Adelaide City Street Skate

Posted on February 13, 2012 by


Yesterday Erica and I met up with her brother Tim to take part in Adelaide City Street Skate. Erica was recently liberated from a leg cast but in the months off walking her muscles forgot how so she is having to relearn how to use her right leg. As a result she still needs to use the gopher to join us on skates.

We had noticed that the event details included “no bikes” and wondered briefly if Erica and her gopher would be ok. We figured it would be fine, though, as bike riding is a choice whereas Erica is a skater with a temporary disability and has no choice but to use the gopher or sit at home and miss out.

We arrived early to register and then milled around excitedly with the other skaters waiting for the 10am start. There were figure skaters in leotards (and an alarming lack of protective gear), skaters from other derby leagues, a speed skater or two, lots of kids and even a couple of people in what looked like roller hockey gear. It was a great skating melting pot.


As the event started one of the skaters in an authoritative shade of fluro yellow told Erica that she needed to stay at the back of the group. I kind of felt that if skaters couldn’t dodge a highly visible, slow moving gopher then perhaps they shouldn’t be on the road. Erica is much more chilled than me though and simply smiled and positioned herself at the back.

Then we were off. We were a huge group and the highlight for me was cruising through red lights at the back of the pack with our police escort deterring motorists from honking impatiently at us.


Erica had a hard time of it though. As skaters dropped back, she was forced to drop back even further in order to obey the request for her to stay behind everyone. Then the skaters would get hurried along and Erica would be told to hurry up. The thing is, the gopher is pretty steady in speed. She can’t just suddenly surge forward in it. While Erica was struggling to conform to conflicting commands from Team Fluro, Tim and I were bemused by the constant stream of instructions that were inducing primary school flashbacks.

About a quarter of the way, one of the officials quietly suggested to Erica that she exit the event at the next waypoint. “I’m out!” I declared and Erica, Tim and I cheerfully exited the event. We went and grabbed a drink and then did our own skate through the parklands back to my place.


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