Skating in Washington DC in May, 2014
“Adventure is not outside man; it is within.”
What would be our life if we did not take risks? If we did not seek adventures? If despite all odds, we did not pursue something that is challenging, daring, but turns out to be one of the best moments of your life? I am talking about my recent trip to Washington DC. It was not about sightseeing even that I would have enjoyed doing the same tours I had taken when I had visited DC in 2009. It was about adventure! It was about sports! As you already know, I took on a new hobby which is also a sports – inline speed skating. I am still more of an amateur-beginner. But it does not stop me. Why should it? Where else would I learn if not ‘in the field’?
So, I went ahead and decided to join the event hosted by Washington Area Roadskaters (WAR), an Inline Skating Club. This is a non-profit social organization of intermediate and professional skaters that promotes safe and enjoyable inline skating since 1987. Its members skate the streets of DC during weekdays or weekends in an organized group, following safety precautions, traffic rules and choosing safe routes. Some of their skates are for advanced skaters only, and they mention difficulty level of each particular venue. You can check updates on the upcoming and past events on their Facebook Fan page https://www.facebook.com/groups/WashingtonAreaRoadskaters/, or on their website http://www.skatedc.org/, or on a meetup website: http://www.meetup.com/Washington-Area-Roadskaters/. Once a year they host a three-day event when skaters from other states can join them to explore various routes of DC from famous landmarks like monuments and historic buildings to park trails.
This year the “Skate DC Weekend 2014″ fell on May 2nd to 4th. There were over 100 participants this time with many of them coming from other states! Some bicycle riders also joined the group. Every day the skate started from the White House, and lasted at least 12 miles. Saturday morning skate lasted about 19 miles, and was the most challenging for me not due to distance but due to a few downhills. I had a lot of support and help from more experienced skaters. It was my second attendance of the event of this type. First was Miami Great EsSkate back in February 2014. I am proud to say I did not fall or injure myself in any way; I skated a total of 40 plus miles over the weekend! The total for the whole week for me was 70 plus miles – my personal record so far! I am excited to continue my adventures in inline skating.
I hope information about skating events will be useful for adventurous minds looking for something different or something new. And now – some photos from my recent adventurous trip to a beautiful city of Washington DC!
Each skate started from the White House! Here is the group photo from day one:
I am very excited before my first skate:
I make some new friends, and it is twice as pleasant as we are originally from the same country – Ukraine!
We all start rolling out on our first night skate:
We are skating with the traffic, on a bicycle lane while the city is diving into dusk.
While waiting for the traffic lights to change, we enjoy the silhouettes of the city landmarks blackened against sunset skies…
We dance at the Lincoln Memorial surrounded by other tourists and locals who are also enjoying warm May nights of Washington DC:
After a short break, we continue our night mission – conquering Washington streets on skate:
This skate is a lot of fun as it is not very difficult, and everyone seems to take it easy. We end up at a nice restaurant ‘Teaism’, that offers 10% discount for our skating group. Its menu features a variety of loose leaf teas, including organic, and healthy meal options, that makes me incredibly happy!
A new skating day starts at the White House again, and we greet each other checking who made it to another day.
This will be a lengthy skate, and everyone is looking forward to it!
We take a subway to the other side of the city so that we would start skating from there towards the city. The subway employee did not let us in in socks (leave alone skates!), and we had to get some shoes.
Once out of the subway, we start on a trail, which is really nice and long.
Spring in Washington is one of the sights in itself: trees are in bloom, and the scent is intoxicating!
We are going up and down some hills:
After a series of hills we need some rest:
We continue on an uneven terrain, which is a bit challenging for me:
We see the sights at daylight, and the day is just sunny and beautiful! Compared to Florida sun, the DC sun is a pure joy! It shines, not burns!
We skate along office buildings, and passers by either wave at us or take pictures of our motley crowd.
On our morning skate on a second day we covered 19 miles!
Now we deserve a good rest and a nice meal at Tonic Restaurant at Quigley’s Pharmacy:
Some of the skaters are going on another skate (hardcore!) with steep hills for which I am not ready yet. But I am definitely ready for a good rest to be able to enjoy the third day!
The third day starts at… the White House! We are taken on another skating trip with beautiful vistas and challenging turns.
We are touring Washington DC happily, trying to get the best of two: exercising and sightseeing!
Each of us has various fitness goals, different skating levels and different styles of skating. Some are practicing tricks, others are here for speed, some (like me) – just starting out by conquering their fears.
At the end of the weekend I sum it up: I skated a total of 70 plus miles per week!! I feel pleasantly tired and inspired after seeing so many various skaters!
I have been asked a few times by other skaters what protection I use for my knees and elbows. I am glad to share it with you, too! It is called G-form, and you can check it here:
They come in different sizes, and are more comfortable than regular knee/elbow pads.
Another thing that should save your feet from blisters when you skate a lot – ankle booties Ezeefit! I have them in black, but they are also available in tan:
I would like to leave DC on a ‘tasty note’ so I must find the best sushi place recommended by a local. It turns out to be in Chinatown.
Getting a freeze dried ice-cream (made for astronauts) from a Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is a must!
Washington DC was very friendly to me! Safe skating, nice people and delicious meals… I catch a last glimpse of majestic buildings of Washington streets, and take great memories of an active and adventurous weekend.
Here are my recommended places for foodies:
– McCormick & Schmick’s. 1652 K St NW, Washington DC 20006. A 10-minute walk from The White House. Indoor/outdoor sitting. Lobster mashed potatoes & seared ahi tuna are delicious! Moderately priced.
– Wok And Roll – Japanese & Chinese cuisine. 604 H St. NW, Washington DC 20001. Located in Chinatown. Moderately priced. Indoor/outdoor sitting. Sushi are delicious!
– Elephant & Castle. 1201 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004. Moderately priced. Indoor/outdoor sitting. A 12-minute walk from the White House (or even less from any hotels in this area). Irish pub with Karaoke. Open until 11pm. Perfect for those moments when you are hungry and everything is closed in this area of Washington, DC. Their salmon burger just melted in my mouth.
-Teaism (several locations). A tea house with delicious oriental-flavored meals. Moderately priced. Indoor/outdoor sitting.
– Tonic Restaurant @ Quigley’s Pharmacy. 2036 G. St., NW Washington, DC 20036. Contemporary American Cuisine with a Southern twist. Fresh versatile meals & craft beers. Moderately priced. Indoor/outdoor sitting.
Now with full belly and aching muscles, I can finally finish this post.:-)
How’s your summer going on? Are you doing any sports this summer?
The Amateur Expert.
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Author: Elena White