Saturday, September 3, 2011

How I Scored Two Hours of Practice on a Vacant University Campus

       Man alive, I really need to get better at posting stories and stuff I've learned about longboarding on here. Now that I'm competent at riding the board, I'm literally getting better every day I'm on it and have no idea what I ought to share and what I ought to not bother writing about. This here is a short story, which I should have posted on Monday the 15th of August, so of course I'm going to fall behind on the times and only get around to posting it now.
       Some may recall from the earliest posts that I worked at a paintball field, and 'worked' is the key word there, it being past tense and all. I left that job, and so the commute down Columbia Street I'd alluded to so much was no longer an issue for me, which was probably one of the reasons I became so lousy at keeping up on practising and posting about it here for awhile. Anyhow, a new job came along: removing windows from the university campus across the way and I found myself with a better job than I had before. This new job also presented a short and easy longboard commute and so I quickly started riding to campus early every morning instead of walking over which meant about 20 or more extra minutes per day to practice on it. 
       Anyhow, I received a text message from the boss man saying that we were going to try starting work a little earlier for awhile, to get more work in while they day was still cool. Kamloops is a desert, it gets super hot, and because there was just the tiniest chance of being exposed to asbestos when removing these windows, we had to wear white, air tight suits in the sun. We normally began work at 7am, but now we were supposed to try starting at 5am, which meant a 3:40am wake up call for me because I'm sluggish in the morning and like to take my time with a cup or two of coffee before I get going. My morning routine aside, I missed a follow up text message from the boss: due to a sluggish start on the rest of their parts, he and my co workers would not be showing up until 7am. I made it there at 5 and was none too pleased with them showing up what I thought was 2 hours late. On the bright side, I had the entire university campus to myself for 2 hours that morning to push around and practice in and I have to admit, it was a pretty stellar way to start the day. There was not another soul to be seen and the security guards didn't have any problem with my being there on the Switch at all. All that, coupled with one the top 5 greatest sun rises I've ever seen made for a pretty fun morning. I have a map of the campus so you can see what I was skating around all morning, but it does not do it justice. My attempting to become a more professional-like photographer should mean sharing more photos on this blog, but I seem to be failing at that miserably.
       By the way, after this story, I'd probably had 8 hours of practice in total on the board.
It isnt' anywhere near as flat as it looks in this picture,
 Dalhousie Drive is actually scream your lungs out steep!
       Also worth mentioning: the previous day to this story, which happened to be a Friday, I was pushing home that afternoon and came to the ugly, steep parking lot which leads to my apartment's door. Rather than walking down like I usually do, I decided to plant one foot firmly on the ground beside the board and let myself begin to roll forward, keeping that foot on the ground the whole way. This was probably my first serious attempt to foot break down a hill, and it was an ugly hill indeed, with gravely patches which at some point destroyed any hope I had at gaining some traction, but I didn't end up having to make any bails. Since this foot dragging adventure to my apartment door, I've never had an issue with footbreaking again. I've also come a pretty long way since that tentative and slow trip down the hill. I can pretty much put my foot down at any time I please to slow myself now, and don't feel like I need to line up and get the board just stable enough to deploy my foot to break, it's all becoming second nature to me very quickly now.

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