The first place Asha had us practice the stepping plow stop was tricky. It was stepped slope where the flat areas were covered with those bumpy plates you see at crosswalks. I do not know what they are called, typically yellow, bunch of raised circles on them.
Was an interesting challenge primarily because we all sucked at it, but it also became a little more technical with those flat sections with the bumps. You had to do the plow stop until you got to those plates, then quickly scissor over them to prevent falling on your face, then immediately on the other side of it go back into the stepping plow stop. Trying to do this, with a skill you are learning, and still maintain control of your speed, is difficult.
Something like this (not as steep as I drew it):
A little further down the river path we stopped again to work on our stride. I remembered to take a picture even. It isn’t a great picture, but it is a picture:
The guys in yellow are the marshals. You follow one of them and nobody passes him. The other one stays at the end to make sure nobody gets left behind. Javier in the striped shirt with Asha in the pink behind him. Asha is explaining how we should be striding. We had this nice flat and smooth area to practice on. She rolled around watching us and correcting our bad habits.
There are a couple of people off to the right of the image watching us. Groups of skaters are probably not common in Brisbane. We got many head turns and people stopping to watch what we were doing.
This is where I started to realize I am not in shape for this kind of thing. I have skated far before, but that was always on a nice trail and while it was a leg workout, it was primarily a cardio workout. I have done urban skating before, but those trips are usually short; an hour or two. I have never tried to do urban skating, over challenging terrain, mixing practice sessions, over many hours. Urban skating is far more strenuous than trail rides.
You have to keep your knees bent while skating. Imagine standing for hours with your knees bent. When you skate, your weight alternates between a single foot, with a bent knee. When you use the heel brake, you have the majority of your weight on a single leg with a bent knee. When you T-Stop, almost all the weight is on a single leg with a bent knee. Add practice which is usually extra strenuous because you are forcing your muscles to do something they are not used to doing. And sprinkle bad terrain on top such that you are having to roll over rough or awkward terrain, absorbing a lot of that shock with your bent knees.
Around 10am I realized I was going to be in trouble later in the day. I started to really feel the burn in my thighs (painfully). The plan was to be done by 4pm according to Asha’s email. That would be at least six more hours from where I was at and we had done the easier terrain by 10am.
Couple of pictures of the city from the riverside trail: