Ramping and Camping

Kids are great. My kids annoy the hell out of me sometimes, but I love spending good times with them. And today was no exception… This morning we went to the indoor skate park near us called Rampnation. We have booked my boy’s 10th birthday party there so it was only fair we checked it out.

9 til 10 was the young kids / beginners session. We arrived at 9.30 and booked an hour for the three of us on the ramps on scooters. I didn’t take the GoPro, I couldn’t have anyone thinking I was some sort of expert – cos I certainly am not! But I wish I had taken it cos we had loads of fun and the best we could do was use my sons camera to get some VGA quality footage.

In the space of an hours I fell off a few times, bottled a few drop ins and scared the cramp out myself picking up more speed than I thought possible in 3 seconds! Props and kudos to these kids, it takes some skill and commitment to drop in off these ramps. Even the short ones (ramps not kids) takes some confidence and commitment to drop in from the edge.

I got some coaching from the kids there which was great fun, and my son gradually picked up more and more courage himself. I think the little kids really enjoyed having an adult join in with them – there were a bunch of other dads watching from the sides and I reckon I was adopted by 2-3 boys as Dad for an hour.

We crossed over into a standard hour and the not-so-beginners turned up. These kids were a little older (not much) and very keen to have a look at my scooter. Me and my son were taken under their wing briefly as 2 of them helped us fit some new grips to my boys scooter and gave me some advice about changing my wheels… “Hey mister, do you think you’ll get a better one when you get better on the ramps?” I felt a bit like Keanu Reeves in Point Break – I was riding some cheap piece of rubbish and falling off while the little kids had top of the range kit and were flying through the air and making it look so easy.

This was not mountain biking, but balance and commitment were high on the list of requirements today. In the space of an hour I knocked the wind out of myself a few times, scared myself silly, sweated profusely and decided I was going back again – this time with a helmet. This was tremendous fun!!!

We then headed off to Swindon to Go Outdoors. We are going to get some camping gear and I went to work out a shopping list and get some advise. It looks like we can get the essentials for a few hundred quid and I think it’s fair to say the kids are pretty excited about the prospect of camping as a holiday next year.

Every Day Is A School Day

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My daughter bizarrely had a book about skateboarding from school today.

This was a simple book for 7 year olds to teach reading – introducing a sort of encyclopedic look and feel, with diagrams and definitions of various parts of a skateboard (trucks, deck, wheelbase etc). This book also taught us both about the history of skateboarding back to the 50s; and how they were developed from scooters and roller skates.

We learnt that early boards had clay wheels and some even used crushed nut shells in the compound!

Also the book reminded me of Back to the Future when Marty rips the handles off a scooter and maybe inadvertently invents the skateboard!

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So everyday is a school day and even sitting reading a book with a 7 year old you can learn something at the age of 41!