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Skating from Rosarito to Ensenada Mexico in 1998
by Michael Collins
In 1998 Michael Collins of Southern California
skated 50 miles from Rosarito Beach to Ensenada in Mexico with
thousands of cyclists and two skating friends.
SKATING THE 1998 ROSARITO TO ENSENADA ROLL
by Michael Collins of Southern California
Reprinted with permission from Michael Collins
The three inline
Los Angeles Friday Night Skate veterans
circled nervously about the pole position at the 18th
Rosarito to Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride
in Baja California, Mexico. "I don't know what's
so 'fun' about this with all those damn bikers behind
us," fretted a goateed Crash. "Plus it’s raining."
The Persian pointed down the coastal road leading
to Ensenada. "You ought to be thinking more about
that mountain down there!"
The rough road was lined by thousands of Mexicans and American
tourists and patrolled by hundreds of Federales and numerous
ambulances and helicopters. Crash, The Persian and an
apprehensive Mercury had good reason to be troubled.
The nicknamed trio had more than 11,000 pumped-up bicyclists
lined up behind them and 52 miles of rugged tarmac ahead
to skate. A mild shower made the route as slippery as
running across butter-glazed glass. Particularly troubling
was the "the Hill," at mile 22 on the course, where the
road turned inland and climbed over two miles on a 7%
grade up the thousand foot face of El Tigre ("The Tiger").
Getting up the mountain would be hideous -- the two mile
descent, eight miles later, would be deranged.
Mercury, a reporter in black spandex, glided
apprehensively in front of the starting line,
dragging on a cigarette, much to the astonished
disgust of the bikers. "I don't know about this,
guys," the correspondent glowered. "This is crazy."
Crash laughed off the shaken scribe’s anxiety.
Suddenly, the starting pistol fired and the
threesome streaked down the pavement to the
cheers of the crowd and blare of screeching
police sirens. At three hundred yards, the
first bicyclists caught up to them in a frightful
crush southward. The three skaters struggled to keep going.
Mile after mile of the beautiful Baja coast road
were lined by thousands of cheering Mexicans and
American tourists. The bladers drew astonished
stares as they skated by, high-fiving hundreds.
Bikers chucked candy to shrieking kids as
laughing roadside touristas chugged on bottles
of El Sol and Corona beer. On one lonely knoll,
above the shimmering sea, a beautiful Mexican
girl offered Mercury a rose from a tray of
flowers she held by the side of the road.
The Persian and Crash carefully avoided the crush
of onlookers and bikers as they pressed on to Ensenada.
Careening down the backside of El Tigre's thousand
foot face, speeds approached 50 mph before they
finally slowed down and surveyed the route behind them.
The lagging reporter was nowhere in sight.
"Mercury is definitely not rising in this race,"
sniffed Crash. The Persian was more conciliatory.
"He probably got distracted by one of those Mexican
beauties back there by Puenta de la Muerte,"
responded the exhausted skater. "And who could blame him?"
About the Author...
Michael Collins is an investigative journalist who writes for
several Southern California publications.
He is also a long-distance skater
who enjoys skating up to 90 miles at a time.
He can frequently be seen at the
Los Angeles Friday Night Skate, or
skating with the
Southern California Speed Skaters.
Michael Collins - Main Menu
About the Rosarito to Ensenada Roll
Skating in Mexico
Skating in 100 Countries
Skating in Africa
Skating in Asia
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