As many of you will probably know, I’ve been skating for a little over a year now. One of the things that I’ve been wanting to do since I became half way proficient was to do a Wednesday Night Skate or a Friday Night Skate round London. Living in East Yorkshire, my trips to the capital are fairly infrequent, but a couple of weeks ago I found I had to take a few days leave from work, so I booked a train ticket, and this Wednesday I was in Hyde Park , wearing all my padding, a new helmet, and carrying lots of water.
Chatting to some of the marshals before the skate, they were a bit apprehensive about whether or not the skate would have to be cut short as it looks like it was about to rain any minute. But to be on the safe side, they would try to take it a bit faster.
‘How fast?’ I asked
‘Oh about 12 – 15 mph’ said Rick the lead skater quite casually
‘Excellent’ I said ‘that’ll be great’ (‘Sh*t’ I thought ‘this is going to be hell – I’m either going to drop from exhaustion, or end up under the wheels of a taxi‘).
I hid my fear by pretending to warm up a bit and skated up and down Serpentine Road a couple of times until about 7.45. By this time quite a crowd had built up at the bandstand which is the start. I chatted to lots of people, who all told me their names – which I forgot immediately – I really am crap with names. Most people told me they’d done the WNS loads of times before, one or two admitted that like me they were still WNS Virgins.
The LondonSkate Team swung into action, florescent jackets, and radios were handed out to marshals, as well as radios, and the announcements started.
Don’t skate on the pavement
When you’re told to stop – stop
You do the skate at your own risk
By the time the announcements had ended I felt I was losing the ability to skate, and was thinking seriously about just staying in the park to take part in one of the courses run by Skate Fresh. Then I realised that it was the WNS that I was here to do, and if it was going to be fast, to get round before the rain, then that was what I was going to do!