I’ve never been so keenly aware of precipitation and the chance of snow. I watch the weather forecasts very closely. I am constantly thinking that this could very well be the last run of the season. Such is the life I live.
Today I hit it hard after a week of rain. The last place I left off was at the Eyota skate park doing slappy rail slides after work. I was starting to get some distance on their low rail. I liked that. Wiped out hard once. Tore up my knuckle a bit on the left hand. I always suck at skateboarding straight away after work. Especially in Eyota. So shitty. They have this obscenely huge quarter pipe that I hate.
So crisp this morning. Highlights included ollie to frontside boardslide, ollies down the stairs in front of the WSU library, slappies and speed, speed and more speed. I bailed so hard at one point today I was quite sure I had dislocated my spine. I walked it off feeling tough and cool. Still waiting to feel it tomorrow morning. I also crossed the tracks where Bruce “Ernie” Streng lost his life last week. So sad. A train passed by as I walked between the tracks and the WSU football field. I was tired of skating. The sun was warm.
Lessons learned on the mean streets of Winona:
I’d like to say that all skateboard tricks are 99% confidence but it’s just not true. In fact, thinking that way will get you hurt really quick. I’d say it’s fifty fifty. Physically you know what you can do. Fatigue is my worst enemy. Once I wear out I have less muscle control, things get sloppy and then I fall. I try to avoid those scenarios.
Punks that yell, “kickflip” when you skate by them deserve nothing but your middle finger.
Girls always always like skateboarders.
Careful on wet leaves.
Motorists are completely helpless when a skateboarder approaches an intersection at the same they do. It’s best to guide them.
Playgrounds are sanctuaries from the police and pesky property owners.
Last night we made dinner for my mom and dad. The main dish was from a recipe called, Chicken Bundles. C_ had made a special run to the grocery store but forgot vegetables for salad. Oh – and bread. Mom loves bread with dinner.
The grocery store is about six blocks away. Beautiful fall day. Bright, crisp and clear. All the clichesin a time frame of two hours. I decided to skateboard over to the store.
Everything felt just right about skateboarding. The poetry of it. I even ollied the “Winona Savings Bank Gap” – about a two foot gap between the bank’s ramp to walk-up service and an arbitrary curb that runs next to it. I’ll take a picture sometime. Regardless, it was one of my goals before the snow flies – which should be any day now. The rest of the run was just nice carves. I like smacking the tail of my skateboard on the curb when I fly off. It’s such a good sound.
Dinner was awesome. Mom and Dad brought a lemon meringue pie for dessert.
The other night I skateboarded over to Midtown to pick up hot dogs (Kosher, extra lean, all beef) and buns for dinner. It’s been a couple weeks since I wrecked my ankle but it felt alright so I picked up my normal cruising speed . Observed:
Motorists have no idea what to do when they see a skateboarder approaching an intersection. Do I treat it like a bicyclist? Pedestrian? Freak of nature? Regardless the decision to run me(skate punk!) over is made and acted upon. I’m sure they’d give me the finger too but then they see my gray hairs and decide not, because I pay taxes and vote. But to be honestly fair? I think it has to do with speed. Winona motorists haven’t dealt with a skateboarder moving quickly towards an intersection in years. Most of them look away when they cut me off.
I like flying off of curbs into intersections at the fastest speed possible. See above.
I avoid young skateboarders doing incredibly insane aerial tricks off of high ledges because really, who needs to be shown up at my age?
Nothing changes. Empty bank parking lots are the best places to skate. I have no idea why but it was like that 20 years ago.
Cops don’t bother skateboarders anymore.
I strike an incredibly heroic figure of resistance and abandon when I am skating fast as possible down the street looking behind me for cars right before I fly off the curb into the intersection. Standing straight with a slight bend in my knees, Daft Punk playing in my head, wind rippling my t-shirt– I am reckless and calm, in form.
About a week of skateboarding and this is what I have learned (again):
Don’t over tighten your wheels. Tighter wheels means harder pushing, harder pushing leads to a sore ankle. Wheels need a little bit of play on the truck. Enough to hear a light ‘clack’ when moved back and forth by hand.
Board slides on finished parking stops are fast. Very very fast. Be ready for it otherwise you’ll end up on your back. I challenge anyone to fall as gracefully as I did.
You will sweat profusely if you skate all out on your lunch break. Bring deodorant if you do.
Skating in the morning sucks. Night time is the right time.
Be very impressed by anyone in their 40s doing rail slides like this one: