Monday, April 18, 2005

SF Friday Night Skate

According to one web event guide:
At 8pm every Friday night, 300 to 500 avid skaters meet at the corner of Bryant Street and the Embarcadero in the shadow of the Bay Bridge ready to skate The City and they would love you to join them. The skating takes you to Pier 39, through Marina Green, the Stockton Street Tunnel, and Union Square before heading back to Bryant and Embarcadero by 11:30pm or so. There are stops along the way if you need to catch your breath. Event is free; helmet required.

That all turned out to be correct except for the time and the number of participants. It starts at 9pm and the number of skaters this weekend was at most a few dozen. The Midnight Rollers may have numbered 500 back in '98, but the masses have moved on to new things. Before the Skate, there was windsurfing. After, there was salsa dancing and who knows what else. Those who remain are a mixture of curious newcomers like me and the long-time die-hards like David Miles.

It's a fantastic over 10 mile ride. North along the Embarcadero, around Pier 39, through Fort Mason, along the Marina to the Palace of Fine Arts, then zig-zag back through the city, ultimately returning to Market Street by way of the Broadway Tunnel and the Stockton Street Tunnel. The Broadway tunnel has a high, narrow pedestrian walkway suitable for skating. At Stockton Street the group waits for the light to turn red then races down the tunnel before the auto traffic has time to catch up.

I had a great time and met some cool people. I'll be back!


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