Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Wheels Keep On Spinning By Yonatan Frimer

Tel Aviv, Habima, Yonatan Frimer Reporting.

People started showing up around 22:00. Thats 1o PM in military time. This was a bar "roll" nota crawl. A few hundred roller bladers show up for a 2 hour run across the hills of Tel Aviv. A few of the more seasoned rollers dress with reflective vests and carry hand-held fog horns.

Once the madness starts its just concrete and wheels for 2 hours. Traffic is messed up as hundreds of rollers swarm the city. Traffic lights are occasionally respected, but typically they are just a guide for those who need to take frequent breaks. At one point we rolled over a boardwalk that made a precusion sound as thousands of wheels rolled over the wooden surface. The most prevalant road obstacles where not the cars. Two things caused the most danger: pedestrians on cell phones and rollerbladers getting the phone number of some young eager female most likely on her first run.

At the half time stop I spoke with the founder of Israel-Rollers. He made it clear that I am joining at my own risk and welcomed me to the group. He told me along with the others that the websites, www.israel-rollers.net was the best way to answer my questions.

The run ended at some bar in Jaffe. I didn't make it that far. I broke off from the group early in the evening with the advent of a blister on my injured foot. Next time I would go the full length, if I could make it.

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