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Phil A
Skate Report: Virgin Skate Wed 4 Sep 2002 It was the first warm spring night of the year and many skaters ventured out for a great Virgin Night. I believe we had more than 75 people tonight and the usual gender imbalance was much more even tonight. Could the warmer weather have something to do with this?

After some quick skate repairs (please make sure your skates work BEFORE you come out on a City Skate) David took the helm and led us all to the Art Gallery park for a Virgin Skaters talk and some brake testing. Those who had the braking worked out went on a run around Mrs Macquaries Road. This was a fun run and tonight seemed a bit darker than normal without any moon to light our way.

We left the Art Gallery and skated up to Hyde Park where we stopped for the first of many photo opportunities. A quick run through the northern part of the park then across the road to the southern end of Hyde Park where we went on one of David's favourite zig-zags of the smooth pathways. After stopping at the corner of Oxford St for a regroup (and to watch Johnny try for a 360 off the steps) we took off back through the park to Park St. An group of schoolchildren were excited to see us all skate past and were even more excited to receive a sydneybladers sticker (that's why I ran out tonight). After handing out stickers to kids, who seemed to just come out of the bushes, it was catchup time for me again. Only because we had a big group tonight was I able to see where everyone was and I caught up just before we skated on to Pitt St Mall.

Martin Place was the next stop where we had a quick loop around the War Memorial and then David took off for a run down the newly smoothed Angel Place back into Pitt St and back into Martin Place. It was around here that Damien & Ryan had a bit of a game of chicken (both skating straight at each other) but they both turned the same way at the last minute into a big head on. I think Ryan came out second best because his head wasn't quite there after that and he had to leave early (well earlier than usual) for some rubbing action on his neck. I hope you are feeling a bit better today Ryan. On this point I think everyone when confronted by this dilemma should revert to the road rules and move to the left. Same with pedestrians and cars - Keep Left !

After Martin Place we took off to York St and Wynyard Park (too many for a Wynyard skate tonight) then up to No 1 York St for some stair practice. From here David continued up York St to the Bridge Stairs and as everyone started up to the Bridge some of us thought it was a bit late to be starting a bridge run but David took off regardless. The bubbler had been taken away from the Kirribilli side so back across the western side bike track to the City.

With a regroup at the broken bubbler back on the City side David told us we weren't going down the ski hill tonight but along another road Sean had checked out on another night. I must say Sean in the last few skates you have pointed us to some pretty fantastic downhill runs. Thanks. Quite a few thought this hill was beyond them and continued along to The Rocks and down George St to Circular Quay for that, long awaited, refreshing drink. After this run down Pottinger St (which used to be the roughest St in Sydney) we just had to have another go. Whooppee.

Time was running out fast now and there were only a few left so straight back to Circular Quay to catch up with everyone else at the Ship Inn. It was here that we came across one of lifes little problems where when someone gets a bit of authority they get carried away and that's what happened here. After coming here at the end of a hard skate for many months now the "supervisor" of the night told us we weren't welcome here anymore because of the "insurance liability". I reckon that that is just a cop out as we are well behaved, sober and a nice bunch of people to boot. Oh well, I guess that they will lose out as the tables are usually empty when we g
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