Sunday, January 11, 2015

Winter Horror Public Skate...

Some of my faithful readers are lucky enough to have access to Freestyle, or even ADULT Freestyle, and never have to skate on Public Skate for lessons or practice.

However, if you're like me, and only have access to Public Skate, you now know that the winter season of rinks filled with ice tourists is here. Share with me here, the misery of Public Skate.

I spent an hour on the ice today, it was glorious. Miss Cheerleader and her husband Mr Cheerleader, the two Silver ice dancers, Miss Bianca, and  FIVE THOUSAND OTHER PEOPLE (including people in the stands, the booting area, the lobby, the bathrooms, and the snack bar) were in the rink. Of those FIVE THOUSAND PEOPLE, about 150 were on the ice.

Let's take a tour of the experience.

I Line Up to Pay for a Wrist Band
(That's me in the back)

Fortunately, the cashier knows me by name and I had cash ready, so they just zipped me through when I got to the front. Note to loving parents, make sure your credit card is working before you try to spend 30 minutes paying for a birthday party with 15 kids during winter skate. Double please when you're in line in front of me.

Then I tried to get on the ice at the gate
I was held up so long at the cashier, I missed the initial rush, but it was still bad. Loving parents, give your kids instruction before you get to the gate, don't stand there for 20 minutes blocking the entrance telling them to be good. Ditto for standing there blocking the gate while you put gloves on the kid.

Why I Couldn't Get to one of the Other Gates

There were more people in the space around the rink blocking all movement than there were on the ice. Including one woman who managed to go around the outside of the ice, past the stuff blocking access to the far side, and crawled over the outer dasher boards to get in the hockey box to take a picture. Plus 10 for determination, but she'll be the first to die when the zombie apocalypse comes because she'll ignore the signs that say "Do not Enter: ZOMBIE DEATH BEYOND THIS POINT!" so she can take a selfie with a zombie.

Of Course there's People who live in their own Little Worlds

The skater who goes against the crowd
The People who can't bear to be Separated

(I will report that everyone was having a good time and that one and all were polite and reasonable. Except for the crowd tearing up the ice (!) it was a great day at the rink!)


  1. So true! Although I am usually the person going against the crowd because I spin and jump the other way. That makes public sessions THAT much more challenging for me!

  2. After my ice dance lesson yesterday I had various errands to run, including a boot punch out and blade resharpening. As a result I was too late for the Saturday public on home ice. However I knew that the Naval Academy rink in Annapolis has a late afternoon public (or "free skate" as they call it) on Saturdays and so I headed there in order to see what changes the punch out and sharpening had rendered. It was horribly crowded. The first of two scheduled hockey games had gone overtime which pushed back group lessons, which in turn pushed back (and shortened) the free skate session--no way was the second hockey match (Univ. Rhode Island women vs Navy) going to be delayed. The hold-over crowd from lessons plus the multiple BD parties made for in entertaining mix of the usual suspects. Once in a great while a clear stretch would appear and progressives, swing rolls, etc. could be briefly explored. Anything which included turns plus connecting footwork had to be kept short and sweet with eyes well peeled. Bottom line: the punch out indeed did what I wanted and I was able to knock off the burrs from the newly sharpened edges before my next lesson. No munchkins were harmed or parents insulted during this outing.