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Phil A
Virgin Skate Wed 15 Jan 2003 Well it was a great late start to the 2003 skating season (Sorry I'm not counting you guys who had a skate on the 1st of Jan) and we had a really good turnout of around 50 skaters. I was great to see the return of Skaterman, Blue Helmet and Kim. I hope you guys don't make yourselves too scarce in the year.

David bought everyone up to the "second meeting place (not)" and it was decided that as the new viewing platform over the Cahill Expressway had just been completed we would try to find the entrance pathway and skate up to there. After a short stop to take in the view David said that as everyone was fairly competent we should skate up the hill to the start of the run at the Bridge. Once we got to the top David started down the steps to the Rocks much to my surprise. I had been watching the builders building this platform and ramp and couldn't wait for it to finish so I could take a run down here. For those of you who hadn't skated this ramp before it was quite a rough and skinny run where there was no room for error and the dust flying in your eyes really made it a bit different.

It was here I took my first of many deviations as I couldn't bring myself to miss out on this run I had watched being built for so long. A long time skating buddy of mine who I hadn't seen for years and Ben came along for the ride. I was quite rough on the unrenovated part of the path but when we got on the nice new path it was so smooth right to the end. We had to push a little to get up to the exit path and then we were back on Macquarie St and wondering where we would catch up with the rest of the Group. Our quickest way was straight down Macquarie St to the Opere house and across Circular quay. At the Quay we phoned to find out where everyone was and we were told they were at the ski hill so up the steps through The Rocks we went. We went up about 4 very big sets of steps that bought us out in Cumberland St right near the tunnel under the Bridge to Observatory Hill. We had a very quick run down here dodging buses and Taxies and ended up skating along Sussex St until we finally caught up with everyone at King St Wharf.

Our catch up didn't last for too long because David took the group along the waterfront past the steps outside the Cargo Bar and the attraction of these steps (and not skating along the wooden wharf) was too strong to pass up. Ben, Shannon & myself ended up riding the steps for a very appreciative audience before we took off along the ramp to Pyrmont Bridge.

After watching the Latino Festival from the Bridge David decided we would throw all caution to the wind and skate around Darling Harbour through the crowd. That was a great experience. The crowd was huge and we skated past many Security Guards (who normally would have chased us out of there) without any incident. From here we skated around to the Darling Harbour Car Park, where we have spent many a night in some fast runs, to try and link up the 3 different runs (circle left all the way, figure eight [I know I forgot the second turn, I got carried away] and right all the way down). Bill had a big stack trying to ride down here backwards while talking to someone and ate it big time. I hear he has a bruise to beat all bruises. After the second run something happened to some glass and we were chased out. I guess that stop us skating in there for a while.

With a quick regroup on the Tram tracks David decided we needed to skate back through there to get to the Powerhouse Museum & Harris St. So back into the lions den we went. With no stopping we travelled straight along Harris St to the top of the Casino Hill. It was along here that I was sidetracked once again. Ben, seeing that we were going straight to the Casino hill, suggested we take the downhill parrallel to Harris St and go up the old wooden stairs. By the time we reached John St the main group had moved on so not to be left too far behind we took off for the hill only to
 
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