June 19, 2008
I usually do a few challenging type events each year, usually in the range of 50 mi, many of them are local. I've skated Athens to Atlanta multiple years. I've also attended some of the social skate weekends in various cities, such as the one in Philadelphia, PA, Washington DC, etc.
I skate on both greenways and roads. I've found each have their benefits. Greenways can be good but also hazardous because they are more narrow, have more debris as well as slower joggers or walkers. They are often not conducive to longer or faster skating. Road skating does not have these downsides, but there is the risk of cars, bad intersections, and bad pavement.
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I have both recreational skates and speed skates. I use the rec skates for fun and shorter distances or varied terrain, and the speed skates for longer events or road skating.
I was never much of a rink skater growing up but have done most of my skating since college. I bought my first pair of "rollerblades" (Roces was the brand actually) probably 20 years ago. I taught myself a bit of the skills of rollerblading by rolling around on a tennis court by myself. At first I could only wear them for 30 minutes before I had to take them they were so painful. After a while I got used to them but never was able to do too much skating in them without pain. When I finally bought a new pair of actual Rollerblades (I think they were Boxcars, based on the Rollerblade Lightning) they were so comfortable I could not believe it.
I've been inline skating for over 20 years and enjoy the fun, fitness, and social aspects.