While the rest of the league is busily preparing for their upcoming bout, I’ve been trying to distract my self from my raging jealousy by skating in really poor conditions, skiing and having really disastrous attempts at winter camping/hiking.

The latter two aside, the weather finally cleared up enough to allow me to tackle the Stanley Park Seewall. The Seawall is a 22Kmish path which winds around the perimeter of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, offering really amazing views of West Vancouver, the Burrard Inlet, and Kit’s Point. During the summer it’s usually pretty packed with walkers, joggers, cyclists and skaters. During the winter, however, sections of the wall are often closed off due to hazardous conditions.

Despite having lived in Vancouver for 4 years, I’ve never actually managed to make it all the way around the Seawall before. But, with my new SKATE EVERYWHERE attitude, I was determined to get around it on 8 wheels. So… it was just a matter of waiting for the rain to clear (in a Vancouver winter, this is not unlike waiting for the Second Coming) and waking up early enough to be able to make it all the way around before it gets dark (around 4, 4:30). The other week, the magic happened.

Having learned from my San Francisco episode, I decided to get to the starting point in pants, skate in shorts and leggings, and then pull the pants back on when I was done. OH MY GOD IT WAS COLD!!! Luckily, by the time I got around Coal Harbor, I’d started to warm up. Really, I should have known better, the only time it’s omgreallycold in Vancouver is when the weather is clear(ish). Anyway, because of the weather (pouring rain one day, freezing the next) the surface conditions were less than ideal: wet, sandy, salted, iced over. Further more, the surface it self was super uneven bitumen, I’m *so* glad I got me some outdoor wheels for this.

At any rate, I honestly can’t construct a concise post about this adventure that isn’t just a dull blow by blow. Instead, here’s what skating the Seawall in winter has taught me:

  • One pair of opaque stockings is not enough.
  • Gloves are not optional
  • Sand and salt may prevent pedestrians from slipping, but they’re hell to skate on.
  • The sound of a skate losing traction in a puddle is a rather comical ‘sploosh’
  • The sound of my butt hitting the frozen ground is pretty much a standard *thump*
  • Skating on ice is not the same as ice skating. Venoms couldn’t grip on that stuff
  • The only thing worse than dry sand is squelchy, muddy sand.
  • Wet concrete feels fast, even if it’s super slow

And now, for photos:

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