|There you will find them taking
leisurely strolls, break dancing or engaged in blinding slaloms, gravity defying
acrobatics or pickup games of street hockey. It's a close-knit group (practically everyone
is on a first-name basis) attracting many skaters from the Eastbay. Now Miles is ready to
branch out. Along with a contingent calling itself the Lakeside Rollers, Miles will make
Lake Merritt something of a skating mecca.
It's going to take ,a long time,"he
conceded of the Oakland assault. "The paths needs some major repaving and someone has
to come up with the money."
Of course, Miles has yet to approach the various city officials with any real proposal.
Still, he hopes to drum up support this Sunday when the Outdoor Rollerskating Association
holds its Kryptonic Christmas Classic, a skating exhibition and competition that will take
place all day at John F. Kennedy Drive at Sixth Avenue in San Francisco.
The exhibition, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature speed skating, dancing
exhibitions, barrel jumping and aerial acrobatics. Admission is free.
'Miles and his skate team - they perform at various fairs and, festivals - will put out
the message that "skating is the recreation for the '90s, a sport that is beneficial
physically and mentally. "It's not something that should be limited to
childhood," he added. "The people who have the attitude that this is something
childish are the people who are working too hard."
Miles, in his 30s, has been a part of the Golden Gate skate scene since the early
1980s, when the park first allotted a special section just for skaters. He says he lobbied
City and park officials to come upwith $180,000 to build a special skating area on Kennedy
On a good Sunday, we get up to 4,000 skaters during the day" said Miles, who works
for the city's parks and recreation department. To keep things rolling, Miles oversees
several safety patrols including a troop of Explorer Scouts - and offers free lessons
every Sunday at 11 a.m. He and. his charges dispense all sorts of advice as well as the
Rollerskating, the province of disco parlors and beach boardwalks during the '70s, is
enjoying something of a third coming. The urethane wheel that replaced the metal wheel
lead to the '70s fad, and now in-line skates are attracting the attention. These skates
feature a single line of fast-moving wheels down the middle of a ski-type boot.
Think of an ice skate on wheels. Miles says the in-line skates provide more speed - you
can skate up to 25 mph on a flat surface - less friction, and make for "more graceful
Yet the new skates .have a braking system that is awkward when compared to older
skates. Whereas conventional skates' toe brakes enabled quick stops on the proverbial
dime, in-lines have a heel brake that must be dragged along.
The in-lines are also expensive, averaging between $80. and $350. In contrast,
conventional skates can be purchased for under $100.
For those who don't want to fork over the cash, there are always rentals, available
through moble shops and small storefronts such as Skates on Haight - surrounding the
park." In-lines and conventional skates can be rented for a few dollars by the hour,
or for daily rates in the $10 range.
For more information on joining the Outdoor Rollerskating Association or skating on
Sundays, call 864-5819