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Daniel
Wednesday 30 January 2002.
Gym membership? We don' need no stinkin' gym membership! Despite several rather wet Wednesdays previously, and a rather dodgey looking cloud cover, a group of thirty plus converged on the Macquarie Street for departure. Arrival highlights included the "amazing psychedelic flashing skate wheels" which prompted ooohs and aaahs from all who witnessed them. Other skaters should be warned that if their wheels start doing the same thing without having been modified, this is a BAD thing!

We took off toward Hyde Park for the usual cocktail of skates, centripetal force and tree droppings before travelling straight across the city (sorry sports fans, no train station stopovers this time) toward the Anzac Bridge via every possible staircase. Staircase number one: Darling Harbour. Forwards, backwards, and in some cases a rather unfortunate (and painful) combination of both. Straight across Darling Harbour, dodging Monorail pylons and pedestrians and out to the other side of Pyrmont. A lengthy uphill battle (and no, skating upstairs DOESN'T work) put us at the top of the bridge known locally as the Madonna Bra. Quick photo opportunity before heading off.

At this point, their were discrete mumblings about 'speed humps' at the bottom of the downhill section of the bridge. Word spread quickly, and everyone was well prepared for the change in ground surface at the bottom. Sadly however, NO ONE was prepared for Sydney City Council's cunning counterskater technology. Two black rubber strips as used for traffic counting were inexplicably stretched across the footpath (presumably to count the number of morons' cars driving up said footpath) and not secured well in the middle.

Twang! Tonight's lucky winner went (literally) arse over tit into the pavement. A supreme sacrifice, her accident (hopefully photographed in poor taste by someone) served as a warning to others, who would not have seen the rubber, but DID see a body sprawled out after it and slowed accordingly. The speed humps were of course a non-issue.

Wow! More uphill along Victoria Road through Rozelle across glass, gravel and bits of skater flesh from those who preceded us. At this point, I noticed a mysterious aura emerging from the Tattersall's Hotel across the road. My spirit was urging me to continue the struggle up the hill. Meanwhile, Ben was urging me to go and have an altogether different sort of spirit at the pub instead. Much internal spiritual turmoil ultimately resulted in me saying Hasta la Vista and crossing the road.

Wednesday night is apparently Trivia Night at the Tatts. I stepped into the bar wearing helmet and full padding. Those who hadn't seen the skates on my feet naturally assumed I was here looking for a fight when in fact I was really looking for a seat. After helping the bar staff to win the trivia night (a neutral solution has a PH of 7 in case you are interested) I was treated to Diet Coke on the House, woohoo! This was followed by being forced to dance (with skates) on stage while the barmaid sang Nikki Webster's "Strawberry Kisses". At this point it DID in fact look like I was going to be getting into a fight, so it became time to skate back toward the bridge and resume the return leg with the remainder of the group.

Over the bridge we went (mercifully dodging evil rubber strips from hell) back over to Darling Harbour and a frothy beverage or two at the Pontoon Bar who are no doubt today questioning the source of the wheel marks on their polished floorboards. Aliens perhaps?

A good skate was had by all, and the seven or eight kilos everyone lost were rapidly countered courtesy of Carlton United Breweries.

Finally, I am still at a total loss as to how it is possible for a skate to be uphill in BOTH directions, and hope one of you can explain this next week.

Regards,
Daniel

P.S. Everyone else skated around Leichardt Oval for a while (so I am told) :-P

 
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