Try Skating and get Scotland rolling





Jane Cownie

Skates the

Big Apple





Central Park NYC October 2012

Central Park

At the start of October, I spent some time in New York City, and having my skates with me I decided to undertake some eight-wheel-based adventuring. I had seen a few brave souls rollerblading in the city streets, especially in and around the Village, but not feeling quite comfortable with that I decided to go to the relatively controlled environment of Central Park for a skate. I had readabout ‘The Loop’- a 9.7km ring-road going all the way around the outside of the park which, on weekends, is closed to traffic and available for leisure pursuits of all kinds. I ventured there on a beautifully sunny and warm Saturday morning, at about 10.30am. Walking north to the park, I arrived at the Columbus Circle entrance, continued a short way into the park and got changed into my skates at the Literary Walk (Poets’ Corner) area, with a live violin accompaniment!


Taking to my wheels, I entered the loop at this point, already knowing that it is generally a busy but well organised route, with all users instructed to travel counter-clockwise (to use the local vernacular) in order to keep everyone moving safely and reasonably unimpeded; this indeed was the case, and I set off easily amongst the other users. With the loop being a traffic road, it was a lovely, wide and had a good quality surface (something akin to the track at Bellahouston Park). Throughout, there were some mild hills, up and down, with perhaps one up and down of moderate difficulty. Other users were predominantly cyclists and joggers along with some rarer sights such as the occasional iconic Central Park horse and cart, one unicyclist and, at one point off to the side, a couple on Kangoo Jumps.






Central Park

However, to be honest, I was surprised that there weren’t more rollerbladers, seeing only half a dozen or so on the way round. Of course there was spectacular scenery at all points: looking left en route to lovely views into the body of Central Park and looking right to some fantastic urban landscape views, such as the Upper East Side, and the American Museum of Natural History on the west side. I didn’t at all venture off The Loop, inwards to the park paths, feeling that they were a bit busy and narrow to get anywhere fast or safely on rollerblades. In total it probably took me just over an hour and a half to get round, stopping at various points on the way round to enjoy the views and vibe so. This also included time at the end to pick up two NYC hotdogs from a vendor in the park as my reward for the skate!


I found a great deal of information about all types of skate events in and around NYC at and on The Empire Skate Club website:

Jane Cownie