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|From the St. Helena Star - The Weekly Calistogan June 13, 2002|
Silverado Trail set to close for skaters Best in West in Calistoga skating race by Dave Williams SPORTS EDITOR
Unless you're wearing a pair of rollerblades, a portion of the Silverado Trail will be closed to you on Sunday morning. The 12.5 portion of the Silverado Trail - from the Silver Rose Winery in Calistoga to Rutherford Cross - will be closed from 7 to 8 a.m. on Sunday because of the Calistoga Roadskate. The race will feature many of the top inline skaters on theWest Coast, including Knute Skarpass and Dan Burger. There also will be a few skaters from other parts of the country mixed in, accordmg to race organizer David Miles.
"The Silverado Trail is a great place to do a skate," Miles said. '1People dream about skating on that trail." Although several skaters routinely use the Silverado Trail for recreational purposes, there hasn't been a event of this scope since 1997, according to Miles. The first skate on the trail was held in 1993, but Miles said he had to stop the races in 1997 because it was difficult maintain a semblance of order.
Just like with anything, you've got some bad apples who spoil it for everybody, said Miles. "Those people just come in for the skate and won't follow the rules. But they get to go back home. I have to work with all of the officials here."
The California Highway Patrol has worked with Miles and other Napa County agencies to ensure things go smoothly. And one part of their agreement was the one-hour closure of the Silverado Trail. Sunday's race is expected to draw somewhere in the neighborhood of 150-200 skaters. Many of those skaters will arrive in the Bay Area on Friday and participate in the Friday Night Skate. On Saturday, they'll check into their hotels in the Napa Valley and then hit the Silverado Trail on Sunday.
Miles said he's hoping to keep the number of participants down for the next couple of years.
He said when he gets all the logistics of holding such an event worked out, then he would like to expand the field. "In the future, I'd like to have it where we could go 26 miles, like a marathon," Miles said. "That way, we'd be able to go up and back. But for now, we've got it going one way, and I'm happy to have that."
Miles' ultimate dream would be for the Silverado Trail to be used in the 2012 Olympics should San Francisco be awarded the Games. "The Silverado Trail would be the perfect place to introduce inline skating as an Olympic sport," Miles said. "My vision would be to have the best skaters from around the world racing the course."
For now, he'll just have to settle for the best in the west.