You may remember inline skating or "rollerblading" from back when everybody sported pump shoes, snap-bracelets, and neon was "in." However, inline skating is an enjoyable method of alternative transportation here in Davis, and is also a great way to get out and see the city. From nerdy engineering students to super-fit athletic gods, skaters come in all shapes in sizes here in Davis.

Inline skating here in Davis is usually quite easy due to the relative flatness of the terrain. The only problems you're likely to encounter as a skater is the occasional poorly paved street, as skates are much more sensitive to road conditions than bikes are.

One common misconception about inline skates is that they are slow or inconvenient, and that bicycles are much easier to deal with. Bikes can be faster than inline skates and take less energy to use. However, this is not necessarily a good thing. You get more exercise skating around than you ever would on a bike, and with practice your speed will improve to the point where you will easily outpace average bikers.

Inline skating was a popular recreational activity in the 90's and early 2000's, and there was once a thriving group of skaters that roamed Davis and even had a weekly organized group skate from 1997-2005, based on fossilized web pages from a recent archeological search:

Getting started

To get started blading you'll need to pick up a pair of skates. You can get them at a number of places, but a used pair would probably do just fine if you want new the best place would be big5 for the beginners, and Sac Skate Warehouse for the advanced hockey style skate. Order 5 wheel / 100+mm wheel rollerblades online. After you pick up a pair, take it slow. Push with your big toe diagonally away from the your centerline and coast. Watch out for sticks / small rocks that will stop you instantly. There's no need to try them out on Campus right away. Once you become comfortable skating around a safe area, take them on Campus with you. Always be alert while on skates on Campus as it is a zoo of people. Take it slow, and with time you will learn to navigate the swarms of people easily.

Great places to skate

Seems like the greenbelt would make great places to inline skate; there are definitely people out there doing it. Senda Nueva Greenbelt is particularly smooth

Places to watch out for

I frequently wear my rollerblades while going up and down lecture hall steps, or other such places. People think I'm crazy. Also, if you're going to rollerblade inside the MU, don't go near the area by Information Desk because they'll tell you you're breaking the rules. Also, the bike path along Russell Blvd can be a challenge to skate in the winter when it's wet, because the path is saturated with olive oil so you'll get no traction.KenBloom

F Street Just past 5th Street is damn near unbearable till you hit 4th. Go on the sidewalk. Been like this as long as I can remember Daubert

The Arboretum may seem like a wonderful place to skate—and it is, almost—but be warned that the pavement is crappy in enough places to make for injury if you're not really careful. Bike it first to get an idea of where the bad parts are.KevinChin


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2007-03-19 10:27:43   I got bitten by the roller-blading bug last spring. I got a pair at Target for $15, which fit perfectly into my budget; I imagine they aren't high quality. Granted, I've only used them twice since then so I don't know how well they endure with regular use, but that's probably the best bet for a beginner like me looking to get out every once in a while. —ElleWeber

2008-12-12 00:34:39   I love blading to and from pretty much everywhere on campus, but you defnitely need to learn the do and don't paths around. Luckily as UC (Under Construction) Davis is always redoing some path or road on campus, things are improving. I have to say though, the stretch between Silo and Kemper has always killed me. I vaguely remember them doing contruction their last year, and now I typically come from a different direction. Has it gotten better? —CarlosBarahona

2010-04-02 18:00:39   Official request for info about inline speed skating - indoor or outdoor. Cant find any clubs or classes. —CharlesWinkelmann

2011-09-21 11:42:18   Are you into inline speed-skating? I do a semi-regular Saturday skate to Winters & back, a total of 30 miles. I typically leave no later than 7:30am, then hang around at Steady Eddy's for at most an hour, then skate back. I skate 12-14 mi/hr and either on the way there or the way back (or both) I may take a few minutes break. This is about an hour 20 minutes each way.

Yolobus #220 stops across the street from Steady Eddy's at 8:30 and 9:45 and goes back to Davis, so that is an option.

Want to join me? Contact me at ebrensi at uc davis dot edu. Or meet at Russell & Sycamore, and there's a good chance I'll be there. I leave there at 7:30.

Surface-wise, the Russell bike path is a little choppy but skateable, Stevenson Bridge road is terrible for about a mile, and Putah Creek road is nice and smooth. —EfremRensi