Put on your helmets, and strap on your skates, because every Sunday morning, about 50 Philadelphia Landskaters meet on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum for a 10 to 12 mile “city skate.”
The Landskaters are an inline skating club comprised of hundreds of inline skaters from the Philadelphia area. On an average city skate, the Landskaters will skate through alleys, the subway, tunnels and cobblestone streets. Two other skates, the Saturday Night Advanced Skate and the Tuesday Night Expert Skate, are held weekly.
The club members come from a variety of backgrounds. As club literature states, “The club is a reflection of its skaters. Skaters are students, professionals, tradesmen, retirees, and fitness and ‘extreme sport enthusiasts’.”
Organization is the key to the success of the Landskaters.
“Of the New York, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia skate clubs, we are the most organized,” said sophomore Temple student Beth Therien,
Therien said the club is extremely functional because of the good leadership and the National Skate Patrol, who accompanies them on all their skates. The Skate Patrol is a group of expert skaters in red shirts that pre-plan the city skate routes by helping out with the flow of traffic and using two-way radios, whistles and hand signals to help the skaters.
Therien joined the Landskaters this past August when she returned to school.
“I love being around a bunch of people who love doing what I love,” she said.
Therien has been inline skating since 1995, and before that, she had been roller-skating, since 1990. She was an artistic skater, and said that those skills easily transferred over to inline skates.
She recently joined the group on their annual bus trip to New York City.
“The infamous city roads made the skate even more exciting and adventurous than our usual city skates,” she said. “There was an aura in the City’s air since the attacks. All of the skaters that day were dressed in red, white and blue. One man even carried around a giant American flag.”
Club membership is very reasonable. It ranges from $20-$35 depending on whether or not you want the official club shirt. Currently, they are seeking more involvement among college students. The club is also planning a weekend trip to Miami this February.
Helmets are required to participate in the skates, and other protective gear is strongly recommended. For more information, go to www.landskaters.org.