Right, I’m home, back at work and re-installed into my skate/work/sleep routine and Le Mans seems like an age ago. It’s really – UNFAIR!!! I feel like I planned, taught, coached, invited, softly motivated, suggested, bought, sold, serviced, budgeted, chatted, ate, slept and drank Le Mans from the beginning of April till now.
Now, I’m suffering from a personal void in my life. What do I do with the time I have? I don’t need to write an email about trams or trains or hills or wheels… what do I do with myself??
oh.. I know: spend time with my lovely girl! (more about her input later).
My idea for the Skatefresh Le Mans team came from a chat with a guy called Sparky on the Sunday night of Le Mans 2010.
(you might know him he came 4th this year with his mate Quaddie)
Having been invited myself, to the nutty French event that year and been blown away by the feeling surrounding it all, I wanted to offer that experience to others in a soft and friendly way.
So I – then we (myself and Asha) put a plan together. The rest is, as you might say – history.
I set some aspirations for our team at the event, nothing related to laps times or skating performance, more about good times, smiles and enjoyment… oh yeah, and 1 rule:
That baton doesn’t stop moving! (and it didn’t – brilliant!!)
Asha has covered most if not all of my experiential comments from the race in her blog: good grub, no sleep, hard work, fun, new people becoming friends etc etc,
I’ve only one or two things to add: the main one being – Never get caught on film in a pink tutu!!!
Le Mans for me is like a London skaters village in France in the sunshine for 3 days. It has twice offered me access to get to know people in the skate scene without the usual London city trappings of buying a beer or bridging a social gap for a chat. It bridges the gaps for you and allows conversations and experiences to flow. I’ve made more new friends on top of last year’s round of fresh faces and it would be fair to say I’ll be going again next year in the hope of more of the same. (I really want to skate MUCH faster next year too)
I must at this point thank my better half Tracy for coming along, buying into the whole process, the camping, the staying up all night, team management, stopwatches etc etc etc Tracy’s not strictly a skater, she skates – a bit. She came for me and I adore her for her drive and enthusiasm and I’m grateful for her effort in propping me up and putting up with weeks of planning and skate chat…. Tracy – thank you xxxx
Having done Le Mans the year before on a “fun” (Panda) team I had ideas about Le Mans being an accessible inline skating event from the perspective of competitors only having to skate one lap at a time and being able to see progression in their ability throughout the race. This definitely held true. All the feedback I’ve had since has been positive and reflective of these ideas. Our team went home (for the most part) having a new understanding of their skating and their comfort with speed and fitness. Frankly from my side “perfect”. I suppose the question remains what will happen in June next year and whether I can be persuaded to be part of organising a pink team for Le Mans again??
I have a couple of people to thank for their assistance in putting this together with only 1 years experience of the event myself.
Ed! Gwiazda – from LSST without his calm organisational advice from time to time I would have been a lot more lost in the mire during our preparations and for letting us simply follow him around after the race, making transfers from track to hotel smooth and stress free.
David – from ClubBlueRoom his thoughts and assistance on equipment were totally invaluable for me personally and for a couple of members of the SF team.
Pamela – Also from LSST for being so damned organised with the van and LSST arrangements, allowing the rest of us to sit on the Speed team’s coat-tails and drift along through the event and collect our bags very conveniently at the end.
Asha – for rolling with my idea of doing this and buying in during the weekend in such great individual style and ability, great stuff mate. xx
Lastly – the team. Guys, you rocked.. thank you..
So, if you fancy a go? Or maybe you have aspirations towards skating in a “speed team” either way let us know and we’ll sort you out with some tuition and hopefully provide you with a little direction for your enthusiasm.
Happy Summer 2011, enjoy.
Maybe I’ll see you at the Goodwood roller marathon – or perhaps in Berlin or Cologne.