Ok, so it’s a weird collision of things that happened.
I was thinking of how My Sport was back in the 90’s. Inline Skating was one of those things that grew rapidly and massively, and I mused often about how fun it would be to open up a Pro Shop for Skating.
Then, the market changed, people left the sport, that dream vanished like the team that I was friendly with over the years.
I still skate, and people are coming back but not like before. The meets are gone, the teams are terminated, but still I roll on.
I was out skating at the Pompano Airpark the other day. I looked at the car, and leaned against the spare while trying to get all the crap set up to be able to “Skate At My Level” in this day and age. A pint of ice water per 4 or 5 miles of South Florida Heat. Two spools of surgical tape. Scissors. Allen Key. Phone, headphones, padding to be able to listen to music.
Spare axles and bolts wrapped in plastic sit under the water in the “fanny pack” to carry all this nonsense.
I need to find another one that large. While Fanny Packs are ludicrously out of style for most people, if you’re on a trail working out, they can be a requirement. You don’t have enough hands to carry three sport bottles of water, and a Camelback Bladder gets “spoiled” after a couple uses.
When I was competitive back in Philadelphia through to the mid 2000s, I would skate 33 miles, three times a week during season. 100 Miles. 162 Kms. April to November.
What is going on? I’m only two miles out. This is nothing of a distance.
Vibration transmitted from the back wheel of my right skate boot.
“Something is going on with the push wheel, got to check at Three Mile Bench”.
I was presented with a wheel that had literally shattered and the hub had disintegrated into trail dust.
“Ho Lee CRAP! and no SPARE!”.
Yes, I deleted the spare. Just like the people who like to mod their Jeeps to go with those tires that resemble donuts. I was stuck on the trail and no spare to roll on.
8 wheels is now down to 7. I removed that push wheel and moved a similar one on that boot to that spot. I was using up my leftover wheels from the competitive era. Down to the last of the 20 year old wheels, I was now using something I removed from a pair of cheap skates, literally. They were set on top of a trash bin on bulk trash here. While those boots were shredded, I was able to rescue the bearings and the wheels and use them both.
But that was years back. I ran through all my “trash skates” and back catalog of old wheels. They were from so long ago that the rigid plastic hubs turned into magic trail pixie dust that would trip some other poor soul if the hit it.
“Sorry! On Yer Left!”
Got back on the trail and went a half mile. Vibration started up again. My Right Leg was vibrating enough to be an annoyance and looking down I saw I was back into that same problem again.
Sat down at Kevin’s bench. Wheel 2 is now shattered. I had to scavenge a wheel from the left boot and do a trail repair to be able to roll back to the jeep to get the spare skates. Now down to Three Wheels On Each Boot.
Yes, I thought that having a spare pair of skates two and a half miles away was a good idea. Usually when an inline skate wheel dies, it’s due to the Urethane pulling away from the hub. Not ancient plastic shattering away from the bearings.
Got back on the trails again and you guessed it. I replaced that shattered push wheel again with a wheel from the left boot, and moved things around. The Two Front Wheels were from an older set of wheels that strangely were holding up.
My last mile was in Limp Along Mode. I had two wheels out of four on the right leg, three on the left. Speed was shot, I was hot and tired from sitting in the sun repairing skate trucks and moving wheels around.
I rolled back to the Jeep and thought about that deleted spare. That’s why when you rework your skates, and remove one from the Truck, Rails or Frames to you noobs, you save two of them.
In my own experience, you rest on your heels, push from them and sweep the leg so that the foot leaves the ground from the toe.
The Push Wheel ends up being the back wheel on an inline skate and wears out fastest.
I won’t delete my Spare again. More crap to carry but it’s worth it.
Now that I am home, I have work to do. Each boot needs two wheels each.