I have this thing for self-powered transport. From around March till December - when the roads are clear - I use my bicycles as primary transportation. When we drove to Montreal this past summer, I managed to convince my wife to allow me to stuff the commuter bike into the back of the minivan. In case you missed my rambling thoughts from that time, here are the related postings: The Grizzled Vet, Return to the Green Mountain, A Centurion, I Am, and Last Ride to Booneyville.
Alas, I didn't have a hope in purgatory of getting the bike onto the approved cargo list for this trip. But rollerblades (oops, in-line skates) were another story altogether. I had visions of a daily cruise among the lovely palm trees around my in-laws' place.
So I set off early in the morning. A couple of obstacles stood in my way:
- I'm really not a very good in-line skater
- The pavement in Florida is about as coarse as a cheese grater.
I recall the feeling of electricity shooting up my spine from my tailbone. I also recall swearing a number of times as I conducted the obligatory post-crash inventory check of what body parts still worked. Thankfully, the toes wiggled and I was able to roll over and observe that Florida grass is definitely different than Ontario grass.
A couple of motorists stopped to make sure I wasn't seriously injured. One elderly woman even stayed in her car until I was able to get up. Lovely soul, she was.
Then a pickup filled with members of a landscaping crew cruised by. The men in the truck's bed laughed as they passed me. Not-so lovely souls, they were.
After a couple of minutes on the ground, I got up, rolled slowly home and took my blading doodads off for good.
Post-vacation note: The rollerblades were not used again on this trip. Thoughts of driving home on a bruised tushy pretty much scared me out of any further attempts to master this ridiculously health-threatening sport. I'll venture out again this spring.
Safety note: I was wearing the full gamut of blading protective gear: helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards. Yes, I am paranoid. Unfortunately, there are no rear-end protectors beyond the mythical feather pillow. Perhaps next time...