Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mission Report: 01 May 2015

Friday afternoon, I uttered these words,"Honey, I'm going skating.." words I haven't spoken in well over twenty years, as I headed off to the smaller of Newark's two skate parks...

Let me rewind a bit.

A week earlier in a fit of frustration and rage, and pretty much ready to sell all my bikes, I ordered a new skateboard. I applied the logic that I didn't need to pedal, just roll and pump, so it shouldn't aggravate my knee. In shopping I was excited to find there was a market for larger old school shaped board.. I found one from Black Label Skateboards that had exactly what I was looking for...
BL Lucero skateboard.. OJ wheels, Indy trucks... 

Somewhere after ordering the board, I decided that this was a bad idea, and frankly could only make my current knee situation worse. I checked in at AHTMB, and saw that ole Stevil at pretty much destroyed himself skating. I had made up my mind that no way was I going to skate. It was a bad purchase and I'd get Fort James to help me Ebay it as soon as it came in.

But then it arrived, and it took all of 2 seconds for me to speak these words, "honey, I'm going skating!"

As we parked at the small skate park along the Newark Bike Path, Diane, who came along, "in case things go horribly wrong" looked at me stone cold serious and said" it's my birthday we aren't spending this evening in the emergency room. Have fun, don't get hurt!"

When I got to the park there were 2 dudes on bikes, and another dude skating. I walked up and said, hey guys can I work in?" The guys were all very cool. "Sure thing." the skater said. I cautioned them, "I haven't ridden a skateboard in 20 years, this could go really badly." They all laughed. I rolled down the bank, and carved around the park. I went to the quarter pipe and pumped for the top. I did a kick turn and cruised across the park and  back up the bank with a huge smile on my face. I was SCARED TO DEATH, but euphoric at the same time. I couldn't believe how fast concrete was, how smooth the park was- how FUN it was. I was totally stoked. One of the BMX dudes looked at me and said," for twenty years man, that looked pretty good!" And then I just worked in with them.

It took me 5 more passes before I could finally get my rear truck to hit the coping and grind. It may have been the world's smallest grind, but I heard it and felt it in an oddly familiar way. As I rolled across the flat of the park  I could feel the smile explode across my face. I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
the smile after the first grind.  should have had a helmet on-
 this was not the most thought out plan...
Diane snapped some pictures and laughed at me. What's up with those crazy arms failing? Admittedly, there were a few times that I was kind out of control. 20 years ago, I prided myself on being smooth, today I prided myself in not having to be taken out on a back board!

After hitting a few more grinds, I jogged up the quarter and set up to drop in. "Easy there cowbody!" Monkey said to me. "you're going good, let's not push our luck too much!" I agreed. I left the park that night exhausted, sweaty and totally stoked. I can't really do any tricks, I can't push (similar to the pedal motion for goofy-footed me)  but I can carve. That is amazing.

The next two mornings I was up early and headed down to the larger park in Newark (Barksdale). Funny thing at 7am I had the park to myself both days. Diane jokingly called it the coffee grind.
Love it.
most aero dynamic helmet at the park.  Sachs hat too. 
Coffee Grind! Get it!
I would just take long runs carving around the park. 10 minutes at shot. Grind on a the two quarter pipes, get speed on the bumps... It was fantastic. I was terrified. I was stoked, and even now as I type this exhausted from skating, I am smiling ear to ear. I am also already scheming about skating sometime next week.
Diane took a spin around the park this morning herself! 
I am hopeful that my knee continues to improve and I dream about riding my bike and climbing and racing and all the adventures I love having on my bike - but you know I had a ton of fun skating this weekend. And so long as I can't ride you know where you can find me: at the coffee grind!

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