Every year Asha Kirby the founder and owner of the skate school SkateFresh throws a party to celebrate another year of rolling. The party is an open invite to all skaters whether or not you have been a past pupil or not. I some how have managed to miss it every year but was glad to have finally made it today. Asha held the party today on the promenade in Brighton.
We took the 10:00 Eurostar train from London St Pancras and we were in Paris by lunch time, ready for a long skate weekend.
Our accommodation was at the Three Ducks Hostel. Nice place, it had all the usual things you'd expect. Universal (USB) plug sockets seems to be becoming more common which is always handy.
After an afternoon of sight seeing we were ready for our first ever Paris Roller, a three hour officially organised street skate which legend has it inspired London's own skate scene. The difference here is that as well as the volunteer marshals they also have police motorbikes and an an ambulance keeping everybody safe. They however have much more continental start time of 22:00 which would be around the time London finishes their night street skates!
Saturday was a day of indulging the sights and culinary delights of Paris.
Venturing with some off skate culture.
Sunday however was the main reason why we were here. The 6H Paris Skate is an annual endurance Le Mans style relay event. It was held in Muette Park to the west of central Paris. The 2.5km closed road circuit winded through a forest which felt like a Centre Parks experience.
Our four person ESS team were non competitive, meaning we weren't going to be too hard on each other with any hiccups such as baton drops or missing your change over. We did have a little structure, with each of us doing two laps at a time. A close eye on the timing of each other's laps also allowed us to gauge how long our breaks were between shifts.
Unsurprisingly our first lap was mostly the fastest. The heat drained us as the hours ticked by, even though it was cooler than usual for August.
Just out of curiosity I used my recreational skates (80mm wheels) instead of my speed skates (110mm wheels) for one of my shifts. It felt noticeably slower. To keep a decent pace it meant I had to focus on my technique more and making every push count. Which makes me think maybe I get a little lazy with form on the speed skates... So although I really had to work on these two laps I did have one of the most memorable moments of overtaking a Lycra clad speed skating paceline! That felt brilliant!
I missed out by twenty seconds on the six hour cut off for another lap. However it turns out that attempt was also my fastest lap. (05:00:533 ms) I guess it helps when there is some motivation!
At the event there were skate stalls. One in particular is Ligne Droite where I got some spare parts. They were very friendly and were keen to point out that they are happy to create custom skate packages as well as the ability to ship to the UK as well as other parts of Europe. Will keep them in mind for the future.
The 6H Paris Skate event was such good fun! Whether you're pro speed skaters or recreational rollers it was a good track for an afternoon of rolling. It wasn't too difficult to get to and we were able to catch the 20:30 train from Gar du Nord, allowing us to be back home in London the same evening.
Thank you Christine Dumouchel for the photos.
"Any tips, reviews and advice are my own opinions and are not to be taken as professional view points. The information on this site is what has worked for me and is here for guidance only, but I hope you gain insight into the various activities I partake in." Jonathan Chen