Skate or Die

Trip Start Dec 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Japan  ,
Friday, March 23, 2007

Skate or Die
Those who have ever been on a skateboard know what this expression means. You're either on the board or your not.
Those who know me well. Know that I have a comrade named Chuck. Chuck is from California and stands roughly forty seven inches tall. Over the past 4 years Chuck and I have been in many hairy situations together. That time the white Toyota pulled out in front of us and suddenly came to a stop. WOW. All in all we have come out of these situations slightly worse for wear but totally pumped. Those that watch us and don't understand why we are doing what we do. Think things will end in certain death.
For those that haven't caught on. Chuck is my big ass skateboard used for cruising around town, bombing hills and sliding corners.  Chuck made the trip with me to Japan and we have both been put to the test.
Where I live is surrounded by 3 small mountains. All populated and accessible by road. For those who have been to Japan know that the roads are very narrow, very steep and have mirrors so that you can see on coming vehicles around the hair pin corners. The fact that most people in Japan think they are speed racer and have no concept of what a longbard skateboard is. Combined with the Hara-Kiri (Harry Carry) roads makes for some excitement.
After a long winter in Canada and checking out topography on google earth. I was excited to skate. I hiked straight up through town about an hour up the mountain. Found myself a fairly quite, yet steep and narrow piece of road. Now I haven't been on my board for months. There is a retaining wall to my right and a drop of about 15 ft to my left into a shrine and garden area. I started having second thoughts, but those who know, know. You didn't haul your ass and all your equipment up hear for nothing. I ended up on my ass and chuck ended up hitting some stairs in front of a house. For the first time in 4 years Chuck finally cracked. After a few more practice runs, both a little worse for wear I headed further up the mountain. Corner after corner after corner. Finally it was time to head back down. The ride was fantastic. Over an hour of sliding, and scuffing off speed through nebourhoods. Skimming by speeding vehicles, waving at old ladies walking there dogs and school girls on there way home. Ended with a smooth cruz through town. NICE! That night and the days following however where dependent on high doses of ibuprofen and beer, but it was all worth it. What a ride.
Since then I have found a quieter road closer to home with just as many curves, walls and drainage ditches. The mirrors set up on the corners prove to be very affective and after a few runs the ride down only takes about ten to fifteen minutes, non stop. The greatest thing about skating is that it never seems to get boring. It never grows old. Every time I step on the board there's a new set of variables to contend with, and those that know, know. You are either on the skateboard or off the skateboard.
Later Skaters
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