Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Campus Rink

So this is the campus rink. Kind of exciting that the campus has its own rink, right?! The rink really isn't very big, but it is difficult to tell from these shots. I will try to get some photos with people on it.

The downside of the campus rink is the surface, which you can see below. It has tons of these flat pebbles embedded in it. The concrete slabs are about a meter square, most of the joints are not noticible, but there are three joints that will land you on your..... nose if you aren't careful.

The other picture here is of a side area with giant speedbump-like things. There are two of these. I can't really figure out what they are for. I've seen a rollerblader go down them, but at super slow speed. I, personally, have been avoiding them like the plague. I have no desire to hit this surface with any part of me other than my wheels. I'm sure it will shred skin and leave HUGE bruises!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Skating Challenges

So on Sunday morning I went skating again. I was there at 6:00am. There were already people everywhere. The tennis courts and badminton courts were full. The campus seems to be full of morning people. I am so used to being the only functioning well in the early hours. It does get dark pretty early around here.

When I arrived at the rink, there was a handful of people on roller blades. A lot of them were beginners. There was also a group of boys playing with a soccer ball and a couple of girls playing badminton.

Dodging boys and a soccer ball is a whole new challenge. I am proud to say that I was not hit by any of them. There were a couple of close calls, but I was able to hop out of the way!

I promise to get some pictures up soon. I tried to take some pics before but the sun was too bright and they didn't really come out well.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Roller Skating Finally!

So, today I tried out the roller rink here on campus. It is an outdoor rink with a very rough surface compared to what I am used to at Florham Park. Its made of these concrete slabs, probably a square meter each, that have flat pebbles in them. Most of the seams between the slabs aren't bad, however there are three that are noticeable and will probably cause me to fall eventually. It is also a very small rink. Two power strokes and I am across the rink, and it isn't because I have gotten stronger. The surface is very hard on my wheels too. In an hour that floor was able to wear away more of the ridges on my wheels than months of skating in NJ did. I also couldn't do a spin because my wheels keep catching in the floor.

Even though the Chinese consider staring quite rude, they obsessively stare at foreigners. Needless to say this meant I had a significant number of people watching me try not to make a fool of myself. Since it is very warm here, the best time to skate is first thing in the morning. I think tomorrow I will go even earlier and see if I can attract less of a crowd.

On the other hand, it is a rink that I can walk to. I don't think there are specific hours that you are allowed to use it. There was only one other person on it this morning. It should increase my strength since I have to work harder and if I can ever manage a spin on that surface, then it will be a piece of cake once I get home.