JUNE 15, 2003

Roadskaters use leg power for 25 mile trek along Silverado Trail

By VINCE D' ADAMO Register Correspondent

Looking for a sure way to save money on gas? Try roadskating.

On Sunday morning roadskaters tested their legs on an annual trek, rolling along Silverado Trail between Silver Rose Winery in Calistoga and Luna Winery in Napa.

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The event, which is presented by the California Outdoor Rollerskating Association, marked the lO-year anniversary since the first Napa to Calistoga roadskate.

The course spanned 25 miles, with the first 12.5 miles from Rosedale Avenue to Rutherford Cross being closed to traffic. The skaters then continued southbound on Silverado Trail along the bike path for the remaining 12.5 miles to Luna Winery.

"On Highway 128, we move them over to the northbound side and treated them like any other pedestrian because there's no full road closure:: Lt. Doug Ulick said." Last year was a little different because they actually stopped it at 128. This is new for us but it seems to be working."

Event organizer David Miles Jr., however, had a different viewpoint. .

"I think they're trying to kill the event," Miles said. "How do you kill a TV show? Change the time slot around. When we were on the right side with traffic the beginning, we were getting 200-300 people. When they had us skating on the left side of the road; facing traffic, this event went down to 39 people. I think it's wrong."

Miles was not completely critical about the event, though would have preferred full re closure.

"I believe Lt. Ulick, and I worked with him, is sincere", Miles said. "This is how we got the closure last year. I wanted make sure that absolutely nothing could go wrong but if it wasn't for him, I probably could not have got that closure last year. That would be fantastic but back in 1997, they told me, 'We ain't gonna close it for you.'"

At least one competitor, Kim Perkins of Berkeley, agreed with Miles to a certain extent but still came away from Sunday with a good feeling. "I think it would have been better (to have full road closure) because we were crunched in a group," said the 36-year old Perkins, who was the first female to cross the finish line. "It's hard to do our race tactics." But, she said, "I kind of like it because it kind of reminds me of my favorite race. It's an 87-mile race from Athens, Ga., to Atlanta that I do every year. It's kind of a good old fashion street skating."

Steven Outen, a Fresno resident who hails originally from England, was the first competitor to cross the finish line. "It was a really good course," Outen said. "It had some good hills. It's one of the smoothest courses I've ever been on."

Ulick added that preparation timefor the event is not an overnight process. "We start preparing probably two months prior to the event," Ulick said. "We get the permit application, it needs to go to the I county to get approved. We schedule officers to work the event."

On the Net: California Outdoor RoUerskating Associatin http:\\ Register correspondent Vince D' Adamo can be reached via e-mail at

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