I’ve been probably spending more time inline skating recently then cycling, in fact I haven’t been on my road bike since September 11th, though I have a few mountain bike trips and touring bike trips with the wife since then.
No, right now I seem to have skate fever, I’ve been skating for about a month and in that time I’ve accumulated 70 miles in 13 trips. Here are some things I’ve learned.
Neoprene socks prevent blisters. I wrote a review of neoprene socks I bought last winter for mountian biking. They worked, sort of, but they are ideal for skating, especially for a new skater or when your boots don’t have a good fit. Since I’ve switched to Gator socks for skating I haven’t had a single new blister.
Technique trumps everything while skating, in cycling proper technique is important, but if you’ve got your fit somewhat right the bike takes care of 90% of your pedal stroke. I skated today with a 66 year old guy who has just started again after a 16 year break. I couldn’t keep up with him when he was on the gas. I would push twice for everyone of his pushes.
Protection is good: I’ve tumbled about 5 times now on my skates, twice today. I’m always wearing knee pads and wrist guards, and they are all pretty scratched up, my skin is only minorly scratched up.
There are people who can skate faster then I can ride a bike: The record for a marathon skate is under an hour.
There are people who hunt down bike trail riders just so they can pass them on their skates. CHeck this video of a guy passing cyclists skating over 20 mph. Don’t ask me how he’s getting the HUD but its cool.
Skating is dirt cheap comparted to Cycling: I could get a new pair of skates every year for about the same I could spend on new tires. I could get the best skates money can buy for about the price of my wheelset and I got a super good deal on my Ksyriums.
Now some of the negatives I’ve learned about skating.
It’s not exactly the in style thing to do, if only I could go back to 1995. Oh well…
Wheels have to be rotated every few skates, takes about 5 minutes. Not to big of a deal, but I’m going to have to start replacing wheels soon.
Stoping: This is probably the only real negative. I got some tips today on controling speed with slaloming, but that seems to be giving me a few issues. The heel stop works, but its nothing like a real brake. I’m about a half of a mile from the rail trail but I won’t skate the because its down a hill. Got to work on that.