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Outdoor Trails Tell us about your favorite outdoor skating trails.

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Old June 6th, 2010, 08:08 PM   #21
Brianwheelies
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Prospect Park looks like a great place to skate! I'm planning on doing the NYC Marathon skate if my feet and skates get along.

Is this still a good place to skate? Do you have to worry about crossing traffic? I wouldn't want to have to try and stop on the downhill while carrying high speed.

Great post!
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Old June 7th, 2010, 06:46 PM   #22
2old2sk8t
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Hi Brian,

I skated it last year. It was my first marathon, and had never been to that park until after I registered for the race. The course is in generally good condition except for a few rough spots mainly on the southern end of the loop. As far as traffic is concerned, since it is not shut down for the race, you do have to contend with cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians out for a stroll. However, the race staff does a pretty good job of helping keep it clear and people were generally aware and respectful. So avoiding all that as you're flying down the west side of the loop wasn't too much of a problem, and frankly something that wasn't nearly as much of an issue as I had made it in my head.

Having said that... if you are going there to practice and/or check it out beforehand, I recommend you get there early, before the crowds start up. Without a race going on, and the staff to clear the crowds, the traffic is something you need to be respectful of as you fly down that hill. ; ). There is also at least one intersection with a light on the downhill used mainly for park maintenance vehicles. Got to be prepared to negotiate that, as well as another spot or two where pedestrians cross. So get there early and you'll largely avoid all that. Of course I wouldn't bother to skate during times when cars are allowed either, but that's just me.

My impressions of the course itself....

As you probably already read or viewed from a map, it's a long oval that runs north-south -- about a mile-plus on each side and about about a half mile across at each end. From the southern end, the east side starts pretty flat. About a 1/3 of the way north, it begins to climb. To about a bit past the mid-point (where the race starts), the hill is pretty tame, and you figure, 'hey, no sweat!'. Then when you get about 2/3 of the way up, the incline gets much steeper, and the remaining climb, which is almost all the way to the top of the loop is pretty brutal. I wasn't prepared for it. It took a lot out of me and made me realize that I wasn't as fit as I thought.

After you clear the north end and start the downhill on the west side, its a series of modest hills (down) and flats until you get about half-way down and then it's one continuous, but not super steep, downhill where you can get some good speed. A lot of fun if there are not too many people and things to avoid. For a good part of that, I just get into a tuck and roll.

I'm from LI too. I plan to hit it a few Saturday mornings this year before the actual race. Let me know if you're interested in hooking up.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #23
Brianwheelies
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2old, I'm definitely in for some practice runs. Still waiting on my new skates to arrive but when they do I plan on training several times per week if they can be made to fit well. I usually skate Central Park and the Great Hill is tough in my opinion. I was just getting to the point where I didn't have to stop on the way up it.

I can't wait to try this place out.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 11:37 PM   #24
devlyn76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2old2sk8t View Post

I'm from LI too.
Me too! Well, originally. Fond memories of bombing downhill at Bethpage State Park. Blew up my first mountain bike derailleur there too, flying downhill through the brickyard and snagging some innocent looking brush.

-ben
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Old June 7th, 2010, 11:40 PM   #25
Code Monkey
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Hey Wheelies and 2old,

My inlaws and more live in Manhattan and Montclair so with all the skating I do they want me to sign up. The idea is to make it a family thing with everyone there to see and make it a family event. Not that I can hook up with you and test out the course till race day because I am living in Texas. My question to "you all" is will family be able to see me numerous times or will it be a see me once type of thing and then that's it. I think they will be able to see me over and over because of laps but that is just a thought and I really have no idea.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 12:17 AM   #26
Brianwheelies
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Originally Posted by Code Monkey View Post
Hey Wheelies and 2old,

My inlaws and more live in Manhattan and Montclair so with all the skating I do they want me to sign up. The idea is to make it a family thing with everyone there to see and make it a family event. Not that I can hook up with you and test out the course till race day because I am living in Texas. My question to "you all" is will family be able to see me numerous times or will it be a see me once type of thing and then that's it. I think they will be able to see me over and over because of laps but that is just a thought and I really have no idea.
It's only a half mile wide by a mile long and with 19 laps and several hours of lapping, they can see you plenty. From the looks of it, it seems like Central Park with infinite vantage points and as 2old posted, the course is still open to pedestrian and cyclist traffic during the event.

Small world. I used to live in San Antonio a few years back.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 02:48 AM   #27
2old2sk8t
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianwheelies View Post
It's only a half mile wide by a mile long and with 19 laps and several hours of lapping, they can see you plenty. From the looks of it, it seems like Central Park with infinite vantage points and as 2old posted, the course is still open to pedestrian and cyclist traffic during the event.

Small world. I used to live in San Antonio a few years back.

Yeah CM, they can take up a spot near the start/finish area and get a good view of the action. Of course the 19 laps is if you do the full 100K. That's way out of my league. Last year was my first marathon. I did the 21K ( 4 laps), but thinking about doing the 47K this year. Looking forward to seeing you all there this year. BTW, here's a short video I made from a few quick clips and stills I took near the start/finish area after I completed my race. Doesn't do it justice, really, especially since you are only seeing that one spot and much of the action is pretty spread out by then.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsPfdJin7I8
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