Walking through the bustle of central London on a Friday night, you’re likely to see all kinds of people on the streets, from tourists to diplomats. Pedestrians share the road with all the familiar wheeled commuters: black cabs ferrying passengers to West End shows, city buses packed on two levels with commuters anxious to get home, cyclists artfully weaving through traffic, and a pack of roller skaters tearing around them all to keep up with the lead marshal.
What you’ve just seen gliding past is the latest outing of the London Friday Night Skate. Every week, if the weather is good, skaters on both inline (rollerblades) and quad (traditional roller skates) dart around the streets of London for 2 hours, with a break in the middle of the route. The course changes every week, though it always begins at Hyde Park Corner. From there, skaters might travel over the bridge into Vauxhall or through Regents Park and Oxford Street. The skate is meant to be fun, but also challenging. The LFNS recommends that skaters should be able to stop, start, turn and control their speed on hills with experience street skating.
For those looking for a slightly less intense, but no less enjoyable skating session, the folks behind LFNS also host the Sunday Stroll. Again, as long as Mother Nature cooperates, this skates takes off every Sunday from the east end of the Serpentine Road. The course here changes every week too, but the pace is much more relaxed and terrains easier for skaters to negotiate.
All skates are free and staffed by volunteers. As long as you’re comfortable moving on the streets in skates, you’re welcome to join in on the fun. (Words: Barbara Cole)
For more information visit: www.lfns.co.uk