermediate pace,” balked Mark D.
“We’ll go slower for ya’ if you want,” he said.
“Na’, I’m alright,” politely replied Bob. “I’m doin’ fine and I can
NOW THAT’s The SPIRIT !!!
Way To Go BOB !!!
I’m still working on getting a super-fantastic image of Paul H
riding his bike. I’ll make a poster out of it. So far, this is the
best I have of him while on his handlebars, while covering his
I made this image of Brenda and I skating along 10th Street,
while crossing I-75/85. As typical, her smile is as huge as all
the states combined. I’ll call her - - Mrs. America.
Mark & Marc traveling down one of the many steep hills at
Elizabeth D maintaining perpetual orbit at GT. We tried beaming radio signals at her to break orbit and proceed to bigger and better entities, like the moon, but the ordeal was reminiscent to us of a late 1950’s broken record. She kept turning and turning, like a needle pinned in the same grove. None of us were accustomed to this. To us, the situation was very much black and white. You either put wheels on her feet to accentuate her motors, or you simply took the wheels away from her. Like the late 1950’s, life in this situation seemed to us to be so simple. Unfortunately, our team of technicians could never get her to slow down enough that we could successfully remove the skates. So much like her twin sister, Sputnik, we grumbled to our selves in disbelief as she continued to steadily “ping” in the same circle.
Sam F practicing his own version of a tight turn. Uwe had
long since given up. “I’m too big and I’m getting dizzy,”
Uwe had earlier stated to me. He went on to explain
centrifugal forces and the consequences they have on his
larger than normal physiology. Since I'm not a woman,
I didn't understand.
Corbet hadn’t been seen around APRR for a long time.
“Oh, I’ve been slackin’-off and working for myself, doin’ odd
types of jobs,” he told to me in order to justify his absence.
His roommate, John, smiled in agreement. I’m thinking the
two of them have become millionaires.
SKATE SOCCER !!!! (Paul K has mastered the game at GT –
it’s always a good idea to be on his team ! )
George W directing skater traffic - - through the intricate
maze of the Georgia Tech campus.
Russell B “scooting-up” the North Ave. pedestrian overpass at
GT. Russell can “scoot-up” the steepest of hills more quickly
than anyone I know. (George & Jim in pursuit)
Paul H ascending the same inclined ramp – though Paul style.
One handed & single wheeled – of course!
Kim & Jennifer in the 3rd Street Tunnel, crossing under I-75/85,
and heading back toward the Carter Center.
Jeff S has made it back to the Carter Center. Being a new father
takes a lot of work, but skating has been a big part of his life. It
has also been a connecting point for the birth of his family, where
Jeff met his wife, Heather, at one of the Eddy Matzger workshops,
here in Atlanta. His daughter, Madalin, will no doubt become a
skater (it’s entrenched deep in the family blood).
Posted by marcstpierre @ 12:01 PM EDT [Link]
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Our Zunday zleeper zkate (Zzz)
On Sunday Morning - October 19, 2003
By Chuck O
A Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood Skate -
Neighborhood and neighborly skating was the focus of this lovely Autumn morning. Chuck O, Jay M and his wife’s friend, Gina (from Maryland), Jethro J, Jim M, John M, Ken O, Marc Sk8 Pierre, and Renee W - all hit the residential streets around Ansley. It was a Sunday late morning skate through colorful, falling leaves - falling through a cool and crisp morning air.
As we were all deficit of caffeine, it was decided to hit the Caribou Coffee Shop, located at Monroe and Piedmont. Some of us addicts were needing to get our caffeine fix (it was just about all of us). And we found that we needed it again later in the skate. The cute, young Caribou barrister asked if we skated while drinking (I assumed she meant coffee), and with a smile, I responded, “Of course we do! You drive & drink, right?” She blushed when she responded that she doesn’t, but admitted that she admired our ability to multitask.
Off into the neighborhoods we went, with Jethro leading us through the Morningside area and to a small, commercial plaza on North Highland Ave. Bright sunshine met our eyes, and the crisp, still air brushed our skin as we skated through it. And while at the plaza, we saw an Irish Setter dog desiring the same. Its head quickly protruded through the BMW sunroof, as its owner drove from the plaza’s parking lot.
From North Highland, we headed toward Little Five Points, but our agenda was soon refined. Giving us a sense of direction was a sign in the ground that advertised an art festival in Candler Park. Renee pleaded for us to visit (Ok, how could I have told her NO!!?) We soon reached Little Five Points, and then along McLendon we went - all the way to Candler Park, with a very happy Renee.
The festival’s vendors were just getting ready for the busy day (and here, I thought WE had slept in!). Final touches were being made on their booths and displays of art, clothing, various crafts. We were as strange looking to the artisans as they were to us. But even though the park now seemed to us like a third world country's bazaar we found ourselves very much in place with all its activity.
Now, guess what awaited us? We could smell them from here - even though we were a long way away from the destined Krispy-Kreme donut shop. We headed back toward downtown via Edgewood Ave. And once there, we were greeted by a bright, daytime half moon, nicely centered in the deep blue sky between some of Atlanta’s larger skyscrapers. We regretted already being out of the Weblog disposable camera’s film. It was a cheap camera anyway.
Once down Ponce de Leon and at the Krispy-Kreme, we had a REAL treat ! As we stood in line, Krispy-Kreme was handing out free donuts. We were full even before we got to the front of the line. To quote Homer Simpson, “Hhhhmmm, doughnut !” Jay bought an entire tray of them and treated us to a pure sugar rush. Thanks Jay!!! We talked with a couple, Mike & Dana, about paramotoring. This is basically strapping a big fan and parachute onto oneself and flying - and praying. They were equally interested in our skates. We then said our good byes and headed back to a throng of Aids Walkers, in and around Piedmont Park. They were walking to raise money to help cure the disease. But we couldn’t tell where it was that they were walking to.
To some it all up. It's was once again a beautiful day in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood !!!
Mr. Rogers’ visitors. We soon solicited inline skating to his whole
neighborhood. (Front Row - Left to Right) Jim M and Jay M
(Back Row – Renee W, Jethro J, Gina (from Maryland), and Chuck O
(In very back) John M
Not shown are Ken O (who skated off to seek the call of duty) and
Marc Sk8 Pierre (who is on the other side of the disposable, I mean
Jim had to take a break and sip on his coffee at every intersection.
The more intersections the better for Jim. The Zzz will surely create a
fantastic Sunday morning business for coffee shops such as Caribou.
Strolling down East Morningside Drive toward North Highland Ave.
But we had all the time in the world to get there. (John, Renee, and Ken)
It wasn’t long before this that we were all fast asleep. John still has vivid
memories of his recent sleep, and describes the details of his bizarre
dream. Ken didn’t know what to make of it, let alone what the dream meant.
We had chased Chuck’s shadow all the way up to this small, commercial
plaza off North Highland Ave. Chuck was still at home, and still asleep.
Renee was carrying everything under the sun with her. Consumed though
was her coffee, and discarded was her coffee cup.
Gina listens to music in a most unique way – through her estuation tube,
while hanging with us along North Highland Ave.
Marc’s visit to Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood. (Candler Park Arts Festival)
Posted by marcstpierre @ 06:06 PM EDT [Link]
Our Chief Ladiga Trail Skate
On Saturday Afternoon – October 18, 2003
By Jim C.
Interested in skating somewhere different, but worried that some of your skater companions will chastise you if you bother to fly all the way across the country; or for gads sake, head to a foreign country for that matter – just to skate?
Tired of fighting traffic in the Atlanta streets, but don’t want to fight the teaming masses on the Silver Comet (kids on trikes, walkers six abreast, dogs on long leashes)??
Looking for a place to skate 50 miles or more on decent asphalt, unencumbered by mountainous hills, traffic, stop lights, people, etc., etc.???
This past Saturday, three hearty skaters piled into the car for a trip to Alabama (don’t worry, we all had the appropriate visas, and didn’t have much problems crossing the border and into Alabama – being permitted back into Georgia was far more difficult though). We skated on the Chief Ladiga Trail, which runs from the northerly portion of Anniston to the bustling metropolis of Piedmont, Alabama. The asphalt-paved portion of the trail is almost 25 miles long (after that, the rest of the trail is just like the rest of Alabama). In terms of road crossings though, there were a bunch of them. However, I think I can count on three fingers the number of times we actually had to stop for traffic, while on the trail.
Along the way, we were treated to all sorts of beautiful scenery (cotton fields, fields with rolls of hay, cotton fields, incredibly clear spring fed ponds, abandoned buildings, cotton fields, trailers, etc.). There were friendly people, about 10 bicyclists, and maybe ½ dozen walkers. But we saw no dogs on 12-foot leashes and no skaters – let alone anyone (intelligent or otherwise) in a skinsuit. We did come across a skater-friendly convenience store, but the clerk looked at me quite strangely (I don’t think that she knew what to do, about someone on skates in her store – the rules in Alabama aren’t that extensive). But what a wonderful afternoon it was for us to be on skates in Alabama.
Sorry that I didn’t take any pictures: my photographic memory works wonderfully well – until it becomes time to make copies. One of my favorite signs I saw while skating there was on a pen containing several hunting dogs. It said: “Please Don’t Throw Rocks at the Dogs.” This made me wonder about the guy’s neighbors.
If you haven’t been to the CLT, and are looking for a change of pace, I wholeheartedly recommend grabbing your passport and going. It’s about a 2-hour drive from Atlanta. The nice folks at the Piedmont Civic Center (circa 1930-something) allow free use of their showers and facilities (open on Saturday from 8 AM to 4 PM). Additionally, there’s a plethora of eating establishments on the way back to I-20. So here, the post-skate meal (why else would anyone skate 50 miles?) can be most anything you might want.
Posted by marcstpierre @ 04:29 PM EDT [Link]
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Our Skate, Skate, Skate Information
On Carbohydrates and Protein
Noticed by Bruce B.
Click here for a Cool article on Carbs & Protein
Posted by marcstpierre @ 11:40 AM EDT [Link]
Friday, October 17, 2003
Our A2A Skating Adventure
On Friday Night, September 26, 2003
(A2A's Friday Night Skate - Part 4)
Of all the Hooter’s girls, Brook B., from Maryland’s TNT seems to be
the most perfect one.
While living in Miami, I fell in love with one of Coconut Grove’s
Hooter’s girls. One night just prior to my leaving Miami, a half dozen
of my guy friends dropped by my small, red cottage unannounced and
said to me, “We’re taking you to see Karen at Hooters.”
My refrigerator in Miami was precisely that of a beer commercial.
Somehow, I continuously only had a partially full jug of milk, one or
two eggs left in the egg container, and almost always five to six cases
of various types of beer. (The half loaf of molded bread usually sat on
top of the refrigerator.) As we usually did, my architect friends and I
grabbed some plastic cups, filled them with a couple beers each, and
headed off to the Coconut Grove Hooters, a mere few blocks away.
I very much remember that night, not because my Miami friends remain
as being some of the closest friends that I have; but because of my
then favorite Hooter’s girl, Karen. That night, she looked me in the eye,
with tears rolling down hers, and said to me that she’s going to miss me.
Before my friends could pick-up the restaurant’s tab, I secretly slipped
Karen my credit card and instructed her to cover our tab and provide
herself with a fair tip. And so she did. She gave herself $100. I never did
complain, but looked her back in the eye, with pretend tears rolling down
my eyes and said to her, “I’m goina’ miss you too.” Then we kissed each
My half dozen close friends refused to talk to me all the way back to my
little red cottage.
I then asked Brook if she was actually a Hooter’s girl. She told me no.
And I was glad.
These guys were nothing but fun. Greg R, Pete U, and Don G.
They were non-stop cuttin’-up and laughing.
Paul K had just given the Friday Night skaters the “scoop” of A2A’ final
route segments. He mentioned to us the fact that we were now on the
52 & 87-mile route, as we entered onto Dekalb Ave. Russell B wanted to
ensure he was very clear about A2A’s route, and went over the route's
complex final few turns with our A2A Guide Master. Transitioning from a
road race to a Little Five Points sidewalk excursion was troublesome.
Dan D was with us, and not only that, provided a HUGE helping hand to
the A2A effort. Thanks Dan for all your help. You have not gone unnoticed.
(Brook B in the background)
Here’s an image to go into the A2A - Book of Fond Memories.
Sara S from Michigan and Dirk R from Fulda, Germany skate their way up
Decatur Street. They had been having so much fun during the A2A Friday
Night skate that vibrations of fun bleed from their skin, poured from their
smiles, and streamed from their eyes. Their aurora of pleasure was obvious
to all of us. So much so, that Brenda C was not hesitant or shy to join-in
their exuberant sensation of A2A celebration & joy.
Lisa B’s son, Andrew, hangin’ with us on Moreland Ave.
Carol P, is about as much of TNT as you can get. She participates with the
in Team-in-Training each year and raises funds for the Leukemia Society’s
cause like a champion. Although she’s from the Washington D.C. area, her
love for other people is wide spread. We were honored to have her with us
again this year.
Colleen B “Candy Girl” and Carolyn H – have made it all the way back to
Piedmont Park!!! Upon their special victory of accomplishing this year’s A2A
Friday Night Skate, Champaign like fireworks are provided for these out-of-
town VIP guests. They are now ready for A2A, D2A, A2D, and everything
else in life. I do know something about Candy Girl (well, several things) –
but one thing is that NO SKATING EVENT IS THE SAME WITHOUT HER !!!
(She’s as sweet as candy – and a valuable asset to TNT).
The official A2A - Friday Night Skate route map.
Created and provided jointly by David S and Kenny L.
Posted by marcstpierre @ 10:47 AM EDT [Link]
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Our Skate, Skate, Skaters
On Thursday Afternoon - October 16, 2003
By Bruce B.
uhhh, group hug?
Posted by marcstpierre @ 03:52 PM EDT [Link]
Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Wednesday Night – October 15, 2003
Well, tonight I finally learned where the Weblog camera has been, currently is, and probably will be ... for who knows how long.
The reason that you've not been getting many photos here is that the camera for YOUR Weblog is right now in Yosemite National Park. One of my absolute FAVORITE places in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. There is absolutely no better place that a camera would rather be. If I were YOUR Weblog’s digital camera, I too would have been in Yosemite, would currently be in Yosemite, and would forever stay in Yosemite. There’s a very GOOD chance that this Weblog may never again have any skating photos. At least, if I-WERE the Weblog digital camera. Well, lets just say that this Weblog would become more or less an Ansel Adams type gallery. If you’d want to put on your skates, and come-on-out-there and join me & YOUR Weblog’s camera, well then, we could perhaps keep it semi-skating related ... Perhaps.
I have a hunch that if and when I ever do see the Weblog camera again, its memory card will be super duper full. And because of that, I’m now happy that I didn’t give Jennifer H a 1-gigabyte memory card. I’d be editing her photos for well over a month! Two months! ... Perhaps three.
Tonight was almost a carbon copy of Monday night. Perfect weather, a reasonably large attendance, and perfect weather. We did the announcements thing: we spoke of Claxton, we talked of camping, we learned about some parties, we discovered that we didn’t need to eat at Fellini’s tonight, and bla, bla, blah. But the most exciting news, and perhaps the biggest news in almost a decade, was that of Uwe modeling a new pair of speed boots – custom made by Jimmy Blair, of Pinnacle Racing (in Roswell, GA). This was a TOTAL shocker to EVERYONE !!! ALL OF US would NEVER HAVE BELIEVED that Uwe would EVEN consider wearing something new – of ANYTHING. The ONLY thing NEW that ANY of us would phantom Uwe obtaining, would be a sophisticated patch of some sort ... placed on top of an OLDER one.
In terms of the Pinnacle boot, I too am mentally committed to purchasing a pair of custom ones from Jimmy. His price to APRR is $700, and the product that you get in return is well worth that price. He has graciously given me a tour of his shop, an annex of the Roswell Roller Rink. He has shown me many of the techniques that he employs in making a pair of Pinnacle boots, for both custom use and off-the-shelf. I was very much impressed with his genius and perfectionism of boot design, and selection of quality materials. For me, it’s just a matter of slowly accumulating the necessary funds for the boots, as well as for a matching pair of hand made carbon fiber frames from Andy (Xenon) Lundstrom ... Where’s gracious Mamie & her x-mas list?
Back at the Carter Center, Paul K had already swiped from us a dozen or so potential street skaters. Actually, I can’t use the word “swiped” because many of them had already jumped into their cars, even before Paul. They were itchin’ to get over to Georgia Tech to start playing the most exhilarating skating event that has been conceived. “It’s better than skate-dancing,” Cindy S recently said to us. So the skating option was fairly simple. With Uwe’s brand spanking new boots, and my brand spanking newly modified Powerslide boots (they had been the off-the-shelf type, but are now the fully customized version), there were very few others who would care to venture out on a Spanky skate. Nor was anyone interested in an overtly slow skating group. So that left all of us in the middle.
“Come-on - - Lets GO !,” I said out loud. “Hang-on - - We’re Out-a Here!”
And to my surprise ... about thirty or so skaters were now following me.
David S had the most perfect quote last Monday night. “Were are we heading’ to?,” I had asked him early into his group led skate. He was far ahead of the rest of his group, standing by himself at an empty intersection, and looking intensely down each of three empty streets.
“I’ve no clue,” came the monotone response. I thought it was funny then, but here I was now ... in the same predicament.
It was Sam F who initially asked me where I was going (he didn’t even wait for us to get out of the Carter Center parking lot). And to rub it in, he asked me the same question perhaps two or three dozen times, during the random adventure skate that I was offering through the Cabbage Town residential area. (The second part of the adventure was to be a simple to and back from the Ga Tech Student Recreational Facility – to briefly mingle with the Roller Soccerers). In all honesty, this was my general plan all along, but I though it’d be somewhat fun to keep Sam guessing – after all ... he’s most inquisitive.
So my response to Sam was the same as what you’d do with a monkey. You can place a small ball into the knot-hole of a tree - while the monkey is hanging around somewhere near by. The monkey can be yelling and screaming as it plays near by - but you KNOW that it’ll try to extract the ball from the hole in the tree. And as soon as it does try, you’ll KNOW that it will be both stuck in the situation ... and totally confused.
If anyone knows this, David S does. It’s next to impossible to please a large group of skaters. You have faster skaters that are being slowed-up by far slower skaters. And slower skaters, who are hating life because of some far faster skaters. Although I had been keeping the moderate sized group together, it indeed had to be split. So, somewhere near Highland Ave & Cornella Street, David agreed to take the lead of a dozen or so slower skaters to a destination unknown. And for me, I was still the lead for everyone else. “Where are we going now?,” asked Sam once again.
”Follow Me !!!,” was my now textbook reply. And off we went.
I then heard Sam say from the back of the group ... “Where are we going?”
It was nice to meet Nancy G’s friend, Frank W. He was on his bicycle when we he saw us pass by him. He joined us, and stayed with us for the remainder of our trip. And fun for all of us, he initially gave Nancy a pleasant and welcoming surprise when she first noticed him on Edgewood ... as we headed as planned toward GT.
Posted by marcstpierre @ 04:23 AM EDT [Link]
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night – October 13, 2003
We were so loosely gathered. So relaxed. Paul K was there, but no skates were on his feet, Mark D too. A voice came from all the rest of us who were wearing skates, “Are you going skating tonight, Mark?”
“Nope. Soccer,” he replied in his cowboy type voice. Paul was simply standing nearby in his laid-back fashion. In conjunction with the word "soccer," there became a huge smile on Paul's face. And without Mark’s whistle, we almost didn’t have a gathering for announcements. Mark and his call-to-arms whistle are synonymous. We discovered that there were no new-timers with us tonight, but found a whole slew of skaters with us for the third or fourth time. Thomas S and John M were just two of this category.
“Where’re we eatin’ tonight?,” was the first comment made during the announcements. Everything else said was less important. Most of us already knew the answer. If there were ever to be a flipped coin option, heads would be Fellini’s on Ponce and tails would be- Fellini’s on Ponce. Mr. Chapman gave us the results of the Long Beach Inline Skating Marathon race. He reported that both Bruce B and Jenni X performed extremely well. He also mentioned that Jennifer H beat him to the finish line, but his comment about this quickly became more mumble that clear; and not only did we not understand him, all of us have now forgotten about this issue.
Click here for the results of the Long Beach Inline Skating Marathon
“Who wants-ta go camping?,” announced Mark D. Before I go any further, let me tell you about this. You can’t possibly have any more fun than searching for what ever is left in the cooler, huddling-up next to a super large bon fire in the middle of some dark trees, making & eating Smore’s, and talking trash about make-believe bear stories. Big Foot ones too. Plus, you can go on wild excursions, like the one we had last year to search for firewood. We had Mark’s big ol’ red pick-up truck so loaded down with dead trees that I could-ov sworn that we’d never make it out of that deep part of the forest. “Ah we need just a little bit more,” Mark would keep saying. On top of the pile of cut-down dead wood sat a pile of cut-up, tired skaters. We finally made it back to base camp, looked into the empty coolers, and immediately started talking again about bears. We spent the rest of the day splitting wood and creating tentative routes of where to split from our imaginary bears. Invariably, the consistent answer was the safety of our sleeping bags.
The scheduled camping weekend – up at Amicalola Falls – is to be the weekend of November 14-16. This happens to be the weekend after the Claxton bicycle race, near Savannah.
Chuck O’s description of Roller Soccer to Kathryn Z: “It’s a combination of hackey-sac and soccer. There’s a goal, but to score a point, everyone on your team must touch the ball without one of your opponents touching the ball. If the opposing team touches the ball, then your team must start all over.”
Without seeing a lit-up, billboard style scoreboard across the playing field from her, Kathryn asked how the players keep track of their team’s score. “No keeping track, it’s all played friendly,” was Chuck’s reply.
Posted by marcstpierre @ 07:16 PM EDT [Link]
Our Sunday Sleeper’s Skate
On Sunday Morning – October 12, 2003
By Chuck O.
So, it's become Sunday morning and I finally get up, make my coffee and fix my bagel, and then turn on the news. The TV said that the weather is once again BEAUTIFUL!!! As always, today is a good day to be a skater!!!
A little after 9:00 AM, I get a phone call from someone asking if the Sunday Sleeper’s Skate was still on. "Why yes!!!," I reply to the phone. After hanging up, I thought to myself, "With a gorgeous day like this, it would be a sin not to skate."
At the parking lot at Piedmont Park, I found Mims R. warming up and Mark D lacing up. Renee, Stephanie R, and Jim (Quiggy) M arrived shortly after. The Sunday Sleeper’s Skate was all set, well, after a cell phone call by Ken O and a last minute pull-into the lot by Jethro J. This week's route took us through the city, where we saw the normal “night views” in the daylight. We headed out of Piedmont Park through the 12th Street entrance, skated along an empty Peachtree Street, and ended up in Centennial Park. There, a “patio style” lunch was being setup on the Bricks, and a stage was being put into place for a band. (This was being done to attract more people to the downtown area... so bring your skates!) Meanwhile, Stephanie was hard at work – soliciting for sponsors for next year's A2A. You go girl !!!
Now off to Ga Tech. We made our way up Marietta Street to the University and stopped at its Student Center for the all important necessities (you all know what I mean). As we gathered outside the building, soaking up the sun's rays and deciding on the skate’s next leg, Jethro reminded us of the re-opening of a nearby Krispy-Kreme donut shop. Yep, you got it - we quickly arrived at the Krispy-Kreme with Jethro having lead us there like a bloodhound on a fox’s scent. Ah yes, doughnuts & coffee, and let's not forget the cute little Krispy-Kreme hats. All this was even nicer than sleeping.
We loaded up on Krispy-Kreme carbos & caffeine, and discussed the many different ways that the restaurant’s glass wall could be otherwise used. (It was not just us men who were so dirty minded.) But for all you chefs out there, we also made use of the glass wall to watch the new donut stove at work. After about a 20-minute Krispy-Kreme layover (now meaning our stomachs with respect to our waist line), we hit the road for the last leg of the skate. We headed toward Piedmont Park, took-in the scenic neighborhoods, and then skated onto Piedmont Ave. After all the Krispy-Kreme sugar and coffee, we were now wide awake - and found ourselves skating at screaming speeds, all the way up to Monroe Drive.
We made a quick turn onto Monroe, skated lazily onto Orme Circle, and meandered into the Park. While each of us was in a various stage of gear removal, along came the Sunday Spanky Skater’s group – with Bob L, Caroline B, and Elizabeth D. Both triple “S” groups discussed the pleasures of each one’s adventure. But to get rid of our own group’s still remaining donut feeling, the majority of us headed to Willy’s Mexican restaurant to put our churning stomachs to ease.
Yep, a GREAT day for skating!!!
Posted by marcstpierre @ 01:26 PM EDT [Link]
Tuesday, October 7, 2003
Our Sunday Sleeper's Skate
On Sunday Afternoon - October 5, 2003
By Chuck O.
Sunday afternoon came around, and it was now time to go skating. After having gotten up early all season to beat the summer’s heat, and having been up so early last week for A2A, I found it nice to be able to finally sleep in. But I’m still wanting to skate… so I discovered the perfect solution: The Sunday Sleeper’s Skate.
While some brave (masochistic) souls were up early this Sunday morning (to travel way down south to skate the Moreland Bike Ride), I slept in… but I still skated. Six of APRR plus a former Washington DC skater were in bed while other APRR were traveling way down south. Although we were still asleep, each of us were dreaming of skating, but not until the crack of noon. Aahhh - yes, sleep in! The taste of a brunch – how civilized ! Catch the morning news and emails – why of course! And THEN do a skate!
We met at Piedmont Park, and then ventured out for a 15-mile skate. The seven of us headed toward Avondale Estates. Jethro J, Ann S, Stephanie R, Jim M, Jay C, John M (who had just moved to Gainesville, GA from North Carolina – though had lived in the Washington DC area before that), and I took the all too familiar roads of A2A. Finally, we found ourselves stopping at the Gazebo Clock, at the corner of N. Avondale and Clarendon roads.
Our pace?… a blistering speed of 7.5 mph. This day was perfect for skating. Yes, I was thankful to the skate gods for this day of leisure.
After the Sunday Sleeper’s Skate, it was a quick trip to Piedmont Park’s pool/bathhouse for a free photo exhibition, in which Debbie Y (Jay M’s wife) was working. Ok, anyone agree with me that a photo exhibition in a bathhouse seems just a little voyeuristic? Then it was off to Willy’s Mexican Restaurant to grub. We talked about how great this was. A social skate: no speed – just good folks and good fun (cue-up the beer commercial !). And we spoke about how we need to do this again.
Sooooo… check your emails soon for a possible Sunday Sleeper’s Skate. No rush, just simple fun on skates!
Posted by marcstpierre @ 10:25 AM EDT [Link]
A question asked by APRR to Marc St. Pierre.: What's the group photo for?
Marc's Answer: The Group Photograph will eventually be placed on the APRR web site Home Page.
The photograph will be offered to all of APRR in an 8x10 size, and will cost $15 - which is my cost to produce the print.
There will also be a matted version of the print, as well as perhaps a framed version. The costs of these have not yet been determined, as I have yet to select the mat, which will most likely be black, cotton rag mat. The frame will most likely be black and wooden.
Last year's image is totally beautiful. The problem is, is that I never got around to distributing last years image. However, last year's image will be offered to APRR in conjunction with this year's image.
The photograph will be made through my 6x7 film camera, and studio lighting will be used. And similar to last year's image, the result should be outstanding.
Posted by marcstpierre @ 09:08 AM EDT [Link]
Monday, October 6, 2003
Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night - October 6, 2003
"It looks like rain," she said.
Posted by marcstpierre @ 01:49 PM EDT [Link]
Sunday, October 5, 2003
Our A2A Skating Adventure
On Friday Night, September 26, 2003
(A2A's Friday Night Skate - Part 3)
Brenda C’s daughter, Kelly
I asked Joel S to show APRR a skating
technique of some sort that is commonly
seen in the Los Angles area.
(Bill C in background)
A macroscopic view of Los Angles style skating,
properly demonstrated on Marietta Street by
APRR’s current Woodland Hills, CA resident, Joel.
Chris M, a “Texas Flyer” from Burleson, Texas,
records a glob of skaters oozing their way onto
Edgewood Ave, in the Atlanta Five Points area.
TNT’s Arimboh A, who is originally from Camroon,
but now resides in Maryland, gets APRR’s Ms. Pretty
Award for bridal contestants who are to become
married to 38 miles of A2D on Sunday morning.
Lisa B, Barrie H, Blake L, and Elizabeth B alongside
Edgewood Ave, in the Atlanta Five Points area.
Bromley B from Roswell, GA, and Shike O. from Atlanta.
I was talking with TNT’s princess, Vicki M, from
Detroit, Michigan when APRR’s Jenni X blasted
by me. I looked to see what the bullet was once
I noticed the blue streak of Jenni’s tank-top, now
way up the street. It had to be her. I quickly
wrapped-up my conversation with Vicki – bolted
away from her – and bolted up the Edgewood Ave
hill toward Jenni.
Paula B-P skating up Edgewood Ave.
Dirk R, from Fulda, Germany pulling Sarah up
the Edgewood Ave hill, with Jenny R in the
background. I've twice been to Fulda over
the past five years, and let me tell you
- - IT’S BEAUTIFUL there!!!
Posted by marcstpierre @ 02:14 AM EDT [Link]
Saturday, October 4, 2003
Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Wednesday Night – October 1, 2003
Tonight was our first night of Roller Soccer. Paul K, Cindy S, Carl C, Greg T, and I met early at the Carter Center for an 8:15 PM departure to the Student Recreational Plaza, at Georgia Tech for some packed action, high-thrill, multi-talent skating excitement. But most of the group (with two new-comers aboard - both named John) skated from the Carter Center to GT merely to witness the action, thrill, and excitement. I had taken a number of photos, but so sorry to say that they were somehow destroyed while still on the digital camera’s CompactFlash memory card. I went to retrieve the images, but the card was completely blank. What I’m crying about is not so much the soccer photos, but the fact that over half of my A2A Awards Ceremony images had been on that memory card, and were yet to be extracted.
Posted by marcstpierre @ 10:58 PM EDT [Link]
Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night, September 29, 2001
Unexpectedly, there was quite a large gathering of us at the Carter Center. With A2A immediately behind us and now placed safely at our backdoor step, I would’ve thought the number of gathered skaters would’ve been more sparse - being that everyone claimed the day before to be so "pooped-out." But hey, lets face it, the weather was perfect for skating - - no clouds, no wind, slight chill, a sharp crescent moon, and a huge bright red planet Mars, hanging high in a black, starry sky.
Initially, it was proposed by Beth D and Jenni X (who was still with us, here in Atlanta) to pull together one, single “Go So Slo” group of A2A tired skaters. But surprising to all, it was Jennifer H who took the stage for the first time. “I’m gona’ lead a slow group. I don’t know where I’m goin’, But I’m goina’ lead it.” We could instantly tell she’s no longer a sweet, tag-along virgin. With her new found pride, she stood taller than all of us combined.
And Then, Jennifer’s slower than “Go So Slo” group of A2A tired skaters was rarin’ to take off. That left the rest of us to stand in place and debate amongst our selves where our tired A2A souls would go tonight. We could instantly tell that it was we who remained virgins - - to tiredness and groggy thoughts. With much convincing from everyone, it was decided that we’d all skate to Piedmont Park as a single APRR. Once at Piedmont Park, Jennifer could go her way, and the rest could then resume the debate of indecision.
This, my friends, is exactly what happened. We slugged our way to the Park, entered the Park, and once in the Park, the Park became a quagmire of scatter brained and scattering skaters. For each branched pathway that Piedmont Park has to offer, that is exactly how fragmented APRR became. There were multiple groups of skaters traveling in every direction. Some of the groups kept passing each other, and several of the groups simply disappeared. But all skaters thought their own group was the only group that wanted to skate, and each group thought that all the other groups simply wanted to go home. “It’s a shame everyone wants to go home tonight,” Brenda C clarified to our own small group.
A2A gossip just after gearing-up.
(Left to Right: Peter U, Cindy S, Brenda C, Paul H,
and ??? Please help me w/ his name)
Continued skater gossip with Beth D.
While skating along N. Highland Ave, and near its
intersection with Ponce De Leon Ave, Uwe’s rear
view mirror broke. It was our tell tail sign of seven
nights of bad skating luck. Tonight must’ve been
the first of those nights.
Kathy and mother Kathryn Z skating along N. Highland Ave.
Kathryn was instrumental in ensuring the success of this
There is no mechanical experimentation here.
There is no testing of motor skills.
There is no Carl around to appease.
Nor are there any drugs on this street.
Paula is flying for a reason totally unrelated to all this.
Although she’s on a high, her high is a combination of
lots of different stuff, like A2A. Skating down the Park
Drive hill was merely a part of this equation.
If I were a year or two older, I’d want to marry Susan.
(I know of only one other person comparable to her
- a much older, German lady at 87, who regularly hikes
up mountains in virtually any weather condition.)
However, I'd say Susan's indeed pretty unique.
(And beautiful too!) And I can only imagine she has lots
and lots of stories to tell.
You see, if we were married, I could listen everyday to
her stories over coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon,
and after a stiff drink each evening. And then, I’d want to
keep listening to her stories all night long.
A mass of skaters entered into Piedmont Park.
The mass of skaters then scattered throughout
Piedmont Park. Our segment of the mass circled
within Piedmont Park, and then exited its gates.
“Na, lets go back into Piedmont Park.” Our legs
became so tired of zig zagging around, that we
decided to stretch instead. (In front: Brenda C
and Jeffrey B; In back: Debra R and Susan D)
Jeffrey trying his darndest to catch-up to me
on the Charles Allen Drive hill. "You're definitely
faster," he later admitted.
Debra, Brenda, and my idiot camera
– back at the Carter Center.
Posted by marcstpierre @ 10:23 PM EDT [Link]
Friday, October 3, 2003
Our New K2K
On Kimberley W - Our Greenville SC Neighbor
Posted by marcstpierre @ 11:59 AM EDT [Link]
Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Our A2A Skating Adventure
On Friday Night, September 26, 2003
(A2A's Friday Night Skate - Part 2)
Be sure to check out Jeffrey B’s photographic account of the A2A
- Friday Night Skate: Click Here for Jeffrey's A2A Friday Night Photos
I looked at my car’s clock, which no matter how many times I reset it, it’s always two minutes slow. The time said 6:44 and I was still to the north of Marietta on I-75. Last year, I was so late to the A2A Friday Night Skate that one other skater and I spent the entire evening searching the Atlanta streets for police sirens. Only once did we hear a siren, but it turned out to be an ambulance heading to Grady Hospital. It now seemed apparent that this year would be a repeat of last year. I moved over into the Interstate’s passing lane and simultaneously searched into the passing bushes for hidden Georgia State Patrol cars. You can easily tell where they’re at after speeding by them. I was now speeding.
I was fortunate to easily find a curbside parking space, just up the Piedmont hill from Skate Escape. I quickly threw-on my gear, and sprinted against the on coming traffic down the one way street. One block later, and now in front of Skate Escape, my biggest fear materialized. There was Henry Z, and a skeleton crew of a few others. I knew for sure that I was in no way overly early. “How long ago did they leave?” I hastily asked Henry.
“They’re ten minutes up the road,” he said with what I couldn’t tell as being a half-cocked smile or his natural expression.
I asked back, with less of a smile, “Ten minutes??? Why did they leave so early?”
“No, they’re TWO minutes up the road,” he said more clearly - - with a now definite huge smile.
Kristie skating her way up Peachtree Street.
She’s basically innocent. But the plaintiff of A2D
now accuses her as an accomplice of carrying
TNT across the 38-mile finish line in Dacula.
Michael is almost as ferocious as his Primal
Skating Jersey. The only difference is that he
doesn’t bite like the iguana. At least I've heard
that’s the case. Help us out here Mamie.
Although there were many opportunities for rest
& relaxation throughout the Friday Night Skate,
Lori S - from the Washington DC area, enjoyed
each opportunity. After all, it was in her strategy
to rest as much as possible prior to the arduous
38-mile, A2D event.
TNT’s Deb and Bruce skate their way up Peachtree
Street, and into the downtown Atlanta area.
Bruce is the Run/Walk Coach for the Atlanta TNT
Chapter, but interestingly, he is a Veteran of over
11 Team In Training events!
Jay is totally stoked about A2A, D2A, and A2D.
He and his wife, Debbie, were our official A2A
photographers. All the pics that you see in this
Weblog are of course unofficial. The Sheriff’s
deputy was excited for us too, as he gestures to
photograph Jay and I.
Debbie Y and Linda S.C.
If there is no other reason for hosting a world class inline
skating event – this is it! A skater’s social galore alongside
Peachtree Street, across from the 191 Portman Tower.
Skaters blasting their way up Marietta Street, past Olympic
Park, and through the Georgia International Plaza area. They
completely swarmed the entire Atlanta downtown.
Donn B, from Texas. "THE DONNFATHER"
All of APRR misses Grace S.
We need her around us more often!
Lenny W, from Boca Raton, Florida takes a moment to
capture APRR’s Weblog editor and the two naked women
leaning against him. Now the cat’s out of the bag!
Click Here for Lenny's A2A Photos
Barrie H (who has recently transitioned from New York
to Oakland, California), Mark D, and Dan D are at the
Georgia Dome. Jeffrey B stands tall in the background.
Some happy and sleepy skaters at the GA Dome.
Donald, Amy, Jerry, and Stephany.
Jeff S and Carl C are with Pete H and Darlene F from
Grand Rapids, Michigan. - - at the Georgia Dome.
Although it was only the end of September and not
October, I just had to include this wonderful image of
Donald. His official response was, “My nose fell
while I was skating in Portland, Oregon… I need to
write something about it for you to put in the Weblog.”
Lori C and Patricia F
Jethro J is leading Kelly's Army “that-a-way.”
“Over There, Over There, We Go Skating, Over There…”
Well, or so goes his cadence.
“YOU’RE OUT-A’ LINE SKATER !
WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR MALFUNCTION ?
YOU’RE NOT WATCHING WHERE YOU’RE GOIN’ !
WHAT IN THE GOOD LORD’S NAME IS YOUR PROBLEM ?
YOU’VE GOT-A’ PROBLEM SKATER !!!
WE DON’T WANT PROBLEMS AROUND HERE !
IS THAT CLEAR ?
I SAID - I S T H A T C L E A R ???
WATCH OUT ! WHATCH OUT !
NOW YOU ALMOST HIT THAT POLICE OFFICER !
HE’S DIRECTING TRAFFIC FOR Y O U R SORRY BUTT !
BUT YOU ALMOST SENT HIM UP TO THE GOOD LORD !!!
WHAT BOOT CAMP TAUGHT YA’ TA’ SKATE LOOKIN’ BACKWARDS ?
WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM SKATER ?
DROP AND KNOCK-OUT 87 !
AND DON’T STOP TILL I TELL YA !”
- Kelly's in the Army now!
Posted by marcstpierre @ 01:33 AM EDT [Link]
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