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Robert the Bruised
Aqua Skate Report for 16th Jan. When it rains, go underground! (or undercover carparks) Bearings! Who needs bearings? Afraid of a little rain? Shame on you!
I dragged a blading friend of mine to the skate last night, who lives in London and is a regular in the London and Paris City Skates. I was looking forward to showing him the hard-arse spirit of Sydney siders. Oh, well. Maybe next time.
We found 3 unsure, but stalwart folk waiting at the meeting place without blades. After some discussion, they returned to their car and retrieved their skates. We waited until about 9:15 for any last hopes, but left.

Pretty tame skating at fist, getting used to the fact that the amount of slippage of each blade stroke is almost equal to the amount of energy required to move forward. After one last check at meeting place number 2, we headed on a leisurely wheel through Hyde Park, then down through Pitt St Mall. Some patches of the road (especially the undercover bits and the bits which had lots of pedestrian traffic) were actually quite dry and some good skating, including some stair tricks was had around Martin Place.

We then went through Wynyard Station and had a fun run down the ramps with some of us crouching right down on one skate with the back foot trailing behind on the front wheel.

Phillipa (who is a ramp skater, on city skate for the first time, also famed as being the skater from the Milo commercial), had a bit of a spin over the very slippery surface on her knee pads, almost all the way up to the ticket barriers. Fortunately, despite our rather publicised and obvious entry, we were not bothered by any friendly security folk and were able to use the lovely rink-like surfaces of the Wynyard concourse for a bit longer before heading off. Some in our group were still learning their wet wheel skills so some time was taken negotiating the slippery hills down to King St Wharf. The wooden boardwalk to Darling Harbour was a bit of a trial and required quite a run-up to cross without slipping.

Over the bridge to Pyrmont, and we found a wet weather powerslide playground on the smooth tiles leading off the bridge and down the hill. The powerslides required almost no run-up, yet continued almost all the way down. Advantages: Great to practice this move in conditions where your wheels don’t grip, makes it much easier and much less wearing on the wheels. Disadvantages: Requires the use of a full body stop, if stopping in a short space is required.

At this point, some of our group became less sure of their wet-weather-wheels and hailed a cab. Our remaining hardcore-four, decided that the car parks behind Darling Harbour would be better than wobbling in the now torrential downpour and scrambled off to a warm, dry, neon lit and monoxide fragranced rink.
There was some fantastic skating to be had here and many circuits were completed in various combinations with the elevators used to return us to the top, when we were unsure whether we were drenched from sweat or rain. Some people in shoes came and asked us if we were from the city skate. They had thought to come, but didn’t think it would be on.
We also had a diversion to the Casino car park, before returning to our original spot as the ramps were better.
Thanks again to the lovely security folk who didn’t seem to mind turning a blind eye to our escapades, as well as the cheer from the guys at the ticket office, despite that fact that we were using the monorail station stairs for our playground, right underneath the camera.
Thanks also to Philipa, who is The Stairmaster, completing many flawless stunts including cartwheels backwards on the stairs. Thanks also to her for her patience (and loan of protective gear) in her tuition, which eventually had the rest of us confidently clattering the stairs both forwards and backwards (Woo-Hoo!), something which until then we had been too nervous to try. Only 3 of us ended back at the Pontoon Bar for a brown sparkling table wine at around 11:
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