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LDP FORUM - THE MILE/MARATHON/ULTRASKATE


 

The Gods were smiling  

Although I doubted my Chinese fortune cookie from the night before, on this unique Monday morning, something was going to be different. I didn't know it yet, but this was the day the Signal Light Gods would smile upon me, and allow an exhilirating 11-mile commute, without putting a foot down on the pavement.

An early, promising sunny morning after the hell of April 15th taxes. The pavement was still wet in places, but dry enough for a trail surf. Am I ever glad I took Mother Nature up on the offer... Starting from Lake Forest Park, on the edge of Seattle City limits, where 145th Street meets the Burke Gilman trail, down to its dip under the Fremont Bridge -- my standard morning commute when I'm feeling like surfing into work. Roughly 10-11 miles to the bridge, then another mile to the south end of Lake Union.

The ride wasn't exactly smooth sailing. Had to press my luck a couple times and throw out a right hand to morning car commuters, begging for a break today...but somehow I think the entertainment value I provided to them was enough, they didn't mind the extra 5-second wait as I boogied down across the crosswalks. Technically I had the right of way, but Seattle commuters are blind and relentless. Boarders be on your guard...

Besides signals, the other constant trail hazards are hills, dogs, rocks, PINE CONES, worms, slugs, wet leaves, and your own self-doubt when your feet are about to vibrate out of their sockets. I don't know exactly how far this "record" was for me today, and after all it doesn't really matter...I just know I could have kept on going when I stopped. This ride helped define my quest -- for the longer, uninterrupted trail, the one that will put me face to face with complete exhaustion.

Sometimes bikers will, to this day, pass me on the trail and comment "Man, that looks like a lot of work." Hehe, if they only knew how far "work" is from my mind.... Until they get themselves on a deck and feel the stoke of carving non-stop lines, they'll simply never get it.

The magic of pumping a longboard is that it takes only a few turns to get hooked on the sensation of urethane shredding across the pavement. You don't have to push past the point of exhaustion to feel a "rush." Just after a few minutes, there's an exhiliration warming up, connecting turns. Once your legs start to burn, you just lighten up on the deck, and soon after that you're flying.

An hour or more into it, you're in such a state of bliss ain't nothing gonna get you down the rest of the day.

©2005 jpeters

JAMES PETERS