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If you can't follow these guidelines, then stay at home. No one wants to see your body underneath a bus or car. Those 700+ skaters wouldn't appreciate some idiot jeopardizing our fun. The streets are not the place for you to prove yourself. You don't have to be an expert skater to do this skate, but you must be able to stop and skate up hills.
The Friday Night Skate has received some stern warnings from the Police. Read about it here. Please follow these rules so we can continue to enjoy this event.
SAFETY GEAR AND LIGHTS ARE VERY IMPORTANT!!! EVERYONE, NO MATTER HOW GREAT OF A SKATER ONE MIGHT BE SHOULD WEAR A HELMET. HAND AND WRIST PROTECTION AND KNEE PADS ARE ALSO STRONGLY ADVISED WHILE SKATING.
Before we leave
If you must drive to the skate, and you park in the main lot, keep your car EMPTY of valuables. Don't encourage the bad guys - we're sort of sitting ducks in that lot.
The diamond-plate metal in the sidewalk makes a rough grating noise which has caused local boat-owners to complain. Discourage people from intentionally adding noise to this locale.
The wooden area above the stairs has a bathroom but is an area where security guards don't like us to be. So tiptoe VERY SLOWLY through this area if for some reason you're on the wood planking.
Here's a handicapped ramp on the right which makes a great launch, but it's right in front of a restaurant door. So don't do it; someone once barrelled into an older guy who is a local bigwig.
Fort Mason Hill
Danger, danger. There's a "blue-square" hard way down (veer right), and a "green circle" easy way down (veer left near the top); help beginners find the gentler road down.
The sidewalk does get a little crowded but the street is a more dangerous place to be. I discourage people, even "good skaters" from taking the road - those cars are anticipating getting on a freeway.
Palace of Fine Arts
Cross the busy road as close to the stop-light as you can. Again, those cars are moving fast and I encourage people to use the stoplight as a kind of shelter. (shout "you'll live longer if you cross at the light!)
The human chain can get going pretty fast. You're safest if you're near the front. Discourage people from trying to show off by skating backwards, sideways, or anything other than slowly. This was the site of a serious head injury last year.
City Pantry on Union Street
As at EVERY stop, don't stand in the road. Cars are trying to get by, and the more room we give them the fewer complaints will be lodged against us.
Polk Street Hill
After you've skated to the top under your own power, don't just stand in the road. Head down to the "Hell-on-wheels" (Hellen Wills) playground; and wait there until it's safely after 10 pm.
Helen Wills Playground/Tunnel #1 (Broadway Tunnel)
This is one of the ONLY SERIOUS RULES on the skate. DO NOT ATTEMPT to skate the road through the tunnel. STAY ON THE SIDEWALK.
The playground is a good place to hang out; kick back for a few minutes, enjoy the pavement. An informal arrangement between "us" and "them" is that we leave the tunnel alone until 10 pm.
Tunnel # 2 (Stockton Tunnel)
This tunnel we skate on the road, so time it carefully. Let people know that the right time to go is just AFTER our light turns red. This way there aren't any cars on your tail while you cruise the tube. ("Green means stop, Red means go!")
Occaisionally we run into grumpy, intoxicated skateboarders with bad manners. As with ANY bad-attitude encounter on the skate we recomend TOTAL NON-CONFRONTATION. Let them fester in their unhappiness. Any interaction between "us" and "them" can only serve to MAKE US GRUMPIER and THEM HAPPIER (for having gotten the fight they wanted). They're only there once in a while and it's not worth the blood pressure.
The BART police have seen fit to send out a patrol EVERY FRIDAY to guard the escalators. Oh well. We recommend smiling at the officers - they've gotta work Friday nights, and we get to play. Wish them happiness and just flow on by.
11th and Market
Danger danger : just be careful crossing the road here. There's a big air-vent grate which could hurt if your wheels got stuck in it.
Garage Market stop / Club Za
Especially important not to block traffic here. Plenty of cops (and taxis) which want to get through, plus people with booze in them.
The Fashion Center Parking Garage
We used to trespass here regularly but they got kind of annoyed. So we don't do this anymore.
Townsend and Embarcadero
The 1-inch "invisible" curb has been painted yellow by some enterprising individual. But it's still worth warning people about; let them know it's coming.
Fast skaters - wait a bit for the crowd to fully assemble. You know you're gonna dust the rest of the group anyway. The "let's go!" call is a good thing to wait for.
Encourage slower skaters to leave each stop earlier - beginners may get left behind if they dawdle too long at a stop.