I almost missed this challenge because I didn't bother to read the challenge very well. I read, "For the first time in our Social Distancing Race you will have partners to help you race." Skating alone almost exclusively, and not having a big crew of distance skaters to pull from I didn't think I'd have a team. If I would have read a little further I would have learned that it was a relay with "unknown teammates."
Luckily, while having a DM conversation with someone from The IDSA, it was pointed out to me that I didn't need to pick my partners, my partners would be randomly picked for me. I learned that late in the month so I didn't have much time to get mentally prepared for a distance skate. If I'm honest, I have been a little nervous about distance skating since June's 100 mile challenge. I let myself get far too dehydrated during that challenge, and I have been freestyle skating in 90+ degree weather every afternoon making it difficult to stay hydrated. An hour of skating in this heat and the sweat will literally fly off my body doing a 360. When I end my session and bend over to pick up my bottle of water, the sweat flows off the bill of my hat as if water were being poured from a jug. I had to remind myself that this is ONLY 25 kilometres each and that is only about 15 miles. 15 miles isn't much after you've skated over 50 miles. Still, I was nervous as I turned on the Endomondo app and started pushing.
Switching from miles to kilometres was interesting. The automated voice comes much sooner which, honestly, gave me a little false security. I had to keep reminding myself this was a 15 mile skate which is, despite having skating over 60 in one go last month, longer than my usual distance ride.
Mile one is almost always my slowest mile. On a really long ride I use my first mile (er, kilometre) as a warm up. I go slow and get my body warmed up, easing into the skate. In all honesty, my fastest and my slowest aren't too much different. For the first 12k I listened to an audiobook, but switched over to music after and skating to music, carving, and pumping in between pushing was a lot of fun. My freestyle trucks are very tight. I have taken to purple khiro bushings and they are very stable, very hard to turn bushings...great for freestyle, but turning, flowing is still important in freestyler otherwise you end up being robotic from trick to trick. Anyway, enough freestyle. This is, after all, a distance skate post.
It was a comfortable skate. I had to slow down a bit toward the end because of an older woman with a walker getting a few laps in (I lapped her many times each time foot breaking and smiling as I passed), and I am relatively happy with my time. It was a little slower than I had hoped. I wanted to get 20k done in the first hour but was about 3k short.
I'm eagerly awaiting the results for this month's challenge and looking forward to what challenge August will bring. Since it will only be hotter in August I'm hoping for a fairly short ride (sub 20 miles) with a longer challenge when temps start cooling down.
I have been very torn about longboard vs freestyle board, but I can definitely see the positive change in switching from hybrid longboard to freestyle set up.
I have a lot more options riding the freestyle board because I can still do almost all my longboard tricks but I can also do the freestyle tricks I'd had to give up when I switched.
For instance, I've can still do bigger spins (endover to body varial to endover and on and on) but I can also do multiple endovers again on the freestyle set up. Same thing goes for no comply fingerflips. They're still possible on the freestyle board, but I have rolling fingerflips back again too. More options!
While I am happy that I followed through and used a longboard for my WRU Online Showdown run, I do have some slight regrets that I didn't use a freestyle set up. I could have had a lot more variety and difficulty in my run and I may have placed higher.
Well, I'm not going to shed any tears about it, but I do hope for the opportunity to place higher next year!
Well, the judging is complete and the live stream is over. My run got me fifth place in the Master's Amateur division at the World Round-Up Online Showdown. I'm very happy with that position, and it has me thinking (like I so often do) about what is next.
next for this aging skater is to drop down from longboard to (still large) popsicle stick and, probably, to go down to a freestyle board in a few months. I had two 8.75 pops collecting dust so I've set one up with skids, trucks, and wheels and I've started riding it again. My next blog post will be about riding this much smaller board and my reactions to it.
I must admit, this is kind of a crossroads for me, and I'm torn on longboard or traditional freestyle set up. See, I can't go back and forth very well. One session on the longboard and I have to spend half the next session adjusting to the smaller board. And I miss rolling fingerflips, endovers, and other tricks that just aren't possible on a wheelbase over 21 inches.
By the same token, I do enjoy longboard dance, and I don't want to give it up. I want to "keep on dancing." So, I'm promising myself that, at the end of one session per week, I'm going to grab my dancing board and do some cross-steps and Peter Pans etc....AND I'm going to grab my distance board once a week and push for some miles. Since I won't be doing pivot based tricks on my flat dancer it shouldn't effect my freestyle. Add in that a 7 mile running race I signed up for is set to happen in October (I need to train for that) and I'm going to be busy for the next few months!
Now that The World Round Up Online Showdown filming is wrapped up (contest on Braille Skateboarding YouTube on July 12th), I have started getting clips for my next video part. This will be the fourth NeverWas Skateboarding video. I use these parts to show where my skating is currently. They show what I'm into at that particular time and how much I have (or haven't) progressed.
This year my video will be entirely on a longboard and entirely on flatground. I'm also trying to avoid single trick clips. I want to do multiple tricks per clip to show that I can link tricks together. I don't want it to be a straight up freestyle run like a contest though as I think different camera angles and cutting out slower middle sections make a better video part.
It has been a good week of skating even though my Saturday July 4th session was less than perfect. I went out to work on backwards walk the dogs since Tony Gale just posted a new trick tip on his freestyletricktips.com website and ended up practicing those, 1-foot nose shove-its, and walk the cows for nearly 1 1/2 hours. At the end of the day, I didn't feel like I was any better at any of them and, after watching a short video clip of my 1-foot shove-its, I realized how I was doing them was pointless.
I was doing them as, take the back foot off, shove-it off the nose, land on the board. I realized I need to cross-step up to the nose with the back foot and (almost like a walk the cow) do the shove-it off the foot that has just stepped from the back to the front. If you do them from the front foot they just look like a shove it and taking off the back foot is pretty much hidden. Back to the drawing board on those.