Redneck Revenge: Adding Insult to Injury
Anyway, I was roller skiing on Farmers Loop on Sunday, and actually have enjoyed it more this year with the new Marwes. They have a flex that feels like real skis, the speed is better, and they sit up a little higher off the pavement than my old V2s so I don't fall as much. Well until Sunday.
Years ago I wrote a bit of a diatribe against local rednecks who insist on making a racket while camping: http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=15017529#editor/target=post;postID=5057368807733072539
They're still out there and there is no escape if you want to live here.
Likewise, when it comes to well pretty much anything in Alaska, rednecks (stupid bastages that they are) rule the roost. Other than double poling furtively through UAF I pretty much refuse to roller ski on the roads in this town--a stupid redneck would like nothing more than to take out a skier with their pickup (aka "rig")--so I stick to the bike paths. Farmers Loop, although boring, has the best course, from end to end (plus a little) you can do about 18 miles on an out and back from the U's parking to the Steese on the other end of town.
That's all well and good. Relatively safe from stupid rednecks and other bad drivers with miles of rolling asphalt. Maybe a little boring but not bad. But there's a catch. Well thousands of catches really.
Gravel. The bane of the rollerskier.
See, even though the path is made for pedestrians, cyclists (anytime you read the paper and your read an article about cycling the rednecks--well those who can write a half sentence--come out in droves and holler that roads are not made for cyclists (or likely any car that gets more than 20 miles a gallon)).
Don't you know? On the 8th day God made roads for Rednecks and their Rigs!
Motorized vehicles are purportedly not allowed on the bike paths. But the rednecks ignore that and buzz back and forth on the trail and path, kicking up loads of gravel. To its credit the Borough does some path sweeping early in the summer but by September (hunting season) forget about it.
In and of itself, roller skiing is something of an unnatural act. But if you're a skier--or a dinged up runner--you do it to keep fit and to get ready for the specifics of ski training. Staying on your feet is a bit harder on pavement while riding thin little wheels. Add gravel, which becomes lodged in your wheels or, if skating, stops you dead in your tracks; it can be a challenge just to stay on your feet. Granted I do think it's an age-skill thing. The younger skiers react quicker and do not seem to fall as easily. (rule of thumb for 50+ skiers, don't skate within 10 meters of gravel, just double pole through it).
But I fell three times on Sunday. That makes five falls in the past two weeks. I now have matching skinned elbows, sore ribs, a twice bashed left hip, and a shoulder/back that looks like it's been whipped by a redneck snapped cat 'o nine tails.
Not much else to say but get healthy and back running. Watch the gravel. Curse the Damn Rednecks around here!
Wait for snow.