PIR Skate Night and Picnic
By Maria Sworske

70802PIRpicnicsm.jpg (25948 bytes)As a recreational and dance type skate, I was reluctant to join 5 wheel spandex-wearing speed crowd. But I decided to be adventurous and try something new. After all, the Seattle Skate for MS is coming up, and I want to be in good condition.

Well, I got detailed directions from Teddie, which helped a great deal, since I didn't really know where to go. And it helped my confidence that someone knew I was coming and could watch for me. Traffic was pretty lousy, so now I know to leave earlier.

That PIR is just huge, plenty of room for the several hundred bicyclists who were arriving and gathering. I found Teddie's truck and figured that would be the starting area. Since I was late, no skaters were still hanging around. Just plenty of competitive looking serious bicyclists. I summoned up the courage to ask one of them where the skaters start. It turns out I was in the right place after all.

"Then why haven't I seen any skaters fly by in the 5 minutes I've been watching?", I asked myself. Finally, on the horizon, I saw the familiar movements of speed skater crouched swaying, long legs and arms swinging. Yeah, familiar type of people!

As they flew by, I recognized a few friendly faces. Since it had already started I decided not to join part way through. But I kind of wished I had. It looked like fun! And the surface seemed just perfect - no debris
or cracks. And that track is something like 2 miles or longer! No wonder it takes so long to see them go

Afterward, the skaters had a potluck picnic, and even though I didn't skate, they still let me eat plenty of
good food. What a friendly bunch of nice people! They were very welcoming of me, especially knowing
that this is not my usual type of skating.

After the skaters' time is up, the bicyclists take over the track. That is kind of fun to watch, too.

I would encourage any of you who are thinking of trying this, to just do it. You will be welcomed. And
you don't have to be competitive or keep up with anyone. Try it once, see what it's all about. I'll probably
go again soon and actually skate this time. Oh yeah, leave plenty early to allow for traffic issues.


Check out the Skate Schedule and find a skate that sounds like fun to you