Archive for June, 2010

Specialty Gear: the Skater’s Coach

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Skater's Coach logoA product called the Skaters Coach (TM) is available to make inline skating accessible to aging skaters who are still competent with the basic stride and able to effectively use the heel brake but can no longer afford to fall down. Curious? Watch a (helmetless) skater using the Skaters Coach in this video.

Inventor Tom Demme is in the over-60s age group. As he explains it, “I had a need for fitness after my total knee replacements. Now I still use my Skaters Coach when skating every week, simply because I cannot afford to be injured and miss work.  It makes me feel safe and secure from falling. I use it down by the lakefront in Chicago and it’s fun.” He says that most of his buyers are skaters over the age of 60 who want to continue the sport.

Ghana Speedskaters Need You

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Using the Inline Planet Skaters social network, I have been corresponding with Paul Korankye in Ghana, Africa for the past year. Although he’s only 20 years old, he is as passionate about his speed skating group as he is about his Christianity. Last year I sent them a carton of Get Rolling books, plus a few stickers and other spare skating-related items.

I have been deleting spam from Nigeria for years, and I encountered many opportunists in my trip to Tanzania in February, so I react with suspicion to requests from Africa. But it is clear from our exchanges on the Inline Planet community and the photographs under his profile that Paul and his team are definitely enthusiastic about this sport!

New Orbit Blog Ends Get Rolling Drought

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Downtown Nantucket Town, the day before our Zephyr Skating Adventure was to begin

I apologize for the lack of fresh Orbit newsletter stories I normally use to keep the Get Rolling home page fresh and interesting. Since my last Orbit announcement, my active lifestyle and passion for travel and being outdoors were in direct conflict with the hours of PC face time needed to generate, illustrate, index and announce a quarterly batch of stories.

4XS Brake Technology Update

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Last year I conducted a small survey asking people “How much extra would you pay for a new pair of skates if they had the 4XS installed? ” referring to a new cuff-activated braking technology I tested and loved.  I am still getting a trickle of responses, with the overwhelming majority willing to pay at least $20 more — and a few who said they’d pay $100!

Latest 4XS disk brake prototype

Support Your / Our Trails!

Monday, June 21st, 2010

In northern California where I live, the East Bay Regional Park District maintains miles and miles of multi-use trails that residents use for recreation, commuting and exercise. When I relocated from Alameda County to Contra Costa county, I was sad to leave the Alameda Creek Trail behind but ecstatic to find the Iron Horse Trail, a converted rail trail that Dan and I use on a weekly basis. We are so devoted to persuading others to come out and play on skates that we maintain a website called with these trails plus over 300 other routes in our home state.

Skating in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard

Monday, June 21st, 2010

I felt extremely lucky to be a co-guide for Zephyr Adventures’ Nantucket & Martha’s Vineyard Skate Tour from June 6-10, 2010. Despite thunder and lightening and epic downpours, we managed to skate nearly all of the planned routes on both islands. What a fantastic place to skate!

The ever-changing weather painted some unforgettably beautiful skies that week. The springtime blossoms were perfect in their freshness and and the bleached sand beaches were simply dreamy. Although my duties kept me very busy for over a week, I made time to capture some of these images to share with those who have not had a chance to discover the wonders of skating on these two historic New England hideaways.

Rollerblade Spark Pro Review

Sunday, June 20th, 2010


I really like my new skates, the women’s model of the Rollerblade Spark Pro.

A box arrived mid winter when the days were short, the pavement wet and the season’s snow skiing  was at is best. By May, I’d barely gotten the chance to try them out with a decent pair of replacement insoles. (Customizing the foot bed is a standard with me; I get the feeling skate manufacturers expect users to toss away their wimpy stock insoles.)

Notes from Mammoth Lakes California on Memorial Day Weekend – Part Two

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

On Sunday morning we carved turns on the east-facing corduroy groomed slopes until the surface became perfectly buttery. By 9:30 it was beginning to ripen all over the mountain, and the next two hours were “magic time” where every turn made us feel like the best skiers in the world!  We continued to follow the sun as it gradually softened the hard snow on the western slopes of Mammoth Mountain. By early afternoon, it finally became too soft to be enjoyable and we decided to quit so we could save our legs for more fun on Monday.