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Holding the Diamond

Holding the Diamond

The story – behind the book and the photo – is a celebration of arrival. Not the arrival of a teenager who just crossed France on roller skates, but the arrival of a teen into adulthood. Fueled by testosterone and hubris, guys tend to test their limits of invincibility by going farther, faster, each time pushing the envelope a little closer to death. If...

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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 with...

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Chapter 1

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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Friends Found on Facebook

Friends Found on Facebook

Since I started my Facebook account, I’ve looked for a few of the main characters in the book, my long lost friends. Today I was cleaning out more of the boxes and still finding stuff—namely my little black book. Truth-be-told, it’s red but it’s still a little address book of all the people I knew and met on my trans-Riviera Alpine roller ski...

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Rewrites

Rewrites

I’ve heard it said by writers – ” the real work starts after you finish the book.” We’re talking about the laborious task of rewriting. The first draft of a manuscript is anything but a breeze, however, it feels much breezier than sitting down to scrutinize each sentence, paragraph, and chapter. In a first draft, a writer has the...

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Preface

Preface

It’s 2012. I’m in my garage looking through a lifetime or memories from my parent’s storage unit. After they passed within a couple months of one another last year, we four siblings decided we would store the boxes of memories until we all had some time to go through the history with the respect it deserves. And my what history we found, as...

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Skiing the Alps-phalt

Skiing the Alps-phalt

Skiing down France’s double-black diamond 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 feeling is just like this: The danger is beyond this – watch how this...

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