Saturday, March 28, 2009
I used to be a pusher. I was young. I didn't know any better. Most days, my skateboard got me the ½ mile or mile from my house up to the post office (best parking curbs and sidewalks), the park, or what has to be called a ma and pa and ma soda store. was transportation at times, but mostly said transportation was aimed at getting us to launch ramps or parking lots, or (relatively) good skate spots.
My pushing ways changed a few months ago when I saw long distance pumping (LDP) and stepped on my first LDP longboard. There is something surfy and surreal about propelling yourself on a skateboard without putting your foot on the ground. A few weeks ago, in the dark of the pre-dawn morning I left my house and pumped the 3.5 miles to meet Charlie at Cedar Point Road. In that time, my feet never touched the road, and only touched the road upon arrival to meet up and get going.
For me, another key moment in the progression of my own LDP style was the first time I pumped up a small hill (rise really, we don't have much in the way of hills on Maryland's Eastern Shore!). Now, if we are skating 10-20 miles or so, I try to make a point to see if I can pump up whatever hills there are. It's a challenge--one I shy away from during longer skates (i.e. Ultra Skate) in favor of pushing and the path of least resistance.
I can't say that prior to Derek sending our Rise Up Runners group a link to Barefoot Ted breaking the 24-hour distance skating record that I had ever thought of long distance skateboarding. But the combination of long distance and the glide and flow of LDP and I am hooked.
I am on a hunt for what Landy has termed "adventure longboarding" treks. Scenic rail trails end-to-end. Covering roads and places I haven't seen before or haven't seen from a longboard before! So I am searching for the sweet trails, the cool runs, the places where you can get a 20-100 mile day, with stops for food, rest, and to take in the scenery. Life seen from a longboard is quite a view...