Rails to Trails & Balloons to Boards

06.05.20191166

Notice the photo above. It is interesting, but doesn’t necessarily have any special meaning. Well, lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Origin of Inspiration, and figured that 1166 must mean something to someone. Well, as it turns out, it does. Not only is it the year that Henry II of England enacted the Assize of Clarendon, reforming English law and defined the legal duties of sheriffs, but it is also a German longboard (skateboard) company. 1166 gets it’s moniker from the former East Berlin district where it all started.

So, I got looking at longboards. Being that everything is interesting to me, I just found myself delving into the world of long distance longboarding.

I had a cheap skateboard when I was 12 in 1989. I remember that it was orange and black and said, “El Loro Malo”, which is, The Bad Fox, on the underside. I was never any good, and I was woefully unable to do an ollie, the foundational trick to skateboarding. My skating career ended when I attempted a Bomb Drop from a two foot retaining wall and snapped the board in half.

That was very close to exactly 30 years ago.

Now, with my newfound interest in the world of wheeled boards, I think not of tricks or flying, but of distance. Long distance.

I fancy myself a runner and have, by the grace of God run ten marathons. I prefer solitude and have largely abandoned organized races in favor of my own solo, self-supported efforts.

Well, as it turns out, there is a small but growing movement of longboarders going on 100+ mile skates. There are several high profile events around the world, and one of them,  a 188 mile race on a paved rails to trail path, runs between Atlanta, and very close to my home. This is an event that is attended by skaters from all over the country, and even internationally, and it’s effectively in my own back yard. I even run out there from time to time, having never been aware of the trails alternative usage.

Now, I’m not committing to doing this event, but it intrigues me, and just yesterday, I bought a purpose built board. I’ve connected with a few guys that are into LDP (long distance pushing) and they have been more than helpful in suggesting specific board set ups.

It’s simply staggering to think that it all started with the seemingly random order placement of some balloons at my local supermarket.

Stay curious. You never know what doors it may open.

The Pantheon board below should be arriving to my home within about a week. Thanks for reading, and feel free to connect. As we all live life’s great adventure, we need each other.

Patrick

info@needfree.com

Pantheon Trip

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