But I'll be visiting my daughter and her family in southern California fairly soon. My dream has been to experience the Land Paddling Holy Land, the boardwalk along Venice Beach (well, it isn't really holy, which is one reason I want to go there).
Figuring that a senior citizen longboarder might not be as rare on Venice Beach as it is here in Oregon, I wanted to put on the Shark Wheels as an additional attention-grabber.
I like how my longboard looks from the front now. The Roe Racing Mermaid has some personality. Sweet, yet edgy.
I'm also greened-up bearing-wise. I had some Shake Junt skateboard bearings waiting for the new wheels. When I took them out of their box, I thought Cool! They're green! Hadn't realized that when I'd bought them. Good longboard wheel karma. (Bearing is under the nut in center of photo.)
I also belatedly installed the BoardBrake from Boolah Boards that's been sitting in our garage for months. It needed a wood "riser" -- the block on the left side of the photo above -- because the Roe Racing Mermaid is set up with risers on the trucks for LDP, long distance pumping. Which I adapt to long distance paddling.
So the pad on the BoardBrake that scrapes the road/trail surface when a pedal is pushed wouldn't reach the ground when I first installed it. The Boolah Boards guy, Tony Knapp, promptly sent me a longer push-piece.
That helped, but I still needed to add the block of wood to get the pad making good contact with the ground. In the photo above I'm pushing with my hand as my foot would while riding the board. A few short test runs in our carport shows that the BoardBrake should work well now.
Venice Beach, here I come!
Now I've got a better chance of stopping before I run into a beautiful, curvaceous, bikini-clad roller blader, which would cause her and me to collapse together into a tangled mass of intertwined arms, legs and other body parts.
Which, now that I think about it, doesn't sound bad at all. Maybe I'll take off the BoardBrake before hitting the Venice Beach boardwalk.
I'm going to take my longboard, protective gear, and other stuff in a Decent Hardware board bag that's been waiting for an Alaska Airlines flight to southern Calfornia. Checked today to see how everything would fit. Result: nicely.
My adjustable Kahuna Creations Big Stick land paddle just fits.
That's how I both go and stop on my longboard. No pushing with a foot, or dragging a foot. Dragging the rubber tip of the Big Stick works fine to stop at slow speeds, but not so well at higher speeds. And since I've accustomed to having both feet on the board, my ability to do the footbrake thing is minimal.
So now I have two ways to stop: the BoardBrake and dragging the Big Stick. And four attention-grabbing ways to roll, the green Shark Wheels.
I'll be sure to share photos and maybe a video of my Venice Beach longboarding. Plus, perhaps, a Los Angeles Times newspaper clipping:
Oregon man, 65, charged with sexual harassment after running into 22 year old female Venice Beach roller blader on his skateboard.