The Delaware River Blog

A Skateboarder Talks about Relaxing on The Delaware River

Relaxing on The Delaware River can take many forms. One could prefer to gently float down the river on a peaceful pleasure craft. Other people prefer a far more active approach. Paved paths call skaters, and others, to enjoy their surfaces. Instead of the hustle and bustle of a mechanized metropolis, these adrenaline junkies enjoy drowning out the sounds of the world.

Some people might like the sound of music screaming in their ears. Rocking tunes can help people to forget about the problems around them. Pushing forwards on a pair of rollerblades while moving in time to the music can produce an almost trance-like state. While no one should ever act as though they were unaware of what was going on around them, this kind of motion can truly melt away stress.

Other skaters might want to hear the sounds of their wheels spinning against the pavement beneath them. Of course, some people might also consider this a safer choice. It can help people to stay alert, just as many extreme sports enthusiasts would say that music would keep them from becoming complacent. Natural sounds can be hypnotizing to some. It is very important to stay safe and always look out to avoid collisions regardless of how one chooses to relax along the Delaware River.

Either way, the waterfront of the Delaware River was forgotten about for many years. Opportunities to enjoy relaxation along the pathways were few and far between because of lack of maintenance. Inadequate access to the waterfront was a major problem as well. A venerable concrete jungle sprung up along the Philadelphia shores that few people could ever enjoy. Uncoordinated development robbed people of their basic rights to enjoy this otherwise enjoyable area. However, new plans to save the waterfront surfaced as early as 2005.

Unimproved lots and vacant land still form random dots across the riverfront. However, this is starting to change. People who enjoy relaxing along the Delaware River have started to focus on several points to help people enjoy the natural environment in whatever way they enjoy. By forming what some individuals call an urban destination or an open space network, city planners hope to make the landmass that much more attractive.

Skateboarder in the air (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Schuylkill River trail was among the first to be rescued, which helped pave the way for people to relax along the Delaware River. The trail was finished between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Locust Street. Students often take walks along the trail while many residents have gotten in shape by riding bicycles and jogging through the various paths. Those that take things a little more seriously have taken to exploring the trail on in-line skates. Of course, people outside of the city have been enjoying many of these areas for a much greater period of time.

When developers started to plan dense commercial developments along the Penn’s Landing area, it brought attention to the Delaware waterfront. People finally started to look at other means of transportation. While most people would probably consider things like skateboards and in-line skates to be pieces of sports equipment, some people have actually used them to get around. They’re clean, inexpensive and a great way to stay in shape. During a transportation strike in New York, quite a few longboarders pulled out their decks to get around.

Longboards are especially good for anyone who wants to cruise around. Most skaters find they have better endurance on longboards than regular skateboards, and many models can help to eliminate wheel bite. Riding on a deck with good wheel placement is like skating on a cloud. One could traverse the entire length of many of the Delaware River trails on one without a problem. Most people wouldn’t necessarily think of trying any hardcore tricks on a longboard, but this really isn’t what they’re designed for.

People that ride on extended decks are probably more interested in getting around and enjoying the ride. Wind feels great when it’s running through free flowing skater hair. Longboarding is a great way to just relax and have fun on a day along the Delaware River.

Skateboarder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Skaters who want to enjoy a more conventional way of grinding the dirt could stick to rollerblades. Experienced in-line skaters can probably still take most trails, but no one should feel pressured to do anything. That violates a cardinal rule of skating culture, and it also defeats the purpose of relaxing along the Delaware River.

Of course, a sense of adventure never hurts. Individuals who are willing to continue the explorations along the Delaware River and eventually make it into the Lehigh Valley will be handsomely rewarded. The fitness park in Trexlertown, PA is great for those who want to have another waypoint once they finish relaxing by spending their days off on the Delaware River. It features a velodrome that is open to the public. Anyone who wants to go bicycling or rollerblading during appropriate hours should feel free to enjoy this giant oval track.

Of course, there are plenty of rewards for those who don’t care to explore the road less traveled. The Delaware River Park is located in Phillipsburg, and it has become somewhat famous for the fact that local skaters elected to clean it up on their own. While many people would otherwise give skaters a bad name, the park was previously in a state of bad disrepair. The local skate crews cleaned it up and it has become yet another place that people can relax along the Delaware River.

Ultimately, the question is how I personally prefer to do so. I’ve tried it all. I like to mix things up and try new things whenever I get a chance to. I personally consider myself a skater and prefer skateboarding, longboarding or in-line skating along the many trails across the area. I’ve tried a few of the parks as well. While some people might want to depict skateboarders, rollerbladers and bicyclists as not getting along, I don’t experience this at all. I prefer to think that we can all get along and enjoy our time relaxing along the Delaware River together. After all, it’s all our responsibility to keep the place clean and safe.

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