Let’s fetch back the streets from the rollerbladers. The BeltLine is a great place for starting this in Atlanta.
In the 1970s outdoor roller skating was a common recreational activity. 28 million Americans and people around the world were skating, in roller rinks, but also outdoor on streets and in parks. Venice Beach was regarded as the “World’s Roller Skating Mecca”, given the fact that more skaters then pedestrians could be seen in the beachfront neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles. Then inline skates took over and traditional roller skates were pushed indoors.
In every city you can find great trails and places for outdoor roller skating. Atlanta has a very special location: The BeltLine, a former railway corridor around the core of Atlanta, under development in stages as a multi-use trail. The BeltLine comprises 22 miles of tracks circling the core of the city’s in-town neighborhoods. Some portions are already complete, while others are still in a rough state but hike-able.
Ready to roll is the Eastside trail, leading 2.5 miles from southeast corner of Piedmont Park to Krog Street Market, from Midtown to Downtown Atlanta.
You will pass Southeast’s largest temporary public art project with public installations. Some of Atlanta’s favorite restaurants are situated right on the Atlanta BeltLine and have walk-up patios so you can enjoy the view while noshing on great food and drinks. Trail users can step off the trail to the shops and restaurants of Ponce City Market, and the Skyline Park on the rooftop with a unique panorama over Atlanta from Downtown to Buckhead.
There’s also a skate park. The Historic Fourth Ward Skate Park is located right on the Atlanta BeltLine. The first public skate park in Atlanta offers bowls for riders of all skill levels. Roller skates can be rented at Skate Escape, a bike and skate shop located at the Piedmont Park.
Sound great, or? What do I need for getting this awesome experience? First of all outdoor wheels. Hardness of skate wheels is rated in Shore durometer “A”. Ranges from 78A to 100A. The lower the number, the softer the wheel. Wheel durometer affects durability, shock absorption and grip on surfaces. For outdoor wheels having a durometer from 78A to 85A helps absorb the little bumps in the pavement and also kicks little rocks out from under your skate. A diameter of 62 mm or 65 mm gives a smooth ride and are a faster than smaller wheels. Secondly: Protective gear. Wrist guards are an essential piece of equipment for outdoor skating in my opinion. It is natural for skaters to use their hands as a way to prevent injury when falling, therefore, having proper wrist and hand protection for your outdoor skating activity is recommended. Helmet could be good, if you feel insecure or you are skating in a group, when it is difficult to anticipate the moves of others.
So ready for making outdoor roller skating great again!
Update: The Westside trail opend this summer!