Tips for Skating in the World

Brake lock-up

Ever get a rock stuck between your rear wheel and the brake pad? Ooo, I hate when that happens! And it’s usually when I’m braking on a steep downhill or speedily approaching a traffic-filled intersection. If you have ever been there, you know how desperate this situation can feel. Here are some techniques that may save your skin.

  1. With weight shifted to the non-braking skate, forcefully slap the brake skate’s wheels backward on the pavement to force a reverse spin and dislodge whatever has immobilized that skate.
  2. Roll-step if possible to a safe place where you can sit down and dislodge the little devil.
  3. Bail to the shoulder which will reduce your speed and cushion your fall.

Tar patches

Watch out for zebra-striped trails

While I am all for trail maintenance, some repairs that might not be a problem for other trail users become downright dangerous to the wheels of inline skaters. Beware of these three types of zebra striping on a bike path:

  • shiny hard patches become as slippery as ice on a very hot day
  • thick black patches become soft and grabby on a very hot day
  • aged patches where a gaping crack has reappeared, aligned perfectly to engulf a set of wheels

Rocks and debris

One of the best things about using inlines outdoors is that the wheels just roll right over small sticks, gravel and leaves. Still, it’s a good idea to scan the trail surface as you skate, especially when braking. Anything on the trail that is visible or casts a shadow 20 feet ahead should probably be avoided. Remember to be extra vigilant in shade or when the sun is directly behind because there wont’ be any telltale shadows.

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