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Old January 29th, 2017, 01:16 PM   #1
Joey
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana USA
Posts: 492
Default Skated the Biloxi/Ocean Springs Bridge in Mississippi

I skated the "Biloxi Bay" Bridge this weekend. I walked the entire bridge first to inspect every expansion joint close-up. After my inspection I decided to use my inline skates instead of my longboard. I did not feel too comfortable about how my longboard would enjoy slamming into the metal joints or small concrete lip at those joints. With my skates (80mm wheels worn down to about 78mm) I figured I could just step over the joints or slightly un-weight myself. There are half a dozen of these joints to encounter on the way down.

Here is my Strava link to the bridge: https://www.strava.com/activities/847631184

And here are some photos of the expansion joints:



Here are some measurements as per my GPS unit:



The Ocean Springs side of the bridge has a longer downhill but less steep of the two sides of the big hump. The wind was howling right up the pipe from the East side which held my speed in check nicely. I did not crouch and the wind held my speed to 16 mph. The expansion joints are facing the wrong way going down this side but my skates went right over them without much effect surprisingly.

The Biloxi side is 27% steeper than the Ocean Springs side. I had a tail wind here and also did not crouch. I slalomed down part way until the path ahead was clear of pedestrians, then let 'er rip. My GPS read 20.4 when I glanced at it on my wrist near the bottom. Strava interpreted the data as 19.7 mph. I did not sprint to start down the bridge hump but just rolled over the top at about 9mph before just coasting down. The last two expansion joints were noticeably more sketchy at 20mph but no problems. I am an expert skater with 51 years experience on skates (about 25 years on inlines). I did not use speed skates for this session and the shorter frames got a little twitchy at top speed. I don't think the wind was a factor, other than NOT slowing me down on the Western side of the bridge. It was howling directly at my back.

I hit the bridge on a Friday at mid-day when the least amount of foot traffic is using it. It is heavily used by fitness buffs early AM and late afternoon (before and after work). Temps were hovering around 50F and the wind was out of the East at 15-30 knots. No signs forbidding skates or boards but only mentions walkers and cyclists in the rules posted at the bridge entrance. Never saw a cop. None of the other walkers/joggers even blinked an eye. After I finished I was telling an elderly couple how fast I went (the husband was interested in my GPS wristwatch) and his wife told me I was stupid. Made my day.

I skated the Ocean Springs side of the bridge three more times after completing the entire bridge once. Top speeds not so great but I had fun and got a good workout skating uphill at about 8mph.

This is what it looks like dropping into the Biloxi (West) side of the bridge:



Cheers!
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2 Inline Skates, 1 Quad Skates, 3 Longboards, 5 Bicycles, 0 Cars

Last edited by Joey; January 29th, 2017 at 04:58 PM.
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Old January 30th, 2017, 10:12 PM   #2
Altpensacola
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Cheers to YOU!
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