Fall is here. Deal with it.

Any seasoned Canadian skater knows all too well just how quickly a summer spent skating all day and night turns into getting home from work and wishing you were able to skate.

Whether your problem is that the indoor park near you was designed as a day care first and skate park second or that your favorite trail is no longer lit at night, we feel your pain. In these situations its really up to you to show your true Canadian spirit and brave the elements. I've heard way too many customers tell me their skating 'season' ends in September as if there was some unofficial rule that you can't wear elbow pads under a jacket.

I'm here to tell you that fall is the best time to skate. For starters the number of skaters on trails, paths and skateparks slowly dwindles as the temperatures drops leaving these public spaces yours for the taking. This means more room on the path or skatepark and less distractions and noise to deal with during your personal time with your skates. For me, there is an amazing feeling associated with being completely in control of my environment. Essentially the beginning of fall marks a time where your only worry is whats going on with your feet and where they are taking you next.

As if that wasn't enough to sell you on the idea of waiting until closer to Christmas to retire the skates I thought I would briefly mention how amazing bundling up can be as far as protection. In the summer we tend to leave a substantial amount of skin exposed, resulting in alot more bumps and bruises then someone wearing gloves, long sleeves and jeans. I can't tell you how many times wearing my flannel jacket has saved me from some serious road rash, whether it be slipping at a skatepark or falling flat on my face due to an unexpected pothole.

Unfortunately, the beginning of fall does mark shorter days makes it alot harder to get out for a skate after a long day of work. Lets face it skating in the dark can be fun, but its also extremely dangerous. For me there is nothing better than getting in an early Sunday morning session just as the sun makes it first appearance of the day. I'll admit I sometimes find it hard to pull myself out of bed, but once I've strapped on my skates, adjusted to the cold and got a rhythm going I'm always grateful I didn't press the snooze button that extra 3 times.

Your skating season may be winding down, but I'm hoping to persuaded you to hold out for another few weeks. Enjoy the he beautiful colours, the changing of temperature and most importantly the freedom that comes with being the only skater brave enough to skate during the 'off season' . When everyone else is complaining about how boring their day was inside, you'll be deciding whether or not you got enough skating in to warrant rotating your wheels.

Do yourself a favour, put on a pair of long johns, find some warm gloves and keep your iPod library filled with music that gets your blood flowing. Push yourself to create a new routine, make the best out of your mornings and most importantly keep those wheels rolling!

Erik Burrow
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