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Jubilee Skaters do it for the Queen...

and last WELL into the night!!!!!

by Ben Milner (aka GumbieBen)

 

Guys n Gals…

Hope you've all had a very skate-full Jubilee Weekend… here follows a report of the Jubilee Suicide Skate a few of us idiot streetskaters did last night… expect a few hundred words of total gloating…

Well, of course with a four day weekend we all planned A LOT of skating but a few of us had the idea for a couple of totally unofficial very fast street skates, so plans were put in place. The first skate was planned for 10am at Waterloo station on Sunday morning, where a few of us met to get the train out of London for the hike from Teddington back to the park, via lots of pubs. Now this was an interesting skate but I won't bore you with the details. Suffice to say that before this skate Pope Jon and I were looking at the `official' London Transport brochure giving details of what was going on when I noticed that most roads in Westminster, Kensington and the City were being CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC from Monday evening.

I'll repeat that … CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC.

Well it didn't take long for me to start salivating wildly at the prospect of the whole of London just for skaters, and unsurprisingly many other people felt the same! The scene moves forward to 8pm Monday evening, Piccadilly Circus.

15 skaters meet for the first section of the skate, around the West End and back to the Vic, for about 1½ hours, just to warm up. Police let us know that the roads have started being closed and traffic is already VERY light. Old Compton street is PACKED with revellers… with whom we, well revelled. First near miss of the night as Quad Steve tries to take out some poor bloke. Unfortunately the skate moved far too fast for me to be able to pull along the way, but I had greater skating thoughts on my mind.

Charring Cross Road, loop around a virtually car deserted Trafalgar Square (small discussion with a copper who asked us to skate round their lines rather than through them - fair `nough)… the length of the Strand, Covent Garden, Piccadilly again, Regent Street, Conduit Street, Park Lane, South of the Serpentine… VIC. Streets we've skated so many times… but NEVER with so little traffic…

15 VERY happy little bunnies sit back for a pint or two… none of us can wait for part two of the skate.

Now we did have a few problems… Erika forgot she was in London and skated down the right hand side of Warwick Street… straight into an on coming taxi! AK 47 seemed more interested in his Dance music than looking where he was going… we encouraged him to pay a little more attention (what… me shout at someone????)

A very cold hour spent in the Park waiting for Queenie to light some damp fireworks, and 14 impatient skaters just wanted to get out there again.


Photo by Patrick

The second skate took us out of the park to Sloane square, hoping to avoid the crowds leaving the Mall. We've got this amazing buzz going, and although many threaten to leave the skate because we got too cold watching the fireworks… we all soon warm up and skate the fastest we've EVER skated on any of our unofficial street skates.

From Sloane Square we go through Victoria… a big fear when arranging the skate was that the number of police we would meet could cause us problems. Well at Victoria we meet the crowds going home… standing around trying to work out a way to clear the crowds a police lady comes over to speak to us… but NO… not to tell us off, she simply wants a chat.

  • No we are not protesting.
  • Yes we are always very careful (indeed we are used to having traffic!)
  • And yes we want to clear the crowds.

 

At this point the police actually suggest a route for us to the river, where there won't be crowds, and she even suggests for speed we skate down the WRONG side of a closed road, as long as we look out for occasional buses and police cars. During the next few hours we meet thousands of police along the way. Most look slightly confused, several shout encouragement, one gives us directions and one even says to her colleagues `I wish I had skates on'!

Spanish Jon decides to jump over a `Road Closed' sign at one junction… unfortunately his water bottle doesn't have a lid, so as he jumps he throws its contents over a poor police lady directing traffic!!!!!

Pedestrians have similar reactions to the police… and taxi drivers???

Well, of course we still got some arsey taxi drivers, and yes apparently I am a number of rude words… but even then they seemed only half hearted in their insults.

The Millennium Bridge, the City, Liverpool Street Station, Back through the Barbican, Aldwych, Covent Garden again Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Oxford Street, Edgeware Road, the Vic.

It was now 2:30am… we ALL had the energy to keep going but for most of us the muscles in our legs were knackered. We were still skating fast but we began to notice that bumps, pot holes, kerbs were beginning to be a bit tricky. It was time to call it a night.

So here's the list of participants…

THE FIRST SECTION

  • Quad Steve

 

THE FIRST AND PART OF THE SECOND SECTION

  • Erika (until belgravia)
  • AK 47 (until Wesminster)
  • Ruth (until Embankment)

 

THE WHOLE SKATE

  • Patrick
  • Zed
  • Kerri
  • Slightlytubby
  • GumbieBEN
  • Spanish Jon
  • Neil
  • Duracell Dave
  • Rick
  • Big Steve

 

We believe we skated around 25 blissful miles in total (we will check this on routefinder sometime). Most of us used the all night tube service (if only they did that EVERY night!).

But final and TOTAL respect goes to Rick and Big Steve.

Not being content with 5 ½ hours skating they decided to skate from the Vic to West Drayton… ANOTHER 14 MILES!!!!!!! We have not heard from Duracell Dave yet!?!?!?!?!?

Sorry guys… but expect MANY stories from all of us… you may want to miss the Vic for a few weeks!!!!!

GumbieBEN

 

 

 

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