The Town Talk from Alexandria, Louisiana on May 29, 1979 · Page 11
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The Town Talk from Alexandria, Louisiana · Page 11

Alexandria, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 29, 1979
Page 11
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Focus Tuesday, May 29, 1979 California Rpllerskaters Turn Out in Record Numbers Xv.y:y::-.'.:v.;.-W On any weekend these days sidewalks and bike paths some 100,000-plus rollerskaters. The numbers will of a 20-mile stretch south of Los Angeles are hosts to swell when summer arrives. (I PI Photo) Be Your Own 'Cycologist' About 100 million Americans are doing it and loving it. What? Bicycling a delightful form of transportation based on ancient man's proudest invention: the wheel. No one knows who rode the first bicycle, or where the event occurred, but since that time, bicycling has become. almost an institution. As with other activities, bicycling takes on different meanings for different people. To some, it is a means of energy-conserving transportation. To others, it's a short, pleasant ride around the block. And, of course, there are growing numbers of people who view cycling as a serious, competitive sport, and as a solution to an inexpensive vacation. Regardless of what you expect from a bicycle, there are some basic guidelines to keep in mind when taking up cycling. With proper bicycle fit, conscientious maintenance and an understanding of "what makes the wheels go round," you'll get years of pleasure from your bicycle. Trying for Size Proper bicycle fit, determined by frame size, is vital to safety and handling, and is especially important for lightweight, multi-speed bikes. Begin by selecting the proper frame. Bicycles come in a wide variety of frame sizes. The correct frame size is usually the largest frame that can be comfortably straddled with both feet on the ground. Once the proper frame size has been determined, the next step is to adjust the seat to correct height. The most efficient and comfortable pedaling position is usually achieved with the rider seated and with the leg not quite fully extended and the ball of the foot on the pedal in the bottom-most position. The handlebar stem should be adjusted to the same level as the seat, or slightly lower. Gearing Up Proper gearing makes it possible to cycle farther and faster with less effort. In recent years, cyclists have come to realize the advantages of bicycle gear systems, especially in varying terrain and weather conditions. Basically, the higher the gear, the more pedal resistance. Select the most desirable pedaling cadence, then shift gears only to maintain this rhythm with moderate effort. By shifting to a lower gear when approaching a hill or encountering headwind, you can keep the same , rate of pedaling without strain. When going downhill shift into a higher gear that permits the same rhythm. Here is a general breakdown of the various bicycle gearing systems 1 and how they can best be applied to your cycling needs: Single Speed: Most comfortably used on level ground for short rides. Three Speed: For short rides on somewhat uneven terrain. Low gear on the three-speed hub can negotiate moderately hilly terrain. Five Speed: Cyclists can begin touring moderate distances and can negotiate most slopes. Also reduces pedal effort on shorter rides. Ten Speed: Today's most popular gearing, for exercise, club or recreational rides, touring or road, racing. Most sophisticated 10-speed equipment enables the rider to travel long distances with relatively less effort. Fifteen . Speed: Wide range gearing, as it so sometimes called,.-provides a greater selection of low, high and intermediate gears for cross-country or long distance rides; also available in extra low "Alpine" gears which are ideal in mountainous areas. Wheels in Motion Bicycle touring has become an American pastime because the new lightweight 10-speeds make it possible to travel long distances without noticeable fatigue. If you have not been riding long distances, a 10-to 15-mile round trip is about all you will probably want to do the first time out. Later, 25 mile rides will be refreshing, and 40 to 60 miles will be a good day's trip. Keep in mind that the best trip combines a fascinating route with an interesting destination, such as exploring your city's architecture on the way to a park concert. . The secret to a good trip is planning. Sit down with the local newspaper and maps produced by either country or state agencies or, the Chamber of Commerce. After you have chosen the destination, pick the quietest, least-traveled roads, with an eye toward interesting landscape. Be sure to travel light. Pack the basics, like a windbreaker jacket, sun glasses, suntan lotion, small first aid kit, route map, an inner tube and patch kit, an adjustable wrench, screw driver, pliers and jackknife. Wear comfortable clothes, such as shorts, loose shirt, socks, and soft shoes (sneakers, for instance). The Camping Trail If you've tried bicycle touring and enjoy it, why not consider a bicycle camping trip? It could be a wonderful, back-to-nature experience that provides a vacation which helps conserve energy. Whether you're a pro at bicycle camping, or a novice, and whether you opt for an overnight trip or a two-week trip, there are some basic guidelines. First, start with a bicycle that is in good condition and reliable. A good, lightweight 10-speed bicycle is ideal, and will assure you a comfortable ride over long distances and every type of terrain. If you have a good bike with a proper fit, then consider the follow- ing camp-wise tips: Wear clothing that is comfortable and functional, such as a warm-up suit, or full-cut bermuda shorts, socks, canvas or hard leather-soled shoes, and bicycle gloves. You might want to pack a nylon jacket, rain cape, sweater and hat. Hang goo'd-sized pannier bags on each side of the rear wheel. They should be water repellent, have good closings and a sufficient number of straps to be secured to the bike. They can carry the majority of your gear. A front bag, attached to the handlebars, so that you can open it while riding, is a great way to carry a camera, food snacks, road maps and the like. Pack a small stove for preparing meals. Include a small mess kit, or an aluminum three-cup sauce pan, plastic cup, knife, fork, spoon, can opener and small stainless steel frying pan, which can double as a plate. Don't forget matches. Don't pack more food than can be readily used. If you're cycling in areas where food can be purchased, buy only enough at the end of each day for the next day. Some foods, particularly fresh fruits, don't travel well; dehydrated or dried varieties are more practical. Canned foods, like stew or spaghetti, work well and make substantial meals. Be sure to pack a few important tools like a small screwdriver, 6-inch adjustable wrench, spoke wrench, free-wheel cluster remover, chain tool, jackknife, small pliers, tire tool and patching kit. A tire pump is a must. Carry a compact sleeping bag and a sleeve tent (unless you prefer sleeping under the stars). Don't forget the small, necessities soap,1 scouring pad, towels, string, flashlight, toothbrush, insect repellent, and a first aid kit. By Jack V. Fox LOS ANGELES (UPI) - Are you ready, America, for the latest craze out of Southern California? Roller skating. Not your discos and rinks. Outdoor, sidewalk roller skating. Like when we were kids. Of course, it isn't your basic scabbed knee, clamp skate, leather strap, key around the neck, metal wheels, spine-jarring, racket-creating, stubbly cement roller skating. A good pair of shoe-skates now costs around $90 although you can get them for as low as $45 and go as high as $500. Then there are the accessories. Knee pads. Elbow pads. Wrist bands. A few helmets but not many because they create a "negative image." Then there is the optional equipment. Transistor radios implanted in headsets that look like giant ear muffs or airline pilots' earphones so you can skate to music. For the more esoteric, casette decks strapped to the back so you can play tapes and not be annoyed by commercials. The wheels are made of a plastic called urethane so skating is almost noiseless. The ball bearings are ground to the precision of the wheels of the racing cars in the Indianapolis 500. , Price Influence The age bracket has changed, too. The 11-year-olds have been elbowed out of the way by price among other things by a set that runs principally 20 and over and employs skating as a sort of mobile courting rite. One thing has not changed. There is a lot of falling down. The roller skate phenomenon is swelling geographically. There are reports that, the natives of Central Park iri'New York City are adopting the:custom. From Honolulu comes the word that the wahines are renting skates in Waikiki and cruising nearly deserted sidewalks between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. And San Francisco. In Golden Gate Park they cordon off the streets on weekends and the roller sj$aters go undulating along the gfintle rises. One correspondent said t picturesque scene of skaters in Wight costumes reminded him of a French impressionest painting of gay (in the original sense of the word) young people cavorting in springtime on the boulevards of Paris. But, as they must, the origins go to Southern California. There is a stretch of 20 miles of beachfront south of Los Angeles running from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach which is the vortex of the revival. At its center is the community of Venice which still has the stagnant remnants of a canal system which an enterprising real estate developer built in the 1920s as a copy of the Italian city. On a May weekend these days the sidewalks and bike paths of the 20-mile stretch are host to something like 100,000-plus rollerskaters. The numbers will swell when summer arrives. The bicyclists used to outnumber them 20-1 but now the ratio is being rapidly reversed. And, therein, lies a conflict which is becoming increasingly volatile. The city of Los Angeles built a bicycle path along most of the 20 miles except for a detour around Marina Del Ray. Bicycle rental shops prospered. For years the scene has been an idyll out of the turn of the century with certain costume aberrations. Now the skate rental shops have moved in. For $1.50 an hour you can rent a pair of skates. For $4 you can keep them all day. The deposit is either your driver's license or $50. There is a pedestrian walkway which is open to the skaters. The bike path is supposed to be exclusive to the cyclists. But its concrete surface is so smooth "it seems like ice skating" so enticing that Venice has turned into a maelstrom of cyclists, skaters, walkers and skateboarders. The Los Angeles Police Department has dozens of men trying to keep order. It is a $15 violation to roller skate on the bike paths. But so far only citations have been is- T rQal Brilliance A, Stunning Schnack solitaire With matching wrap-around band; in 14 Kt. white or yellow gold. $ 250 Set In Alexandria Over H i Yean! Downtown Alexandria The Centre 924 Third St. 4001 Jackion St. Ext. Ph. 445-1446 Ph. 448-3408 sued. In one small area, a police officer reported, the paramedics cart off in ambulances a half dozen people a day suffering anything from broken legs to aching tail-bones. The outdoor roller skating revival had to start somewhere and the consensus is that 25-year-old Jeff Rosenberg of Venice was the pioneer. Rosenberg is willing to accept that accolade as the guru of the cult. Rosenberg is the owner of an outfit called "Cheap Skates." (Get it?) It sells and rents roller skates including one outlet in Venice. Rosenberg lives on the second floor of an apartment facing the Pacific Ocean in Venice. Here is his story: "Five years ago I was a student at Santa Monica City College. I was working in odd jobs including a plumbing salesman and in a clothing store. ... I used to roller skate as a kid and decided to take it up again. For one thing I didn't have much money and it was hard to find a place to park at the school for a car. "I tried to find a pair of roller skates and the stores just didn't have them, at least not in my size. It took me three months to find a pair. ... So I got this idea why not try to bring back roller skating? I only had $1,500 and I couldn't afford to rent a place in Venice so I got a van and backed it up on the beach and started renting the skates. I'll never forget the day. It was June 15, 1976." Rosenberg says his business has bloomed so that he expects to gross between $2-3 million this year in sales, rentals and accessories. He is opening a rental outlet in Central Park in New York. Others in Newport Beach, Calif., Texas "and Arizona. Rosenberg says that the tremendous interest in jogging was part of the boom. He says that jogging is great for some people but not for everyone but that roller skating does not cause some of the problems of stress and jarring the body Rosenberg also acknowledges the conflict in this area between cyclists and skaters but he says he feels it is something authorities can work out Rinks, of course, have been doing a big business for years and disco skating is coming on strong. Singer Linda Ronstadt is a big fan. Cher rents an entire rink once a month for a skating party. .The sudden demand for skates caught the manufacturers unprepared. They had been doing a brisk business supplying sporting goods stores for rink skaters but the out-door boom is something else. Competition is so fierce that the two leading companies decline to put out figures on how many skates they made last year but Harry Ball, head of Sure Grip Skates, savs their business more than doubled and that it will be much greater this year Joe Shevelson, vice president of Chicago Roller Skates, savs demand has exceeded their capacity "Just yesterday one of the big sporting goods owners in Chicago said he had never seen a boom like this," Shevelson said. Howard Iszart runs a small skate shop in Los Angeles. Like the others, he is selling the new shoe skates in high volume but he also has some old-fashioned customers. : , "People are digging into closets and coming up with rusty old damp skates that haven't been used for years and years and bringing them in here for me to fix up and put on new wheels. Some of them prefer the old metal wheels," Iszart says. We can relate to that. The scratchy old skates on the brick sidewalks arid the head first plunge when you suddenly ran off into the soft earth of a yard in a little Midwestern town and all the kids refusing. to give up as dusk turned to darkness and you heard your mother call from half a block away: "Suuuuupper time." . "V . . if A '.l fl SUPER SUMMER! ' JrJMw iV IZOD: RESERVED FOR FATHER Like some sport stars, some sport shirts are born with class ... like the famous Lacoste' Alligator by Izod. With a birthright of casual French elegance plus clashing American masculinity, "Alligators" have stood the test of time and become wardrobe classics for the man of taste. Add to your collection now ... we have them in white, navy, wine, ivory, Augusta green, yellow, blue, beige, brown, red and orange. Carefree polyestercotton knit cut to wear in or out. S, M, L, XL. 20.00 THE RAM'S HEAD Qua MacArthur Village

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