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Phil T
A Sunday Skate to Bobbin Head or “Are You Crazy ????”
Sunday 16 Feb 2003 When I suggested we go downhill skating to Bobbin Head the replies varied from “Yeah ! Awesome !” to “that sounds interesting” to “are you crazy ?, that sounds like suicide !!”. So, with that last reply in mind the invitations went out to gather at 9 am on Sunday morning with the added warning that the road is steep, winding, a little rough, at times narrow and I don’t know how many cars will be on it. This was not going to be a cruise around Centennial Park or even the famous City to Manly skate (highly recommended, try it if you get the chance).

When Sunday morning arrived there were 6 brave or crazy enough waiting at the gates to try this road. Ivan, Bradley, Mark, Chris Cunningham, Johnny be good Meyer and myself, the first gathering of the City Skaters downhill club, (I’ll leave it up to you to decide who was brave and who was crazy). Everyone started rotating wheels and padding up in eager anticipation of the speeds to come, though there also seemed to be a little apprehension as everyone added hip pads, elbow pads and helmets (except Bradley ???) to their usual city skate uniform. “We should have a briefing” someone said. “OK, it’s 4 k’s downhill, stay on your side of the road and watchout for the double hairpin !” . “Are you gunna use a brake”, “Yeah, I think so”.

Then, just as we were about to set off, the legendary Sean “Speed” Cunningham, the Hermann Maier of downhill skating, rocked up. “ I heard you guys were up to something, so I’ve come to drive the van”. It’s been a while since Sean has been on a city skate, he is recovering from an operation on his knee just like that other famous skier….. No ! , not Johnny “Be Good” Meyer, the other famous skier, Hermann ”The Herminator “ Maier.

So, off for the first run of the day, down, down , down . At the bottom the comments were, “ that was a long way, a little rough though”. “Yeah, flattened out in the middle a bit, you could probably tuck it the whole way”. “Let’s try the road on the other side”

So we all piled into the van for the ascent up the other road out of Bobbin Head. “Gee, this side looks a lot steeper than the other side”. “Corners look tighter too, maybe we should take it easy on the first run and check it out”.

So, of we went on the second run of the day, everyone being just a little cautious and only going into a half tuck. The speeds were much faster than the first hill and we found that the corners were all banked in the right direction. This time when we made it to the bottom everyone was grinning from ear to ear, laughing and yelling.
Ivan was like a kid with a new toy on Christmas morning “again, again c’mon guys let’s go again we’re wasting time”. Bradley: “You’re going forever and then you realise you’re only half way” .
Chris: “Yeah, and the best bits are still to come !”.

Off we went for another run, then another and another and another, everyone coming down in their own style. Chris, really fast, as long as he could stay in a tuck. not easy for a run of nearly 5 minutes.
Mark, fast, tight and compact, probably at a disadvantage being lighter than the others.
Ivan, at times the fastest, some how holding it all together despite having the shortest skates and the death wobbles all the way down.
Bradley, with his dog hanging out the car window, arms flailing behind him, ski flying kind of style.
Johnny, you thought he was crazy on city skate singing and waving at everyone, he does the same thing doing 70+ km/hr while waving a video camera around. The video camera was lucky to survive one corner when he nearly slid out
 
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