Ultimate Paris Experience (UPE) 19-21 april 2002, by Peter Nikkel.

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Finally, rolling in Paris!

This trip to Paris was organized by Skate-A-Round for the professional skate scene. Inline skate instructors, skate shop owners, night skate organizers, skate magazines and other inline skate freaks from both Holland and Belgium were present. A unique opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge!

The program was loaded with special clinics of all disciplines on inline skates: night skating, agressive, inline downhill, slalom, roller-basketball, roller-soccer and roller-dance.

Full report: (click on thumbnail images for enlargements)

Note about the video's: If you're not able to playback the AVI-files (error downloading codec), try the links to the MPEG version's. These files can be bigger, however :-(

On our way to Paris.

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Fitting test skates
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A bus full new skates.

We traveled in a 18m long coach from Amsterdam to the "city of lights". Salomon and Rollerblade had provided a sample of their latest models for us to test. (Rollerblade Lightning 05, 07 and Salomon Deemax/Crossmax ). Ofcourse 70 skaters in a bus with a heap of brand new skates in the luggage compartment couldn't be kept separated. So on a parking next to the highway we simply had to ride these new models. Apart from this we received extra goodies like a special UPE-T-shirt, band-aid package and Sinner-cap.

 

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Our Photographer Cathelijne Salomon downhill skate.
Inline shopping

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First tour in Paris.
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Skate shop Ilios

After checking in at the hotels near Place de le Bastille we started off with a short skate to Roller Shop Ilios (4, alleÚ Vivaldi). UPE-members got a 10% discount! So credit cards were heavily used.
I bought a long frame (five wheel) for my K2 MOD 10 which was 100 Euros cheaper than in Holland! So it's worth a visit.

Friday Night Skating (RVS Paris).

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Recognizable UPE-shirts.
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Bob, Kirsten, Helene, ..
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Henk en Waldo
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Susan, Olga en Michel    
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Preparing for take off.
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Lex and his Sound Machne

At 22:00 we gathered at Gare du Montparnasse for the Rendez-vous Vendredi Soir (friday night skate). As usual thousands of skaters apereared. For alomost three hours we skated through Paris. At the front of the goup there were very few accidents despite some rapid downhills and the dense pack. Very different from the last time I was in Paris, two years ago. Some reported that in the middle and in the back there were some crashes. So make sure your at the front :-)

 

Rollerparc Avenue

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The entrance of Rollerparc Avenue

 

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Ayke and Monique Toine.
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Movie: Erik on the waves. 1.2MB
MPEG version: 1.5MB
Movie: Anneke jumping smoothly. 0.9MB
MPEG version: 1.2MB

Saturday we went to Rollerparc Avenue, a big indoor skate hall. An excellent oportunity to practice your skills on ramps and half pipes. (see also my report from 1999). Skate-a-Round had found some French skaters who wanted to compete against the UPE-team in a rollerbasketball match. This was very new in Paris :-) Erik Tange and Joost Hartman explained the rules. (see also www.dribbl.nl). Later that day Ginio Elstak led a match of Roller-soccer and for those wanting to learn how to dance on skates, Ayke van Os gave instructions in his dance clinic.

Roller Basketball

Joost explaines to rules. Let the game begin. Hans getting pushed into the border..
)
A pass from Erik Breaking through the defense. Mario, Elwin and Erik.
Roller-dance and Roller-soccer.

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Ayke: "Step over and stretch.". Movie: Dance baby. 3.2MB
MPEG version: 1.2MB
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Erik making a sliding. Ball fight.


Talk with the enthousiastic boss of Rollerparc. Marleen and Jos. Remon with his skate-cam.
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A small terace next to the ramps. Cathelijne. Peter and Anneke..
Night skating and party.

Back downdown we had dinner at El ChiHuaHua a Mexcan restaurant en party place where one doesn't mind if you enter on skates. After dinner there were three special UPE skates: light, intermediate and extreme. The extreme tour was led by three French skaters. A very nice ride, with fast stages across the side walks and streets, some downhills and beautifull scenery. I gues it was a 25 to 30km skate). The three groups rejoined at El ChiHuaHua for a party night :-)
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Dinner at El ChiHuaHua
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Having fun :-), :-)
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preparing for the skate.
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Extreme group.
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Parc de la Vilette.
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Ready for downhill.
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Ramp
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Passing the Louvre.
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Party-time at El ChiHuaHua
Church on hill
Erik after 9 Corona's :-)
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Russian invasion?
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Hans, Kirsten and me.
Sunny Sunday, time to race.

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Sunday morning.              
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"I'm awake, I can see clearly now"
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Erik explains about the race.
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The finish is uphill.

On Sunday you can skate along the borders of the Seine, because they ban the cars and give way to pedestrians, runners, inline skaters and cyclists. This was a nice opportunity for us to organize a short speedrace. A pair of Rollerblade Lightnings were raffled among the first five finishers.

Downhill practice and other techniques.

We ended this UPE with slalom, doublepush and downhill clinics by Erik Tange and Bob Maas at Trocadero with a view at the Eifel tower. 
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It doesn't appear as steep, but you do gain a lot of speed. Close-up of Bob in his "Turtle suit". Notice the special back protector.
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Movie: Slalom art by Super Mario. 1.8MB
MPEG version: 1.2MB
Movie: Double-push by Erik. 0.7MB
MPEG version: 1.2MB
Extra Movie on Toine's site: Group stair decent.2.4MB  Extra Movie on Toine's site: Slalom on stairs 2.3MB

This was a great weekend on wheels! Thanks to everyone for the fun we had! :-) To finish this report a funny blooper:

 

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Me and my cousin Randolph who lives in Paris.
┴ la prochaine fois!

Peter Nikkel.

peter@nikkel.nl

Links:

www.skate-a-round.com (Skate travels)
www.pari-roller.com (Friday night skate Paris)
www.rollerparc.com (Indoor skate paradise)
www.dutchdownhillteam.com
www.dribbl.nl (Inline Basketball)

more pics at:
www.feijes.com
Toine Andernach: www.tbm.tudelft.nl/webstaf/toinea/UPE2002/index.html

Test skate from:
www.rollerblade.com
www.salomonsports.com