First Gateway Skate of The Season

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A few brave Gateway skaters have skated Mendel and Manning roads the past couple of Monday nights.  The evening of May 7th, however, was the first night on the Gateway trail.  Skaters had 85 degree heat, a sharp contrast to the past few weeks (and months).  Just last Wednesday night there were still snow piles among the pine trees at the oval.

 

April 18, 2017

April 18, 2016

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March 16, 2015

April 21, 2014

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April 29, 2013

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April 2, 2012

Gateway Skate:

The first official Gateway Skate of the season is set for April 18th at 5:30 departing from the Wildwoods Elementary Parking lot. We gather in the parking lot located between the Middle School and the Elementary school, near the baseball fields. The previously scheduled April 4th inaugural 2016 skate has been pushed back a week due to the cold.

45°03’30.3″N 92°56’06.3″W

As we take to the trails in the coming weeks it is important to remember the standard etiquette and safety tips:

  • Be Courteous - the first person to come upon your wrecked carcass will either be the guy you yelled at for getting in your way or the guy you politely warned of your approached and greeted/thanked as you passed. It is your choice.
  • Be Predictable – stay in your lane. Look before changing course.
  • Don’t block the trail – How many times do we see bikers stopped having a chat in the middle of the trail? Move it to the shoulder.
  • Keep to the right – The rules of the highway still apply on the trail. Slower traffic to the right, pass on the left.
  • On your left – let others know you are coming. If you are approaching children do not expect them to understand.
  • Let someone know – make sure someone knows what trail you were headed for and what tempo you planned to maintain.
  • Stay off private property – someone worked hard for that land and they probably are not to pleased a tyrannical government plowed a trail right through their backyard without their consent.
  • Do not litter – put it in your pocket and throw it away when you get a chance.
  • Stop at intersections – just because an intersection usually doesn’t have traffic doesn’t mean a Ford F-250 won’t be passing this time.

Safety First

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The following story was previously posted (and reposted here the past couple of springs) by lead pack skater Ty Fidler regarding the dangers of skating alone without identification.

Not looking for sympathy, but just wanted to pass along a personal story so that others can be aware of some of the precautions we should all take when skating alone.

This past weekend, I was skating alone on one of the local trails. The temperature was in the mid 50s (or low 60s), so I was skating much faster than I have in recent months. I had on a helmet, but had forgotten my hand protection at home (gloves). Somehow, during my skate, I fell and was knocked unconscious. I don’t remember how I fell or what led to the fall. By the looks of my injuries, I fell head first, but I must have fallen so quickly that I didn’t have time to put my hands down to brace my fall. I hit hard on the side of my face (near my eye) and the helmet was unable to protect that part of my face/head. Because of the impact to my face, the fall knocked me out cold. My hands were caught underneath my body, and the back of my hands were scrapped up really badly. I had someone at the hospital tell me that my hands were comparable to someone who had been in a bad car accident or even a chain saw accident.

Anyway, as I was saying, I was knocked unconscious and don’t remember anything. Fortunately, another cyclist found me lying on the trail and called an ambulance. I vaguely remember the cyclist and I vaguely remember the ambulance ride. Once I was in the ambulance, the paramedics apparently asked me several questions, none of which I could answer – where I lived, what day it was, where I was skating at, where I worked, etc, etc. I had no identification on me and because of the loss of consciousness, my mental state was completely shot.

Long story short, I eventually started to regain memory and was able to remember one family member’s phone number. I was diagnosed with a concussion, but no broken bones or any other significant injuries.

The moral of this story is that I was very lucky. However, I made several mistakes. I was skating alone, without any identification. I didn’t have a cell phone or anything that indicated who I was (and who to contact if I was hurt). Had this occurred at night or on a really cold day (when nobody else was on the trail), I could have been in a really dangerous situation. Moreover, the lack of hand protection (gloves) cost me dearly. I always thought that the worst accident I would suffer on the trail would be a broken leg. And, the reason the thought of a broken leg scared me so much is because I knew it would be difficult to get back to my car (should that injury occur). But, I never imagined being knocked out (and having a concussion). I always just assumed my helmet would protect me. In this situation, my helmet did it’s job and protected my head, but not the impact to my face.

All in all, I’m doing well, and as I was saying, I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m back at work and feeling ok. But, I did want to share this story so that the rest of the community could be aware of the dangers of skating alone (especially during these winter months when many of us are alone on the trail and even skating in the dark with nobody around).

Previous Inlineskatempls Post:

ICEdot

NOTE: after I originally posted the story about ICEdot a local inline team successfully collaborated with ICEdot on a sponsorship agreement.

Now there is an app that may assist you when you wreck on your inline skates or on your bike. The ICEdot device can sense when a fall has occurred and alert those on your emergency contact list. The device would be particular useful in unfamiliar territory where you might not be able to give precise directions to your location, or in a situation where you are disoriented or lose consciousness (or worse).

Not every crash happens with teammates nearby, so this could be of particular interest to those who frequently bike/skate solo. Notable weaknesses of the device may be that it presumes your phone survives the crash, and that the crash happens in an area were you have phone service.

“The ICEdot Crash Sensor is a slim device that will mount as an aftermarket device onto any helmet. When paired with the ICEdot app on a smart phone, the system is able to detect motion, changes in forces and impacts.

In the event of an impact, the device sends critical data to the app which sounds an alarm and initiates an emergency countdown. Unless the countdown clock is stopped, the app will then notify your emergency contacts and send GPS coordinates of the incident so that appropriate follow up actions can be taken.”

The UK Daily Mail reports the following:

Chris Zenthoefer, ICEdot’s CEO, said: ‘The idea came from Biju Thomas, a prominent chef for a lot of top cyclists.
‘He was on a solo ride and crashed and thought if the crash had been any worse, nobody would have know where he was located.

‘We were then introduced and it became clear that the pairing of his idea with ICEdot existing technology were a perfect match.

‘The crash sensor provides riders with a peace of mind.
‘I love to cycle and for me, knowing that if things went wrong, the technology would assert itself on my behalf when it is needed most, it’s relieving.

‘There has been a lot of interest shown in the ICEdot Crash Sensor so I think the product will be seen widely around the globe when it is released.

‘We’ve been contacted by interested parties from all corners of the world – it’s been surreal.’

ICEdot’s concept product has even attracted the interest of Lucas Euser, a current US World Team member, who helped develop the prototype.

The cost of the motion sensor device, the smartphone app and a one year membership to the ICEdot service is estimated to be about 120 pounds.

The device should be on the market in April next year.

Another common safely option is RoadID, which sponsors inline/cycling teams and whose product I have seen on local skaters. RoadID is similar to a medical alert bracelet that contains your identification and emergency contact information.