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Outdoor Trails Tell us about your favorite outdoor skating trails.

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Old May 10th, 2014, 11:05 PM   #1
jamersk
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Default Best Cities in the USA for Skating

What are the best "skater friendly" cities in the USA - cites that have trails (no autos) for getting around?
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Old May 11th, 2014, 03:23 AM   #2
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Do you mean for getting around or for training? The Cincinnati, OH area has some really nice bike trails. They are loops meant purely for exercise, varying from 1 to 8 miles. Many of them don't even cross roads at all, so you don't have to stop, look both ways, etc. The ones that do are country roads with little traffic, and you often have a lot of visibility to both sides so you can see the (lack of) traffic as you approach an intersection. There is also a trail that goes up to Dayton, but it isn't in as good of shape because there is a lot more ground to cover for maintenance.

For getting around, I suspect Fort Wayne, IN is pretty good. I have only driven through (mostly to and from indoor skating meets), but was impressed with the bike paths that seemed to cross the road with some regularity. Many of the roads also have a dedicated bike lane on the side that is wide enough to be useful, and well marked.

In my current neck of the woods (West Lafayette, IN), there are a couple of bike trails, but they are relatively narrow, and they cross the road too frequently for my liking. I have to stop at every intersection. They also wind through some areas where you can't see ahead more than a few dozen yards, and walkers aren't always very good about staying on their half of the trail. I've come to a skidding stop on a bike when I was rushing to get home before the rain got any heavier, and three walkers had spread themselves out across the trail. That said, there are many roads around here with very little traffic. Those are great for getting on a bike for cross training, but I don't skate them.

The best area I have heard of is Peachtree, GA. They have golfcart paths everywhere. Actually, kids are allowed to drive golfcarts from age 12 (with an adult present) and often use them to get to school. Apparently the paths are well maintained and safe, and skaters are allowed to use them during daylight hours. The weather would be a big plus there as well.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 04:37 AM   #3
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This thread is related to my other thread "200m Banked Tracks". I personally am not interested in skating indoors. I am not sure whether my kids will be either. So I'm interested in finding a city where I can for example, skate to work and/or go skating with the kids and enjoy the outdoor scenery and air without having to get into a car. The bicycle/skating trails would ideally be at least 10k without having to stop for traffic.

I have read good things about the Twin Cities and the Tampa, FL areas. But I have also seen articles that promote for example, San Francisco as one of the best cities in the country for inline skating. I have lived in San Francisco and I disagree. I used live next to Golden Gate Park and it gets old after awhile. There is no other place in SF to skate with kids safely. I have to read these articles with a grain of salt.

At the moment, I am not planning on doing the indoor thing with the kids - only being outdoors and having a good time.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 07:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamersk View Post
What are the best "skater friendly" cities in the USA - cites that have trails (no autos) for getting around?
The greater Seattle area has a number of nice trails some with few road crossings, some with many as the Burk Gilman.
Spokane Wa/ CDA Id has many nice trails and not to far to get to the 72 mile trail in Id.
As far as getting to work/shopping etc. That has so much to do with where you live and where you work.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 08:29 PM   #5
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DC has a lot of trails and places to skate, but more important, it has a very active skate club - the Washington Area Roadskaters.

skatedc.org

There are several Meetups a week for all levels of capability. I skate laps at Hains Point and sometimes skate the Capitol Crescent Trail. There are other trails in the area as well, do a search.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 01:55 AM   #6
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Do you want (or do you want your kids) to continue speed skating? If so, you may have to look to where there are indoor teams for one reason - coaches. There are outdoor coaches, but I think the majority of them coach outdoors in addition to indoors. So even if you want to focus on outdoors, you may have to find a place with an indoor team just to make sure you have the support you need. Actually, USARS has the infrastructure in place to make sure coaches meet a minimum proficiency. Outdoor "coaches" may just be whoever organizes the group.

As far as outdoor only teams, crashpants mentioned one in D.C. There is another in Chicago - Team Rainbo. I do know there are some good individual skaters on Rainbo, but I don't know how much effort they can or do put into coaching.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 03:13 AM   #7
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Someone will have to enlighten me on the competitive racing scene in the USA. I am not familiar with indoor speed skating other than on ice. I will start a new thread for this. Anyhow, I will certainly have my kids try the indoor thing but for me personally, it does not appeal to me. Forgive me, but I have this image of indoor speed skating as being a little stuffy, suffocating, and/or smelly (from seeing indoor roller hockey).
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Old May 12th, 2014, 03:26 AM   #8
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Most cities will have some level of outdoor skating organization. I just moved from Austin to DC and both have active skate clubs. Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York all have active outdoor skate clubs.

If you and/or your kids are beginners, start on outdoor tennis/basketball courts. Then transition to trails and streets. It's all about learning how to deal with hills (both up and down) unusual pavement and traffic.
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Old June 7th, 2014, 03:57 PM   #9
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Default Lincoln Nebraska

Freaking awesome. Flat. Immense amount of bike trails. No trees (good visibility). It's also a decent college town, so you're not in a desolate corn field or something
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Old June 8th, 2014, 02:44 AM   #10
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See if you can find some cities that have dedicated "bike lanes" more often than not these will be college towns. Vermont is a nice state and Burlington may be a good city to look at. However it gets COLD there, and most of the year isn't great for outdoor skating

As for Rinks vs outdoors, well that depends on your area. Though for good roads I would say look south since less freezing weather = longer life for pavement, which in turn gives better overall road conditions.

Around here theres few good roads or outdoor trails to skate on. Also if some of us go out for a skate I find myself doing a lot of waiting around for people reguardless of what we are all wearing, where at the rink the slower guys can cut track or wait a lap back etc.

Rink skating is good for building new skills, outdoors really challenges new skills you've learned. either way I'd encourage you to do both. Also you may find people to skate with.

As crashpants said DC is a nice idea, they have a website dedicated to organizing outdoor skates for various skill levels.

As for smelly, our rink is very clean smelling. The places that stink(from my experiences) are ice hockey rinks. people need to wash their dang gear more often! there was a hockey practice before a sesssion at the Ice arena in Charleston WV and it stunk. well not horribly but there was a constant funk in the air .. there wasn't anything anyones calogne could have done to mask it
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