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Robert the Bruised
CitySkate Against Want
Sunday 24 March 2002 A ten strong throng of eager skaters were we, skating merrily along a mostly pre-ordained route for charity.

We were in unfamiliar territory, recognising streets and each other, but this time with the sun shining! And what a glorious day it was! We met in Victoria Park and left well behind the other walkers, but soon caught up.
The official route ran about 15kms, through Sydney Uni, out behind Glebe, then around Pyrmont, Darling Harbour, and back. We mostly followed this, except where goat tracks prevailed, forcing us to use tarred surfaces instead. We also found some favourite runs, not far off the original path, such as the North end of Harris St, down the hill and around the corner to the bay, which was dancing with sunlight and glistening blue green, quite unlike we usually see it.
Generally, the public was quite happy with us. Many smiles and words of encouragement from marshals, posted at every turn and corner to ensure no skaters or walkers strayed. In the spirit of charity, we even helped push a broken-down car up a hill. Speaking of hills, we did find some lovely ones, though could not skate all of them due to heavier traffic in the daylight, as well as the overall group skill level. I’m sure if they have not already been skated on Wednesday evenings, they will be soon.
Although the day was gorgeous and sunny, it was also a little hotter than some of us were accustomed to, especially when a little hungover on Sunday morning. This meant that we did not only stop at a pub post skate, but at a few on the way, to fill up our water bottles and plead donations from the public. Mostly, people were friendly and happy to throw a dollar or two in for our cause.
Overall, a fairly slow paced skate was had, with some well earned shade stops and many, many water refills. Back at the park, we were treated to some quality cuisine from some local food vendors, who had set up stalls.
Under the shade of the tent, on the cool grass, we sampled various skin products, including foot cooling sprays and other unctions. Here I collected and took stock of our donations. We had registered the group under the name of CitySkate. Once we had counted all that we had picked up, as well as what we had donated ourselves, CitySkate raised $170 for Oxfam and Community Aid Abroad! A sterling effort by all, with many thanks to those who contributed.

Later, many other folk, not on skates and carrying many well meaning banners, disturbed our peaceful recovery and we left our shady, cool grassed tent to seek out a well deserved beer or two. At this point, I bowed out, as I had to be elsewhere. I hope the rest of you had a good drink and I’ll see you again in more nocturnal circumstances.

Sun thirst and sweat was the only price, for seeing the path in front, without having to strain the eyes.
A novel and worthwhile experience, it’s true.
My only regret - the lack of a camera, to capture the moment for the rest of you.

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