There's a group here in SF called the Midnight Rollers. At 9pm every Friday night they meet up at the Embarcadero wearing roller blades. For the next three hours (thus the name) they skate 12.5 miles through the city.
I joined them for the first time last Friday and what an experience. I heard lots of conflicting reports about the who/when/where. There were about 35 people that met at the Embarcadero in front of the Ferry Building, east of the end of Market St. There were a few people there at 8:30pm, but most showed up around 9.
The leader of the group is David Miles. David has a tricycle cart that carries a set of speakers with connections for a microphone and an ipod. At a little after 9, he gave what could only be described as a pep talk, and away we went. He played a full collection of music, from Steppenwolf to Justin Timberlake.
I played roller hockey back in college, but it's been a while. I was a little nervous that I was going to hurt myself, but it was a piece of cake. The pace wasn't that fast and there were 10 regrouping spots along the way.
Check out the map. If the course is too long, you can easily meet up with the group at any of the stops labels as dots on the map.
The hills weren't bad. Just be sure you know how to control your speed. We passed quite a few cops and they didn't give us any trouble.
There's something really cool about skating through the streets and seeing people's reactions when a gaggle of skaters go flying by. People cheer and give high fives. It was like I was running a race, but without the finish line and the running parts.
Legend has it that not long ago the size of this group each week was between 300 and 500 people. Now it seems to be a core group of people that won't let the dream die. This core group, of course, is full of mentally unstable people. However, they're very friendly and welcoming to any and all new comers. I was a little nervous about showing up not knowing anyone, but I soon found there was no reason to be shy.
If you're bored this Friday night, meet up at the Ferry Building between 8:30 and 9:00pm with roller blades, pads, helmet and lights. Don't worry if you're not that experienced of a skater, there are plenty of people that are willing to help you through the course.
Official Website: http://cora.org/friday.phtml
Added by bazbax on September 13, 2007