If you’re new to skating or new to the neighborhood, you may be wondering where it’s okay to skate near you. Some cities have ordinances that prevent inline skating and other similar activities on popular sidewalks, so it’s entirely possible that rolling out your front door is not an option for you.
We’re here to help. While we can’t tell you exactly where it’s safe to skate in your neighborhood, we can help you find out where to look.
Tips For Starting Your Search
Some communities are skate-friendly, and in that case, you may be fine skating out your door. Before you do, however, here are a few steps to take that may help you avoid hefty fines in less skate-friendly areas.
Check Local Ordinances
You may be able to skate around your neighborhood, but you’d have to do a little digging to know for sure. You can call the non-emergency line at your local police office or visit your city clerk’s office and ask them. If they don’t know, they should at least be able to point you in the right direction.
Some cities also post their ordinances online, although it’s worth noting that oftentimes these ordinances are anything but straightforward– they are often written in technical, legal language that may be difficult to understand.
Still, if you’d like to take a look at the ordinances for yourself, you could do an internet search for “(Your City’s Name) Local Skating Ordinances”. It may be necessary to specify your state or province, as well. If you do find your local ordinances and still have questions, your city clerk’s office or public safety department should be able to clarify things for you.
Check Out Local Bike Paths
Bike paths are usually wide, paved paths that run for extended periods of time. They may crossroads, so you still need to be aware of traffic, but these are generally good options for rollerbladers. You just need to be mindful of the rules of the road– for example, obey any signs and signals, be mindful of traffic and other people, wear a helmet, and dress in visible clothing. And if the path is crowded, you may need to watch your speed to allow you time to react to unpredictable pedestrians.
It’s also worth noting that not all bike paths are rollerblade-friendly, but usually the rules will be clearly posted at the start of the path and at different entry points throughout.
Join A Skating Group
If your area has a skating group, they likely have a wealth of knowledge about safe places to skate in your community. Attending group skates will not only help you find new places to practice, but you’ll meet others with a shared interest in rollerblading.
If you’re having trouble finding a group near you, websites such as MeetUp.com allow you to easily create and advertise one of your own. Social media is another place to look– you may be able to find a local skating group on Facebook, for example.
Some areas also have their own skating associations, which is a more official type of group that may even charge a membership fee but will likely offer more benefits than a casual meet-up. The Roller Skating Association International and the International Inline Skating Association are two examples of such groups. It is also possible that a group may not exist in your area currently, but with your help, it very well could.
Imagine a website where you can upload your routes and search a map to find new ones. That website exists, and it’s called inlinemap. This website allows you to find routes by users or by area, search by route length, search for speed, search for beginner-friendly routes, and more. If you create an account you can save your routes and upload them for other users, as well. It can even keep a training log so you can track your skating.
Not only is inlinemap a great resource for finding new skating routes, but it’s also a way to connect with other rollerblading enthusiasts in your area.
Do An Internet Search
An internet search is another way to quickly and easily find routes near you. Simply navigate to your search engine of choice and type in something along the lines of “rollerblade routes near me” or “rollerblading in (Your City Name)”.
The more popular websites such as inlinemap and traillink should definitely pop up, but you also may see results from local parks you never knew existed. This is a great place to start your search. Just be sure to scour reviews to make sure that the new routes listed are indeed legitimate.
You want to spend your time laced up and having fun, not searching for a place to skate. The tips we listed above should have you well on your way to finding a safe space to skate near you.
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