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In-line Skating FAQ: California (5.1.1)

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Posted-By: auto-faq
Archive-name: sports/skating/inline-faq/part14

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
   _r.s.s.inline FAQ: Where to Skate - California_
                          WHERE TO SKATE - CALIFORNIA
   Last modified: Monday, September 16, 1996
   Recent changes include:
     * Added Monterey info from Stephen Richardson
     * Deleted San Francisco, CA info from Stern (7/21)
  Table of Contents
     * Sacramento
     * Davis
     * Napa Valley
     * Marin County
     * San Francisco
     * East Bay
     * South Bay and Peninsula
     * Santa Cruz
     * Monterey
     * San Luis Obispo
     * Santa Barbara
     * Los Angeles
     * Long Beach
     * Orange County
     * San Diego
   Other sections of Where to Skate are:
     * Western North America
     * Central North America
     * Northeastern North America
     * Southeastern North America
     * Abroad
General Notes

   George Robbins' "Roller Skating Rink List" can be found at the URL:
   From: (Dave Rhoades)
   Date: 10 May 1995 15:20:40 GMT
   First of all I received a good tip from Owen Meany telling me an area
   called the Pocket area which was good but too many streets crossed the
   river trail from what I did see. For learning skaters this is probably
   Now the bad news. The American river trail I was told by a park
   official is outlawed for skater because they go too slow. Although
   baby carriages are allowed for people walking. Anyway this was at
   discovery park, which flooded out two days later from rain. (I'm Glad)
   I did get a chance to skate around the Arco Arena which was alright
   especiall trying to race the Jackrabbits. Came close to one before he
   went over an island in the parking lot.
   I also skated back and forth on W. El Comino for about 10 miles, got
   the days workout but almost was hit by some cocky teenagers in a VW
   bus and MANY, I mean MANY cars that don,t look where they are going
   when coming out of small streets. I was even in a bike lane. I don't
   think it means anything in that town.
   From: (Ron Spencer)
   Date: 25 Apr 96 07:32:07 PDT
   [Dave Rhoades stated:]
     Now the bad news. The American river trail I was told by a park
     official is outlawed for skater because they go too slow. Although
     baby carriages are allowed for people walking. Anyway this was at
     discovery park, which flooded out two days later from rain. (I'm
   The American River Bike Trail is open to skaters east of Hazel Ave.
   There are about 10 miles of paved trail ending at the Beals Point
   picnic area on Folsom Lake. This section of the trail is controlled by
   the state park system and does not have the same restrictions as the
   part of the trail that is controlled by the county.
   From: "Chris G. Pagliccia" (
   Date: Tue, 25 Jul 95 15:37:04 -700
   First, UC Davis is in the last stage of building a top of the line
   outdoor in-line skating rink. It will be of regulation size and
   feature a sport court. It is slated to be ready in early August
   [1995]. No word yet, however, on what access privileges will be or who
   will have to pay to use the court. Its primary use will be for IM
   rollerhockey games.
   Next, the Davis In-line Hockey Assoc., a member of NIHA, has had their
   facility resurfaced and painted. The rink is a converted tennis court
   so it's size is small and is enclosed by a chain-link fence. Youth
   league games are currently in progress and free skate times are
   weekday mornings and all day Sunday. I do not have the exact times.
   The rink is at West Manor Park on Portage Bay Drive.
   Finally, Davis has many miles of safe bike paths that are great for
   skating, and it is pretty flat here! The bike path along the south
   side of Russell Blvd. is well shaded and pretty smooth; a very popular
   place to skate! Hope this helps!
    Napa Valley
   From: (Peter W. Richards)
   Date: Wed, 04 Jan 1995 23:30:43 -0600
   I recommend the Silverado Trail (Site of David Miles of CORA's Roll
   thru the Wine Country). You can cruise about 27 miles from Napa to
   Calistoga and another 27 back if you're ambitious. (I did it once.
   Don't ask what my socks looked like...) Moderately rolling with no
   really scary hills. Quite adequate bikelane/shoulder most of the way
   except for in some of the hills near the Calistoga end, and a funny
   road surface/shoulder ridge even nearer Calistoga. Cool stuff for
   distance enthusiasts....
    Marin County
   From: (Charles E Newman)
   Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 04:04:58 GMT
   [...], do not use your inlines anywhere in public in Larkspur, they
   outlawed the use of skatboards, roller skates, and inline skates some
   years ago. And the Tamalpais Union High school distrct banned them in
   1986 on district property. If you want to skate, don't go to Marin,
   From: (Jennifer Lynn Hammond)
   Date: 16 Jan 1995 23:19:39 GMT
   There is a paved multi-use path in Tiburon that has incredible views.
   It's only two miles long (one way), but you can add in some streets in
   Tiburon; there are lots of skaters on weekends, and it seems skate-
   friendly. [We were fooling around on a residential street one day, and
   one of my friends fell just as a police car went by on the cross
   street. The officer doubled back and came down our street, and we were
   sure he was going to tell us to get off the road. But he just wanted
   to make sure my friend was okay, and he drove away saying "enjoy!"]
   The path is just off of Tiburon Blvd. We usually park in the lot for
   Richardson Bay Park, because street parking in Tiburon can be scarce.
   On the weekends it can get a bit crowded, and sometimes it's pretty
   windy out there, so be prepared!
   There's also a paved bike path in Sausalito, but the surface is a bit
   too rough for my taste.... it's do-able, but not esp. enjoyable.
   Other than that, I don't know of anywhere special in Marin. My
   boyfriend and I live in Novato, and we just go out on the streets
   here... there are some really nice routes.
    San Francisco
   Web sites with San Francisco info:
     * Mike Kellner's "San Francisco Bay Area Skate":
     * CORA Friday night skate info:
     * CORA Golden Gate Park info:
   From: (L. Floyd)
   Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 06:19:32 GMT
   Midnight Rollers
   San Francisco Friday Night Skate
   Every Friday night, weather permitting, skaters from San Francisco and
   around the Bay Area get together to skate the streets of San
   Francisco. Skaters begin gathering between 8:00 and 8:30 in the
   parking lot in front of the Ferry Terminal on the Embarcadero near the
   east end of Market Street (just about where Market Street would
   intersect The Embarcadero). Parking is usually plentiful in the lots
   where the skaters meet, but it costs $3.00; although it is supposed to
   be a self pay system, an attendant was collecting cash at the parking
   lot entrance the last time we skated. There is street parking nearby,
   but finding an open space may be difficult.
   Just before 8:30, the "leader" of the skate [...] will give a quick
   introduction to the skate and go over the commonsense rules of the
   road. He/she usually emphasizes that a lot of what the skaters do
   during the skate could be considered illegal, but the San Fransico
   Police are willing to tolerate it so long as the skaters don't push it
   too far...
     * Wear helmets and protective gear
     * Wear "blinky" lights and reflective clothing
     * Skate on the right side of the road and do not impede the flow of
     * Yield right-of-way to pedestrians
     * Obey all Police and C.H.P.
     * Obey all traffic laws
     * Do not run red lights
     * Do not skate on the street through the Broadway tunnel (use the
       pedestrian walkway)
     * No skitching (i.e. no holding on to cars or other vehicles)
     * Do not drink alcohol during the skate
     * Follow the instructions of the Night Patrol
     * Be considerate and respectful of others; don't let your skating
       endanger others
   Then, at about 8:30, the skate begins!
   The route first heads west along the Embarcadero then does a U-turn at
   the Exploratorium and heads east. Eventually, the group ends up south
   of Market (not too far from the starting point) to have fun at one of
   the many clubs in that area. There are several stops along the way
   where skaters regroup and perform tricks (you wouldn't believe what
   some skaters do at the Powell Street BART Station).
   Skaters of all skill levels do the skate. It helps to know how to
   skate streettocurb and curbtostreet. There are some hills (we're
   talking about San Francisco, ya know), but even the newest skater can
   waddle up these without much trouble. With the uphills are the
   downhills: know how to stop!! If you are worried about not making the
   full skate, just bring along taxi fare as insurance.
   It's a great group of people to skate with. There are lots of regulars
   and always some firsttimers. Usually 200 to 400 people participate.
   Come join in the fun! Hope to see you there!
   From: (Garvin 888)
   Date: Unknown
   When in San Francisco check out Golden Gate Park; on Sundays the
   park's closed off to cars. Also, there's the Embarcadero area
   (Fisherman's Wharf, pier 39, etc.) and the Marina district. If you're
   a fairly skilled skater, you can try and tackle other areas in SF, but
   there are plenty of hills.
   From: (L. Floyd)
   Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 19:20:36 GMT
   While you are in SF, you might want to check out the skating in Golden
   Gate Park on Sundays. One of the main roads (John F. Kennedy Drive)
   that goes through the park is closed off (well, most of it is closed
   off) from noon until late in the afternoon. Runners, cyclists,
   walkers, and skaters fill the stree. There is usually a group of
   regulars who set up a boom box (powered by car batteries!) near 6th
   Ave... some of the best skaters in town dance the day away there.
    East Bay
   From: (Betsy Burton)
   Date: Unknown
   In addition to the places I can tell you about, there is a book out
   from Karim Cycley that talks about some other places.
   1) My personal favorite for a nice long run, is the back streets to
   Richmond. There are a number of streets starting near Gilman and
   Albany. These streets go through Albany and El Cerrito. In addition,
   Richmond Street goes out past the El Norte Bart Station. This route
   has good small hills and allows for a good workout.
   2) The Nimitz trail takes off at the top of inspiration point and goes
   out about 4 miles. At the end of this path is a rather large hill,
   which after struggling to the top, is great to fly down.
   3) Tunnel road takes a bit of experience and some good breaking
   skills. I just heard that someone biked up tunnel road the other it may be open after the fire.
   4) Berkeley Marina is good for a quickie. A full lap is 2.5 miles. The
   only draw-back is that the view gets a little boring after a few laps.
   My last and most favorite is Bancroft Hill, next to the University.
   Late at night it is a nice fast down hill.
   From: jimy@hkn.Berkeley.EDU (Jim Young)
   Date: Unknown
   You might want to try skating around the Berkeley hills. I usually go
   up Euclid or Spruce, skate across Grizzly Peak, and then down Tunnel
   road. If you go early in the morning, you might see Eddy Matzger and
   Sandy Snakenberg there.
   From: (Kimon Papahadjopoulos)
   Date: Unknown
   _Experts only! Nasty hill climb, nasty descent._
   Path or area location: _Tunnel Road_ on the Berkeley/Oakland Border
   From Berkeley: Take Ashby out of Berkeley, past the Clairmont Hotel
   and towards highway 13 and 24. Turn left at the stoplight (As if going
   towards highway 24, not 13). When you get to the top of the hill, make
   a left and Park.
   Orida side of 24: I believe you take the Tunnel Road Exit.

TheRoute...__ To 24
             \   |
Tunnel Rd --> |  |
              |  |
              |  |
   Hiller --> |  |
             /   |
            /    |

   From Berkeley ---S---- To 13 ->
     * Parking information: On the the start of Tunnel itself
     * Path length: ~6mi (I don't really know- cound be 7-8)
     * Loop or non-loop: Loop: Up and Down.
     * Average path width: Two lane street
     * Minimum path width: Two lane street
     * Average surface: Pretty good asphalt, some rough spots
     * Worst surface: One very pitted rough spot for about 10 feet.
     * Number of hills: Up hill all the way
     * Severity of steepest hill: 8 on a scale of 1-10
     * Average steepness: 7 on a scale of 1-10
     * Obstacles: One very pitted spot near the bottom, cars, occasional
     * Weekend pedestrian and bicycle traffic: Yes
     * Weekday pedestrian and bicycle traffic: Yes
     * Number of roads which cross the path: It is a road. It crosses
       several roads, but no stop signs or lights.
     * Number of stairways on the path: None
     * Distance markings: No
     * Any other pertinent information:
   _For experts only! If you cannot brake well at high speeds, don't try
   this course. If you are unsure, drive it first._
   The climb up is a great workout, and not too severe. There are also
   great views of San Francisco and Oakland. Tunnel Road turns into
   Skyline about half way up.
   Watch for problems in the road going up so that you will be aware of
   them when you come down. Take it easy coming down the first time.
   There are several areas that require care!
   There is a water fountain a little past the top (if you continue along
   Skyline Blvd about 200 meters) at a ranger station.
   This is in the burned area of Oakland, so there is construction going
   on in places, some trucks coming up.
   It takes between 15-30 min to get to the top, depending on ability.
   There are other places you can explore when you get to the top, but
   Tunnel is generally the most tame, and the safest bet to go back down.
   Be careful and have fun!
   From: (Needeep)
   Date: 2 Feb 1995 22:52:52 -0500
   Try the Alameda Creek Bike Trail (ACBT) and the Coyote Hills Park
   (CHP). They are in Fremont.
   ACBT is flat and about 7 miles long. It connects up to the CHP loop
   trail (about 4 miles and rolling hills). We also like to skate in the
   Ardenwood Business Park (Paseo Padre and Ardenwood in Fremont).
    South Bay and Peninsula
   Web sites with South Bay and Peninsula info:
     * Mike Kellner's "San Francisco Bay Area Skate":
   From: (Diana Hirsch)
   Date: Unknown
   I have two suggestions for skating trails in the Bay Area:
   1. Sawyer Camp Trail - off 280 in San Mateo near 92. Blader heaven on
   Sunday's, lessons every other Sunday. The trail is about 6 miles
   one-way. The last mile is very steep but fun coming down. However,
   they have radar out there and they will give you a ticket for
   speeding, especially in the posted 5mph zones.
   2. Campbell Par Course Trail - off Campbell Ave. near 17 and the
   Pruneyard. The trail can be accessed in several places between
   Hamilton and Campbell Aves. This trail is fun because it goes all the
   way through Vasona Park into Los Gatos. The only caution is that there
   are several wood bridges to cross. (Stay on your back wheels and use
   short horizontal strokes, it's good for the adrenalin.)
   From: (CatsMeow)
   Date: 2 Jul 1994 08:50:06 -0400
   Hellyer to Anderson Dam trail. 16 miles of paved trail that take you
   to Morgan Hill near the Dam.
   Los Gatos Creek trail. This starts on Willow Street, way at the west
   end where it dead-ends and goes clear to Vasona Park. I think it's a
   good 10 miles at least.
   From: (Eugene Walden)
   Date: Unknown
   Another good place to go is Sawyer Camp Trail. It's only 6 miles long,
   so I guess it doesn't qualify as really long, but there and back, you
   get a good quiet 12 miles.
   Take I-280 to Black Mtn Rd (just north of 92) and head west. Turn left
   at the intersection and go another mile or so. It's on the right.
   Follow the posted speed limits-- park rangers have radar and will give
   citations for violators.
     * Path or area location: Sawyer Camp Trail
     * Directions: Take I-280 to the Black Mtn / Hayne Rd exit-- near
       Half Moon Bay. Head west after you exit, until you reach the first
       stop sign. There is a sign that points left to Sawyer Camp Trail.
       Turn left. It is about 1-2 miles down after you turn.
     * Parking information: Park on the side of the road about 1-2 miles
       down. You'll see the entrance.
     * Path length: 6 miles in one direction.
     * Loop or non-loop: Non-loop.
     * Average path width: Two lanes; each about sidewalk width.
     * Minimum path width: Same throughout course.
     * Average surface: Fairly smooth; no potholes; some cracks filled
       with black goop.
     * Worst surface: Some areas are cracked with the goop filling. The
       goop can be kind of slippery, even when dry, so skate very
       gingerly on this stuff.
       When there has been rain, only attempt the first half of the
       trail; the second half is shady, so it dries slower. The pavement
       is very hard to skate on when wet.
     * Number of hills: Several small hills, one huge hill on the last
       mile of the course.
     * Severity of steepest hill: If you are not _very_ good at speed
       control, _do not skate the last mile_. If you are good at speed
       control, make sure to keep your speed down. The hill is windy, so
       you risk running into peds and/or bikes if you fly too fast.
     * Average steepness: Don't know what the grade is, but the big hill
       is pretty darn steep.
     * Obstacles: Pedestrians, bikes, skaters.
     * Weekend pedestrian and bicycle traffic: Saturday and Sunday
       afternoons see pretty heavy traffic. Most of the traffic, though,
       keeps to the first mile or two of the trail. So, after you get
       past that, the number of other path users drops significantly.
     * Weekday pedestrian and bicycle traffic: Never gone during the
       week-- don't know.
     * Number of roads which cross the path: None.
     * Number of stairways on the path: None.
     * Distance markings: Every half mile.
     * Any other pertinent information: There are usually two park
       rangers who patrol the path. Thus, it is fairly safe. They also
       have radar. The first and last half mile half posted speed limits
       of 5 MPH. The rest has a speed limit of 15 MPH. They do ticket
       violators, so you're wise to obey the speed limit.
       Park is open dawn to dusk.
   From: Jawara@AppleLink.Apple.COM (Ron Drake)
   Date: Unknown
   The trail goes under the San Mateo Bridge all the way to the end of
   Edgewater Boulevard in Foster City. As a matter of fact, the best part
   of the trail is after the bridge. Makes eight miles, total. Traffic's
   not too bad except for the occasional knot of cud-chewers and those
   kids who bike out ahead of their parents and think nothing about
   turning right in front of you to see if mom and dad are still visible.
   If you start and finish at Edgewater, you can replenish your precious
   bodily fluids at Chevy's with a couple of cold margaritas. From 101,
   take Hillsdale Blvd. or H'way 92 to Edgewater. Turn right and follow
   Edgewater to its end. Park. The trail begins at the end of the street
   to the right.
   The best street skating I've found so far is through western Menlo
   Park near the Stanford campus to downtown. There are a number of
   streets there that have bike lanes and not much vehicular traffic. The
   streets are well- kept so that debris and surprise bumps are at a
   minimum. The pavement varies in quality from excellent to garbage. The
   area is bounded by Sand Hill Road, Valparaiso Road, El Camino and
   Alameda de las Pulgas.
   Those who go to Shoreline should be aware of the concert schedule.
   It's always better to go when it's quiet. For those who want to get a
   real workout, here's the prescription for doing 'laps' at Shoreline.
   At the end of the stretch that parallels Moffett Field, there's that
   series of double gates. Skate down the incline (_Whoa!_), out through
   the cul-de-sac and make a right on Shoreline Boulevard.
   From: (David Volansky)
   Date: Unknown
     at Stanford. Anybody have any details on this (when, where, etc...).
     I believe this is put on by the skate shop Nuevo Colors...
   The group meets at the Main Quad at about 7:15pm. The best place to
   locate them is in the parking lot at the end of Palm/University Ave or
   on the stairs near the lot - you can't miss them - the group usually
   numbers in the 30s to 40s this time of year (more in summer, less in
   the rain - yes, they go in the rain).
   The group is very informal and doesn't really have a starting time or
   leader. As it's getting darker, they're leaving earlier and earlier.
   The ride usually goes until about 9 or 9:30 and includes some favorite
   jumping spots on campus and a ride in the close-by neighborhood. Be
   prepared for some hills - the smell of heal brake is really something
   at the end of some of these runs. The route is the same each week, so
   the darkness isn't too bad after a few weeks. In the beginning, just
   stay behind someone who seems to know the route and be sure to listen
   for the "stay to the right", "stay to the left", "watch out for the
   big ditch" messages.
   Date: Sun, 18 Jun 1995 03:36:10 -0400
   There is a nice skate park (big bowl, small bowl, doughnut) in Palo
   Alto in Greer park. Unfortunately, it is only open to skateboarders
   which means you can only skate there after the attendent leaves (8 pm
   in the summer and 6 pm the rest of the time). It's a lot of fun to
   skate there. To get there take 101 to the Oregon Expwy exit and turn
   left on the frontage road. Take it two or three blocks down to the end
   of Greer Park. Turn right and the park is right there.
   From (Tony Purmal)
   Date: Unknown
     * Path or area location: Foster City, CA
     * Directions: Get to Foster City by crossing 101 on Hillsdale Blvd
       or Highway 92. The path circles the city next to the following
       streets: Beach Park Blvd between Compass and the San Mateo Bridge,
       East Third and J. Hart Clinton Drive from the bridge to and beyond
       Mariner's Island Blvd. It follows Belmont Slough and Marina Lagoon
       between Compass and Fashion Island Drive passing Townhouse, Condo
       and Apartment complexes bordering those waterways.
     * Parking information: Park along the streets mentioned above, or
       park at a park along the path.
     * Path length: About 10 miles
     * Loop or non-loop: Can be done as a loop if you go between the path
       endpoints. This can be done by taking Mariner's Island Blvd and
       Fashion Island Blvd between East Third Ave and Marina slough. One
       can also go along the wooden walkway (past Fashion Island Blvd) to
       Shoal Drive and through Mariner's Island Park to get to Mariner's
       Island Blvd to complete the loop.
     * Average path width: 8 feet
     * Minimum path width: 4 feet
     * Average surface: semi-smooth asphalt
     * Worst surfaces: Lots of raised cracks (linear and horizontal)
       along bay on south side of bridge. Pitted rough surface on north
       side of bridge where the path is close to the bay. Uneven pavement
       in places along Belmont Slough. Wooden walkway between Fashion
       Island and Shoal Drive (optional).
     * Number of hills: Five or so very small hills.
     * Severity of steepest hill: Very slight.
     * Average steepness: Very slight.
     * Obstacles: A wooden bridge along Marina Slough (very easy to
     * Weekend pedestrian and bicycle traffic: Unknown
     * Weekday pedestrian and bicycle traffic: Light and well behaved.
     * Number of roads which cross the path: Between Fashion Island Blvd
       and Mariner's Island Blvd, none. To complete the loop along
       Mariner's Island Blvd and Fashion Island Blvd there are four
       intersections and up to five side streets depending on which side
       of the street you're on.
     * Number of stairways on the path: None along the path, two if you
       take the optional connection along the wooden walkway and other
       roads to get to Mariner's Island Blvd to complete the loop.
     * Distance markings: Beginning 1/4 mile south of the San Mateo
       Bridge on the inside of the path there are markings every 1/4 mile
       in faded yellow/orange paint through until Highway 92.
     * Any other pertinent information: The path borders Belmont Slough
       where one can see various wetland wildlife. There are also good
       views of the east bay along Beach Park Blvd, and of San Francisco
       north of the bridge.
       The wind gets pretty strong at times, especially in the
       afternoons, so be prepared. I prefer to skate into the wind on the
       way out and with the wind on the way back.
   Date: Unknown
   Redwood Shores, CA (across 101 from Belmont, CA)
     * Directions: Take Ralston Ave. east across 101, turns into Marine
       World Parkway. Turn left onto Oracle Parkway at first light after
       101 overpass.
     * Parking information: Park at the parking lot at the first left
       after getting onto Oracle Parkway, or continue around and park in
       the area across from the Oracle Fitness Center.
     * Path length: 1 mile
     * Loop or non-loop: Loop
     * Average path width: 7 feet
     * Minimum path width: 4 feet
     * Average surface: Smooth asphalt and sidewalk
     * Worst surface: ...
     * Number of hills: Three short inclines.
     * Severity of steepest hill: Small angle
     * Average steepness: Slight
     * Obstacles: Occasional hoses when the maintanence people are
     * Weekend pedestrian and bicycle traffic: Light
     * Weekday pedestrian and bicycle traffic: Light
     * Number of roads which cross the path: The path crosses Oracle
       Parkway twice where it meets Marine World Parkway. Cross from the
       path on Oracle Parkway to the sidewalk on Marine World Parkway.
     * Number of stairways on the path: None
     * Distance markings: None
     * Any other pertinent information: It gets very windy in Redwood
       Shores, especially in the afternoons.
       You can go from this path to the Foster City Bike and Walkway by
       taking a right onto Island Parkway at the end of the path closest
       to 101. Then follow the road over the bridge until it dead ends at
       Concourse Drive and take a right. At the end of Concourse there is
       a path leading to the Foster City path.
       From the Oracle Fitness Center to the San Mateo Bridge on the
       Foster City Path is five miles. (Take a right when you get to the
       Foster City path)
       From the Oracle Fitness Center to Hillsdale Blvd on the Foster
       City Path is three miles. (Take a left when you get to the Foster
       City path)
   From: jimy@hkn.Berkeley.EDU (Jim Young)
   Date: Unknown
   On the peninsula, there are some nice, smooth trails at Crystal
   Springs. I know some guys who skate from Mountain View to SF, so I
   think some of the roads that parallel 280 are fairly nice.
   Finally, in the south bay, I have a friend who skates on the Los Gatos
   bike trail (it runs parallel to highway 17). It's sort of crowded with
   joggers and runners, but it's better than skating in south bay
   From: (Tal Dayan)
   Date: Unknown
   This is Cunnigham park in San Jose. The park has a lake, and a trail
   around it. The Perimeter trail (a loop) is 1.9 mile long but if you
   use the trail just neat the water, it a little bit shorter. The park
   has several parking lots which are virtually empty in this time of the
   year (including weekends) which are good for figure skating. The one I
   like the most is near the Marina (just below the Raging Water
   entrance) which has new pavement and it slope make it ideal for slalom
   (you might find the chalk marks I made this morning ;-> ). You can
   feed the ducks (millions of them), fish (or at least try to), or have
   Cock from the vending machine near the entrance to Raging Water. The
   parking costs one $ but there is no body to pay for or a box to leave
   the money so I consider it free (probably it is different at summer).
   To get there, take 101 Tully exit east (one exit south to the point
   were 101 and 280 met) and go on Tully all the way until you will see
   the entrance on the left side (just after the airport).
   From: (Shyh-Pei Yen)
   Date: Unknown
   _Place_: Shoreline Park in Mountain View
   _Direction_: 101 exit Shoreline Blvd North. At the end of Shoreline
   Blvd is the park entrance. Keep going until you get to the Boat House,
   you can park there.
   _Fee_: None.
   _Level_: beginner and intermediate.
   _Description_: There are plenty trials available in Shoreline Park
   where you can skate. And there's one trail is super smooth which is
   really a pleasure to skate on it. The parking lot is also very smooth.
   Best of all, when you are tired, you can sit by the lake and watch
   people windsurfing.
   _Drawback_: The Park is getting crowded in the afternoon. Sometime,
   it's hard to find a parking space by the lake.
   From: (Susan Petersen)
   Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 09:31:30 -0800
   i wanted to let you know that a new skatepark has opened in San Jose,
   California [...]
   It is located at 230 Umbarger Road (the back street of the Santa Clara
   County Fairgrounds) between Monterey and Senter Roads. Look for Carpet
   Connection and go behind it to the last warehouse (Warehouse #16). Its
   a small place that houses a half-pipe, wall ride, grind box and box
   jump with plans to expand.
   It is open to aggressive inliners saturday and sundays between
   530-10p. If anyone wants info, please call 408.972.1600 and ask for
   Brian Jackson or email me at
    Santa Cruz
   From: Spaz (
   Date: 9 Aug 1995 04:42:25 GMT
   You wanna know about *good* places to blade in Santa Cruz? Wow! There
   aren't any. :) Kinda have to make your own. :>
   Of course, there is West Cliff drive, **ACK**, if you're the once in a
   while weekender blader, but me, I live on me blades. I skate clear
   from Aptos (McDonald and Freedom) right into downtown Santa Cruz
   almost daily. :>
   All which is inbetween has become my blading domain! I usually take
   Freedom to Soquel, and Soquel all the way in. I am not sure how far it
   is, but I think between 10 and 15 miles. Still, I find all sorts of
   inbetweens entertaining.. . .
    1. Across the Capitola Mall on the other side of 41st ave is a nice
       neighborhood with mostly vacant streets to skate around in at just
       about any time of the week.
    2. I like Brommer St, it is long and well paved and straight. I
       usually do a one-way trip north or south, but can see me blading
       back and forth with someone who just wants to go back and forth.
    3. Just below UCSC off Nobel St. there are some nice neighborhoods
       with very pleasent skating for the most part. You can see father
       and son out on blades sometimes putzing along together (well
       actually, the son is usually found skating circles around the
    4. It's a nice skate up and down Freedrick St. in the Seabright area.
       The neighborhoods in that area are what I would call Ideal for
    5. Downtown ofcourse, :) , illegal though it may be, ;) , area is
       perfect for jollying about on blades. Cool parking structures too.
    6. As insane as it may sound, I have found I absolutely love Valencia
       at night with me 4-cell Mag-lite. It's a pretty kick-ass little
       route if you're into that kind of blading. :>
    7. Downhill Ski-ing anyone, I hear the Empire Grade is the most
       bitching dive on blades. However, I have only done Glen Coolridge
       Drive down through to and down Bay St. all the way to mission.
       Second only to a good skydive.
    8. East Cliff Drive has it's moments, but watch out for the beach
       psycos who get drunk daily along the cliffs, they seem to have a
       personal problem with blades. :<
    9. Prospect Hights just below De LaVeaga Park is part of a decent
       neighborhood to skate. The roads are really smooth, and the
       drivers are mostly concerned parents who are thinking of people in
       the road. :)
   10. I rather like (personally) the 41st Ave run, from Soquel to the
       beach. A pleasent run if you're comfortable around busy
       parkinglot's and cars. However, once you get to Capitola Rd, you
       can move over north one block and complete the trip via 38th Ave.
       which is smooth for most of the way, but turns to crap right near
       the end (less cars though, and you can do Brommer if you decide
       you have energy).
   11. Mission St. is one of my loves, it is straight, sidewalked, and
       full of "interesting" obstacles which aren't nessaccarilly
       threatening. Mostly unwitting pedestrians. :)
   12. Practice hills?
         1. Water St. between Branciforte and Market (a small steep hill
            with enough space to skate, and a long straight-a-way at the
         2. Soquel from Vienna Dr down into Cabrillo College (a very
            mellow slope which begins up another hill after you have
            reached the bottom so you are going to stop either way)
         3. The Mirrimar St. Psyco-drop (just kidding, but it is a very
            good place to learn how to slolemn without sliding or wiping
            out, be armored when playing on the Psyco-drop, I can power-
            slide the entire leanght of the hill without meaning to.)
   13. Santa Cruz City and County in general. I have only named a couple
       of the places I have grown to like. I can tell you the places I
       absolutely despise too if you like.
   From: (Tara Dalton)
   Date: Sat, 05 Aug 1995 23:01:29 GMT
   There is a nice path in Monterey right along the ocean. The best part
   of it (smooth cement) is between the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the
   warf. That part is only about a mile or so long. The rest of the path
   continues in both directions, but it gets kinda rough. It is a great
   place to skate because it is really smooth and wide, and on weekends
   there are always lots of skaters out.
   From: (Stephen Richardson)
   Date: Tue, 2 Jul 1996 10:34:54 -0700
   Seventeen Mile Drive, in Carmel
   Starting at the north gate, near the Asilomar Conference Grounds in
   Pacific Grove, the Seventeen Mile Drive trail winds past a toll booth
   (skaters don't pay), out through Pebble Beach golf course, and along
   the beach. After a few miles, it turns slightly inland, hairpinning up
   one fairly steep hill, and goes among the multi-million dollar homes
   of the Seventeen Mile Drive residential area, overlooking scenery that
   rivals any on the Big Sur coast.
   Pay no attention to the pokey-slow tourists that crowd the road.
   They're not going fast enough to provide any real threat. The surface
   here is nicely paved, with just enough curves and hills to keep it
   really fun.
   The Pebble Beach Clubhouse complex, about halfway through the tour, is
   a good place to turn around and go back. Continuing forward along
   Seventeen Mile Drive is a grueling mountainous skate, with more
   Traffic and less scenery.
    San Luis Obispo
   From: (Kinsley Wong)
   Date: Unknown
   [Try] Santa Rosa Parks, Perfumo Canyon Road, Palm Street Parking
    Santa Barbara
   Web sites with Santa Barbara info:
     * Rnady Morse's "Santa Barbara Skate":
    Los Angeles
   From: (Edith Weil)
   Date: Unknown
   The Rose Bowl--terrific for its large and varied terrain, as well as
   sparce population most of the time.
   Griffith Park--the back end. It can have a lot of traffic going
   through--especially on the weekends. If you start at the Crystal
   Springs picnic area and work towards Burbank, the workout is well
   paced, having inclines, straightaways, a few hills, and various
   parking lots to stop and noodle around in. Also, rolling along under
   the Eucalyptus trees is about as pleasant as anything--if you watch
   out for the twigs and tree junk on the ground.
   The Beach--an obvious choice, but about the nicest place to cruise
   I've ever skated--with the exception of crowds. Now that summer's
   here, the crowd situation will be problematic. I've gone from
   Manhatten to Hermosa and back a couple-a-few times, as well as
   starting in Santa Monica and working up towards Malibu. Both trips are
   A few weekends ago we went down to a park near the LA county
   fairgrounds (I forget the name, but you can't miss it.) The lake is
   circled by a concrete path going through the lawns and picnic areas
   that lead down to the shore. We took a divergent path and ended up
   going through a hilly area that wound up in a trailer park. Sort of
   interesting day, not the best skating, but there's a hot-tub rental
   place just outside the park if you want to relax afterwards. I'd go
   there again just to do something different.
   From: (DuSki)
   Date: 25 Apr 1995 16:28:31 -0400
   Colin Summers (72241.437@CompuServe.COM) asks:
     ...flying in a few weeks ago I looked down and there seemed to be a
     bike path on the beach at the end of the LAX runway. I looked again
     the next flight, sure enough there it is with bikers and bladers on
     it. I bladed to the Marina Del Ray end of my run, but couldn't
     figure out a way around the channel."
   The path you are asking about is called "The Strand" and it goes from
   Santa Monica all the way down to the cliffs at Palos Verdes. Since I
   moved to Minnesota a few years ago and hadn't skated the Strand for a
   while before that, I can't tell you exactly how to navigate through
   the Marina, but I can tell you that its possible to get through on the
   path without getting on Lincoln Blvd. And the view on the Strand
   around Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo is DEFINITELY worth the trip
   ;-).. If I remember correctly, just stay as close to the water as you
   can as you go through the Marina. Have fun!
   From: (John Godden)
   Date: 26 Apr 1995 03:29:58 GMT
   [Re the Strand] I have skated that path many times and yes you don't
   have to use Lincoln blvd. Coming from the north you will dead end into
   the Marina Del Ray channel. At this point just keep bearing to the
   right as you circle around the marina. There are patches of bike path
   and some low traffic street routes but its relatively obvious.
   Eventually you will end up on Fuji Way which has lots of boat yard
   type places. At the "end" of Fuji way you will see a clearly marked
   sign on the South Side of the street that starts the bike path up
   again. After a 3/4 mile westerly jaunt along Ballona Creak the path
   hops over the creak and heads south towards the South Bay. Trust me
   the trip will be worth it. The Finest stretch of sand and visuals you
   will ever lay your eyes on.
   One tip I will give you. There are generally moderate afternoon winds
   from the north so it is best the plan your trip accordingly.
   From: (Kevin Carothers)
   Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 21:43:35 GMT
   I keep on praising the virtues of the Sepulveda Dam Recreation complex
   all the time in this group --
   It's fun, free, near the best skate shop in the San Fernando Valley,
   and _not_ boring -- a few chills & spills & hills, but extremely
   navigatable on wheels... Approximately 16 miles of smooth 2-lane
   concrete bike paths, and lots of parking. There are some cracks in the
   sidewalk, some a result of the Northridge quake, but overall a good
   experience. The only problem I have is that it is not very shady over
   half of the trails. Oh Well.
    Long Beach
   From: elias@fitz.TC.Cornell.EDU (Doug Elias)
   Date: Unknown
   i just got back last night from a business trip to Long Beach Ca.,
   during which i was able to escape my captors a few times in order to
   sample some of the beach-skating along the Strand. My Macro-EQ's
   having so far been fed exclusively on a diet of Ithaca pothole-and-
   gravel, this was a golden opportunity to find out how they'd perform
   under something better than, shall we say "marginal", conditions.
   Suffice it to say that i'll be reliving that experience in my dreams
   for quite some time to come, thanks in large measure to a guy i met in
   one of the beach shops dotted along the Strand.
   i was stroking past this little shack with the sign "Alfredo's"
   painted on it when i saw a rack of 'blading accessories, so i pulled
   in to look them over (cagey folks, that's exactly why they have them
   out there in plain view). While i was looking over the wheels and
   pads, out rolls Dana Bergman, Alfredo's resident inline-expert and a
   member of their skating team. He's wearing a pair of Reidell's (sorry,
   never got the model, but it's got 3 buckles and 4 wheels, if that's
   any help), and we get to talking about Macro's (he had a pair when
   they first came out) and bearings (did you know that Macro's used to
   come stock with German bearings, and only recently switched to
   Singapore NMB's? Dana was shocked and saddened) and proper
   care-and-feeding-of-same. i got a first-hand lesson in popping dust
   covers off of "sealed bearings" -- i use that phrase advisedly,
   because that's how Rollerblade describes them in their technical
   material. i told Dana that and he just laughed: "Yeah, all they want
   to do is sell you a new set when they get gritty, instead of telling
   you how to clean them and loosing the sale." So he pulls out a
   brand-new set of German ABEC-3's still in the wrapper, digs a little
   optical screwdriver (the kind you use to tighten your temples, for all
   you four-eyes like me) out of his kitbag, and twists off one of the
   covers. "Ya gotta be careful with those Singapore bearings, though",
   he cautioned, "the covers are on a lot tighter and you might jab the
   blade through your hand, but they still pick up dirt and grit." He put
   a little dab of a light grease (i didn't catch the name, but it comes
   in this 6" long black cardboard cylinder) inside the bearing, rubs it
   around, then adds a drop or two of this fairly high-priced oil that
   comes in a nifty little pocket-clip applicator with a long needle-tip,
   "Mogema In-Line Racing Oil"; when the original supply of oil is used
   up, he re-fills it with Marvel Mystery Oil, which he claims is just as
   good, if a little thinner, and much cheaper. If he had had to clean
   them first, he would have used a tuna can full of acetone to loosen up
   the junk and dissolve any grease/oil that remained, pounded them a few
   times on a hard surface to knock the loosened stuff out, then set them
   out for a minute or two to let the acetone evaporate, followed by the
   re-greasing procedure i just described.
   My bearing are still doing fine, so i didn't buy any of his, but he
   had a supply of aluminum spacers in stock, and i snapped up a full
   set, and bought one of his pocket-oilers off him -- damn, you might
   say i was impressed with how much better i rolled with the new spacers
   and a couple of drops of oil per bearing.
   Since the day was kinda cloudy and business was slack they closed up
   and Dana took me back up the Strand to the Long Beach Natatorium
   (where they held the swimming events in the '88 Olympics), and gave me
   an introduction to stair-riding -- if only it were as simple as he
   made it look. He said that there were four main points, whether you're
   riding them frontwards or backwards:
    1. have one foot "in front" (relative to the stairs),
    2. put most of your weight on the back foot (the one coming down
       last), and use the front one for balance and control,
    3. have your weight forward (relative to yourself, i.e, bend over at
       the waist and shift your weight to follow your upper body), and
    4. keep the wheels that are going down first on both skates UP, don't
       let them go DOWN, or you'll follow them.
   Dana claims that backwards stair-riding is much more natural an
   activity than going down frontwards, given the way our knees bend, and
   that it's basically just our inbred fear of moving in a direction
   opposite to the way we're facing that makes it seem otherwise. And, as
   we all learned on our bikes when our training wheels came off, you're
   more stable at-speed than you are going slowly. i believe him, but i
   haven't worked my way up to practicing it quite yet -- now that i have
   a good example of what to shoot for, it's only a matter of time (and
   the obligatory case-or-two of stair-rash -- for damn-sure i'm going to
   be wearing a helmet when i start practicing these moves; so far i've
   gotten away with wrist-, elbow- and knee-protectors, but then i've
   made it a serious point to keep my skates on the ground, and the
   ground continuous rather than step-function-like).
   That much would have been a nice addition to my stay in southern
   California, but the next afternoon Dana took me for a guided tour of
   downtown Long Beach that was little short of fantastic. Parking ramps,
   waist-high walls around parking lots, 50-yard long drops down a 40%
   grade followed by a hairpin over a swatch of dirt and into a parking
   lot...but the absolute best had to be the Long Beach Veterans
   Building, with three sets of 3-4 stairs separated by about 20-30 feet
   each going down, and then a set of S-curves following the handicap
   ramp going back up, all this fitting inside a 30 x 80 foot rectangle:
   Dana likened it to the Long Beach Gran Pri for formula-1, and gave me
   a demo, taking the stairs in nonchalant jumps that looked like an
   alpine downhiller catching air over a mogul, and then powering up the
   ramp with fast, powerful crossovers while leaning far out over ("But
   don't touch!") the hand-rails. He and his friends race this course
   frequently, but i couldn't figure out where they had room to pass,
   certainly not on the ramp: "Oh, I always pass on the stairs, they all
   yell: 'Look out! Here comes Dana!', and I just come blasting down".
   He had lots of little tips picked up over the years, stuff like:
     * wear a Walkman so you can skate to music -- it helps take your
       mind off your skates and lets your body start learning how to use
       them without your head getting in the way;
     * play little games with inanimate objects, like seeing how close
       you can come to light-posts, or spinning around fire-plugs, or
       stoking full-speed at a garbage-can and doing a jump-turn-around
       at the last second,
     * play tag and follow-the-leader with your friends,
     * kick around a tennis-ball (the way he described it, it almost
       sounded like one-man miniature-soccer), and, most important,
     * _Never sit down or stop moving_, you get locked up and stiff -- to
       rest, stay on your skates and do little things like practice
       turn-arounds, or zig-zags, or crossovers, or skating inside as
       small an area (a concrete rectangle on the sidewalk) as you can
       stay within.
   In case anyone in the LA area is interested, the Alfredo's folks are
   giving serious thought to the construction of an inline park somewhere
   in Long Beach, with a speed-oval surrounding an inner playground with
   ramps, stairs, tubes, and a re-creation of the the Veterans Building
   Formula-1 course. They're already solidly behind city efforts to
   convert an unused volleyball court just across the street from the
   beach into a fully-functional roller-hockey facility; this should be
   done well before summer officially starts.
   One last tip for the beer-loving 'blader who visits the Long Beach
   Strand: be sure to stop into the Belmont Brewery, just an in-field fly
   away from the Natatorium: really great service which, frankly,
   wouldn't be worth mentioning if it weren't for the truly fantastic
   brewed-on-premise beers (okay, okay -- the food is excellent, too, but
   the beers are really exceptional).
   Bottom-line: if you have an opportunity to take your skates to Long
   Beach, look up Dana and coerce him to give you a Downtown Long Beach
   Tour -- he's really good company, a damn-fine skater, and an
   all-'round nice guy. And don't forget the Belmont Brewery!
   From: (KH SYMBIOS)
   Date: 20 Aug 1994 03:27:07 -0400
   Another Ultimate place to skate is in Long Beach. Go park your car in
   shorline park then skate the park for good measure. North of it is a
   large dock area for Catalina Boats, there are wide expanses of
   concrete there between the commercial buildings..great for freestyle
   or hockey practice. If you go south of the shoreline village you can
   skate on smooth and wide sidewalks beside the marina...this path takes
   you to the beach sidewalk path which goes about 5 miles south past the
   Belmont Pier and to the Seal Beach Breakwater. I think this is the
   ultimate for skating. Wide range of terrain and nice views too!
    Orange County
   From: "Irene M. GRAFF" (
   Date: Wed, 31 Aug 94 13:15:05 PST
   I live in Orange County, CA which has some great places to skate.
   First off is the (mostly flat) beach recreation path which stretches
   in various forms from Newport Beach through Huntington to Sunset
   Beach. The best part of the path is along Huntington State Beach, but
   Newport Beach is more interesting (albeit a slower skate due to heavy
   use). The distance between Huntington and Newport Piers is about 10
   miles round-trip. The surface north of Huntington Beach Pier is quite
   a bit rougher but worth it for the bluff-top views and hill work.
   At the southern end of Huntington State Beach, you can hook up with
   the very long Santa Ana River Trail (over 40 miles round trip). This
   path has many roadway underpasses but they are fairly smooth. For
   extreme skaters, I've seen a lot of activity on the floor of the river
   which is very accessible since it was rebuilt (no, it's not really a
   "river" at most points, merely a flood channel, which is dry most of
   the year).
   If you like river trails, there are some good ones in the city of
   Irvine. Irvine is very bike/skate friendly, but the University of
   California at Irvine has, unfortunately, banned skating on campus
    San Diego
   From: Ann Patterson (
   Date: 1 May 1995 23:03:48 GMT
   There is also a Friday Night Skate in San Diego. It isn't as big as
   San Francisco's, but we do the same kind of thing. We meet at Mike's
   Bikes, near the rollercoaster in Mission Beach, at 6:30, and skate
   10-20 miles, depending on where we go. Helmets are required.
   From: (Joan Tine)
   Date: Mon, 6 Feb 1995 03:13:29 GMT
   If you can't get south enough along the coast to skate South Mission
   Beach at least once (and visit Hamel's Action Sports by the roller
   coaster) you'll have missed _the_ San Diego skating venue. (Not the
   best, just the best known, and it's _summer_ here:). It's less than 15
   min. from La Jolla, come down the coast route, or I-5 S to I-8 W to W.
   Mission Bay Drive, turn south at the roller coaster, go to the tip of
   the peninsula and park..skate north to Crystal Pier, turn around, come
   back to the parking lot, continue east, skate up the inside of the
   bay-side of the peninsula, and continue around...(if you're inventive,
   you can get to the Bahia Hotel without crossing the street).
   Generally, you can get a quick 26 miles without exposing yourself to
   cars, and the parking lot at south Mission is where a lot of people
   who aren't stunting in front of Hamel's practice.
   La Jolla itself is pretty hilly, the Cove is quite steeeeeeeeeep!
   <splash>. You could always try Mt. Soledad...(if your name is Francois
   Hyacinthe). UCSD is pretty nice, and skates are proabably as nice a
   way to see the (haloooooooooo ooooooo ooooo) campus as any.
   But bring your swimwear (or buy some there!) and skate the MB Board-
   walk...mind the tourists in trance and the loadies on weed, and you'll
   be fine.
   From: (Veda Larson)
   Date: 8 Oct 94 03:05:32 GMT
   Down here in San Diego, my fave haunt is Miramar Lake/reservoir, at
   I-5 and Mira Mesa Blvd. It's a 5-mile loop around a very pretty lake
   -- a nice workout routine. Even though lots of people go there
   (bikers, runners, walkers, fishers :), they're all spread out so it's
   still very peaceful. Play It Again Sports nearby rents skates, so you
   can take your newbie friends, too. The west end of the lake is a sort
   of dam overlooking the city, and the coast off in the distance. It is
   a mind- and body- cleansing experience to skate around the lake and
   stop at the west end to stretch and watch the sunsets on the ocean
   beyond the city.
   The boardwalk in Mission Beach and the paths around Mission Bay are
   fun, and there are lots of rental shops nearby, but they are quite a
   bit too touristy for my taste, especially in the summer.
   From: (S0ren Ashe)
   Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 16:38:02 GMT
   For beginners: the Jack Murphy Stadium parking lot is huge, flat in
   places, good slopes elsewhere. Balboa Park west of Cabrillo Bridge,
   South Mission Beach from the parking lot to north of Crystal Pier is
   classic SoCal beach boardwalk (mind the airheads!) Mission Bay by the
   Hilton hotel, Miramar Lake, etc. For hocky go to Olympic Skate in
   Fashion Valley between Interstate 8 and Friars Road, they have a court
   and manage team competition.
   From: (Veda Larson)
   Date: 26 Oct 94 12:26:14 GMT
   Behind the food court & ice rink at UTC (University Towne Centre) mall
   there is a nice smooth, winding, moderately descending path that's
   just wide enough for me to control my speed by slaloming if I
   concentrate. It has always been totally deserted and is flanked by
   hills with overlooking houses. The experience is actually a lot like
   downhill skiing!
   Ye olde path ends at Towne Centre Drive across from the Renaissance
   Towne Centre, behind which there are more charming paths and bridges
   by a creek. Overall skating distance is not long, but this is a cute
   route to try if you're looking for something new to explore.
   [caveat: UTC security will stop you ~10-20% of the time. you can go
   around the back of the parking lot, carry your skates through the
   mall, or skate slowly and carefully so as not to scare anyone. ;]
   From: (thomas winter)
   Date: 3 Jan 1996 20:47:09 GMT
   Just spent Dec. 26-30 in San Diego. Here's the skater's scouting
    1. Skating from airport (Lindbergh Field) to the hotels--flatland.
    2. Skating the Silver Strand Bikeway--flatland.
    3. Skating to Ballast Point (AKA Cabrillo Pt)--moderate hills.
    4. Skating to Mission Beach--downhill braking required.
    5. To San Diego Zoo--Flatland.
   _1. Airport to hotels_
   San Diego is the only convention city I've ever been in where it is
   practical -- even legal! -- to skate in from the airport.
   As soon as you walk out of the terminal, take the sidewalk towards the
   highway (South). Just south of all the doors, there are two benches.
   Sit down, pull yr skates out of yr underseat bag, put 'em on and skate
   to the highway (Harbor Drive). Cross it at first opportunity: the
   bikepath is on the other side. You can see the towers of the hotel
   district from the Harbor Drive at the Airport. Just skate to them.
   Bikepath all the way! About 4 miles 15-20 minutes on recreational
   skates. It took a few strokes to get used to the heavy weight of the
   underseat bag slung over the shoulder.
   On the way, notice (1) The steam schooner _Medea_, right next to the
   ferry Berkeley, and the square-rigged _Star of India_. These three
   ships together constitute the Maritime museum. $6 to tour all three.
   Loaded w stuff to stir a boy's heart. If you've ever made a model
   boat, you'll want to do this museum!
   Next, just past the _Star of India_, there's the Broadway Pier, where
   you catch the modern ferryboat. Take note, 'cause you'll be wanting to
   find it! At this point, the hotels are just around one more bend.
   Note the Hyatt. You can go up to the 40th floor "Sight Bar" for the
   best view of the harbor. I did it in my convention-going professor
   costume, in shoes. The bar opens at noon, but even when it's closed,
   there's a huge panel window looking to the north and another looking
   to the south. Great place for getting oriented to the entire bay area.
   _2. Best bikeway in the world? Silver Strand Bikeway _
   See for yourself. Get back to the Broadway Pier and buy a ferry ticket
   (only $2!) for Coronado. Boat LVs Broadway on the hour, returns from
   Coronado on the half hour. A neat 15-minute boatride across and down
   the bay puts you at the Coronado Pier. The bike trail starts just
   south of it, going along the shore for a while through a nice park,
   then around the north edge of the golf course. Turn south after the
   golf course through sidewalk (El Chico Rd.) to the trail head. Before
   you lies about nine miles of blacktop bikepath down the full length of
   the causeway that connects Imperial with Coronado. On your left is the
   Bay, on your right is a four-lane highway, dunes, and the Pacific
   Ocean. Carry your shoes along (I carried good walking shoes in lieu of
   wristguards everywhere in San Diego) so you can take a break on the
   ocean shore if you like.
   About halfway down, there's a public park ("Bike Parking Only"--no
   cars!). Nice restrooms (Why not? Human-Powered-Vehicle drivers are a
   better class of people!) and water fountains. Stop and admire the bay.
   Further there are bird refuges, complete with birds. Add to your
   lifelist. The trail ends at 7th Street in Imperial, where you find
   yourself on good asphalt amid low-rent housing. Explore if you like.
   The return is great for practicing your racing form: against the usual
   north wind, you have to minimize your frontal area to make significant
   headway. I passed some recreational bikers easily, then was passed by
   a spandex-biker, whom I drafted the rest of the way. We didn't talk.
   He wasn't going to let me pass, and I figgered if he really didn't
   want to be drafted, he'd pull away from me -- if he could! He never
   lost me until the first light at Coronado. He ran it and I braked to a
   stop! Most of the time the afternoon of December 26, I had the
   bikepath to myself.
   _3. Ballast Point AKA Cabrillo Point_
   The attraction of Ballast Point is the submarines you can see being
   serviced at their wharves--plus being at the point itself. Just take
   the Harbor Drive bikepath north. Cross the street at the Sheraton to
   STAY on the bikepath. If you don't, you get detoured to Shelter
   Island. But toward the north of Shelter Island, there's a good deli
   where you can buy a reasonable tasty lunch and chow down while ogling
   the yachts. The street you want is Rosecrans, two+lane blacktop with a
   painted bikepath lane. To get to it best, turn from the bikepath onto
   Scott St., then north one block up to Rosecrans. Hills, yes, but
   nothing scary. Smile at the MP at the Subase checkpoint as you go by.
   No prob. Last building on the left is a laundromat w pop machines.
   Enjoy the view and the air at the point.
   On your way back, you might want to climb to the top of the ridge. Do
   it in shoes. In the Subase above the Submarine wharves, look for a
   many-tiered set of wooden stairs. I climbed up. The stairs lead to a
   mountain road turnout. From there I skated up to the top of the saddle
   of the Loma Point ridge. Bad mistake. I won't go down any slope where
   I can't see the bottom, so I didn't go down the other side, but there
   I was with just such a downhill behind me! Figured at least the way
   back I knew where the turnout was. I should have put on the shoes and
   walked. First the tight slalom speed-control then the hell with it
   just use the heelbrake. Hey, sounds like the heelbrake is down to
   metal Ok the turnout is coming into view. Made the turnout. Whew. Too
   exciting! Put on shoes. Walked back down. Skated calmly back Rosecrans
   to Harbor Drive.
   _4. Skating to Mission Beach. _
   Before you start answer one question: If they painted a bikelane on
   the shoulder of I-80, would you skate it? If not, just take the 34 bus
   from downtown. Costs $1.50. I took Harbor Drive to the Nimitz Blvd
   which has a painted bikepath lane. I picked it because it doesn't go
   straight over the ridge, but goes over it transversely, so it has a
   gentler slope. It's business/residential at first, then becomes
   limited access. Uphill, the blacktop has been slurry-sealed, so where
   there was sidewalk, I used it.
   Two problems downhill:
   (a) The part to the underpass looked ok to me, so I just coasted it.
   Mistake. It gave my four-wheelers a high-speed wobble. Do some
   preliminary deceleration, for high-speed wobble is a threat to your
   control. Since it is too late for me, I scissor a bit to lengthen the
   "wheelbase" and muscle through. Stay vertical.
   (b) Along the downhill, there is one "on-ramp" of merging traffic.
   WATCH for it. It starts over your head on the right. Start
   decelerating as soon as you see it, because the cars on it are going
   to drive right through your little painted bikepath.
   It will be nicer if you have made it to a stop by then.
   You are forewarned. I was not.
   At the foot, again on level ground, there's an off-ramp to deal with,
   a light, then a bridge. This is where the three roads -- Nimitz,
   Highway 8, and Sunset Cliffs Blvd. -- all converge. Go right to the
   light, through the light, then stay on the right to the bridge -- the
   bike path goes under it and continues on the lefthand side of the
   bridge. If you don't get back on the bridge, you go straight out a
   detour to dog-walking land and the worst asphalt of the trip. Get back
   on the bridge. You are now on Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
   Get of

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