Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ice Ice Baby

Although California isn't the first place that comes to mind when you think "ice", there is some to be found outside a freezer or a cocktail. Berkeley has its historical "Iceland" rink, or anyway it did until the end of March. We went for a skating session the last week before it closed.

In Canada, we all grew up using hockey skates, which have a smooth blade all the way around. Iceland, by default, supplied rentals that were figure skating skates. Those have a set of spikes, the "toe points", at the front of the blade. For someone used to hockey skates, that means the normal motion of sliding the foot forward causes the skate to dig into the ice. Not good for maintaining balance at high speeds! Luckily, I protected the digital camera the one time I fell. Unluckily, I tweaked my rotator cuff, which typically takes a few months to get back to normal.

Iceland's history includes Kristi Yamaguchi, Brian Boitano, and the old California Golden Seals. (I used to have Golden Seals hockey cards back in third grade or so.) A group is trying to raise funds to keep it open, but they have a long way to go to meet their goal.

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