Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Granger Meadows Park: Rollerblading!


Have you been to Granger Meadows Park???

A favorite past-time of mine has been rollerblading. It started off with dry-land training for ski team in the summers. There was a group that would get together in the parking lot of Pine Knob, set up cones with "gates" (poles you ski around) and go downhill on cement through various course settings.

This was great except I never learned how to stop or use my brake. I fell in love with rollerblading and specifically going to Indian Springs Metro Park to run the loop. 12 miles was nothing when I was out on the smooth trail through the woods with Jessica Vance or with my Walkman blaring the Matrix soundtrack (which is FUN to roller blade to). I never really had to stop on these trails either.

Then I went to college and had to learn to stop! My first two years I lived in the dorm I didn't have a car so I got around on my roller blades in the fall and spring EVERYWHERE...this continued on through the last two years when I lived in an apartment on North Campus too. Ann Arbor was a fun place to roller blade, but as anyone knows, sidewalks aren't the best. I took some really good falls, one in which I busted my face open and had to have nine stitches by a wonderful plastic surgeon. Note: don't roller blade on sidewalks at break-neck speeds.

One of the BEST places to roller blade is definitely the Bike Path in Boulder, Colorado. It runs along the river and you can get anywhere noteworthy in Boulder from this path. You don't have to stop for crosswalks because it goes under the roads and I loved it. I paranoid some of my co-workers at Chico's out there when I would roll into or out of work...I never biffed it on those wood floors though!

I eventually moved back to Michigan and thought that East Lansing would be a good place to get around on my blades. Unfortunately I found that traffic doesn't stop behind the sidewalk line or driveways which is dangerous (maybe I'm getting old). So I picked up biking and commuting that way. But I missed rollerblading!

I had heard that Granger Meadows Park had some paved trails but I had a hard time getting information about it. Today I packed my blades, google-mapped about where it's supposed to be and headed out with determination since it's probably been 2-3 years since I put my blades on.

What a great spot! It's quaint, quiet and had a few walkers there. It has a loop that goes past the Koi Pond, picnic area and playground, and you can go through a woodsy area that connects the loop to the inline skate arena. It was dry in the open area but I wouldn't suggest going right after a rain. But its supposed to rain tomorrow hence my determination.

The best info I found about Granger Meadows Park is http://www.dewitttownship.org/web/pr_cp.htm. There's a clearly marked entrance on Wood Street over in Dewitt.