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How to Skate on a Crowded Path

Inline skating on a crowded path can be a fun experience or a major pain. Here's how to do it without injuring yourself or anybody else.

Learn the Basics First
Don't try to skate on a crowded path until you know how to turn, how to slow down, and how to stop.

Wear Protective Gear
Wear your wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads and helmet.

Stay Alert
Be prepared to react quickly to obstacles that suddenly appear in front of you. Watch both sides of the path and anticipate cross-traffic. Look back every few seconds to see what is coming up behind you.

Be Predictable
Avoid sudden stops and last minute turns. You don't want to surprise anyone.

Skate Single File
It's fun to skate and talk at the same time, but skating side by side is not OK on a crowded path. On your left side there should be a space large enough for two skaters or two cyclists.

Limit Arm Movement
Don't swing your arms wildly back and forth. You might smack another skater in the head or knock a cyclist off their bike.

Skate on the Right
Skate on the far right side of the path.

Pass on the Left
Pass pedestrians, cyclists and other skaters on the left. Don't pass without warning and pass only when it's safe, and you know there's enough room. Warn before passing by saying "Passing on your left".

Don't Wear Headphones
Skating to music can improve the rhythm of your stride, but don't do it on a crowded path. The headphones will block out shouts and other sounds that can alert you to possible hazards.

Around Bicycles
Be very predictable. Don't make any unexpected movements. Don't swing your arms and legs wildly back and forth as you skate. Many cyclists have been knocked off their bikes by careless skaters.

Around Pedestrians
Always yield to pedestrians. Be prepared for them to run in front of you or stroll obliviously across your path.

Around Children
When you are skating near kids be prepared for ANYTHING. They will frequently run across your path when you least expect it. Children on skates or on foot usually cause me to slow down to a very cautious crawl.

Around Dogs
Be careful when you approach a dog on a leash. If the dog suddenly runs run across your path, you can find yourself skating toward a leash stretched out across the path in front of you.

If Someone Else Falls
If you see someone fall, always stop and ask if they are OK. If they are alone, stay until you see them stand up and skate away. Don't make a big deal out of it. Just hang around and chat.

Have Fun!
Don't let the crowd aggravate you. Have fun with it. Skate at a relaxed pace and make new friends, help beginners, practice your crossovers, flatter the girls, tease the guys, get some sun, and make it a big party!

Visit Our Forum and Tell Us What You Think
Have you ever skated on a crowded bicycle path or other very busy skating trail? If you have any experiences or tips to share, please visit our SKATING FORUM at AskAboutSkating.com.

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