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Roller Skating Across France

Roller Skating Across France

I never found a definitive answer to the question; am I was the first person to roller skate across France? 1981 was a good 10-15 years before real Internet to search was there, and certainly we had nothing in the local library with information like that. Nothing in the papers that I was reading would have a word of it. With a backpack, roller skates and ski poles,...

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On this day in 1981…

On this day in 1981…

June 14, 1981, I rolled eight wheels across the border of Spain. It’s 1981. An American teenager on a self-reliant gap year in Europe can’t bear the idea of going back to his dependent life at home, but still lives on the fringe of manhood. His girlfriend is visiting Barcelona in three months, so he decides to meet her by roller-skating across the French Riviera...

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Street Skiing

What’s it like? Street-skiing, or more accurately named downhill roller skating with ski poles, down France’s beach cliff roads into towns like Monte Carlo, Cannes and Nice pumps adrenaline like skiing, however knowing the asphalt is far less forgiving than powder of the Alps increases the danger to the point of “fall and you die.” The...

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Chapter 1

Day one in the book includes a little action like this in an Italian tunnel. It’s very much like these guys, only without the helmet, in silk shorts, and wearing a 35 lb. backpack. I’m also closely followed by two double-decker tour busses. I don’t suppose these guys need ski poles to go back up the hill once they’re at the bottom — they...

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Life on the other side of limits

Life on the other side of limits

33 years ago today I became the first person to street-ski across France —from Italy to Spain—carrying a 35 lb backpack and ski poles up and down the hills of the French Riviera. From skating through Monaco’s Casino and Gran Prix to the Film Festival in Cannes, I slept on lighthouses and experienced jobs like mega-yacht chef and lighting engineer for Ted...

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