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Is Rollerblading Cool Again?

Photo courtesy of RichardBH/Flickr

I don’t know about you, but lately I have noticed a lot of people cruising the streets and sidewalks of Missoula on rollerblades.

I remember when rollerblades were the hottest trend in recreation. My brother and I begged our parents for skates — which we eventually received as Christmas gifts. And even though it was freezing cold, you better believe we were out there Christmas morning testing out our new wheels on whatever clear patches of blacktop we could find.

During elementary and middle school, I spent hours skating around the block and building ramps with the rest of the neighborhood kids. Every now and then, we would hold “competitions” in which we rated each other’s jumps on a scale of one to 10.

Eventually, I became interested in other sports, and my rollerblading obsession faded away, along with my devotion to the Spice Girls. Apparently, both are now making a comeback.

While Posh and the gang are busy promoting Girl Power to a whole new generation with the much-anticipated premiere of their new musical, rollerblades are becoming retro-cool right here in the Garden City.

The first time I saw a skater rolling along the Riverfront Trail near Caras Park this summer, I almost did a double take. It had been several years since I had last seen someone using rollerblades in public — in Montana, at least.

I thought that my blade sighting would be a one-time thing, but over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve spotted several people rocking wheeled footwear in a variety of locations — on the side walk along the Orange Street Bridge, on campus at The University of Montana and even downtown.

This just might call for a trip back home to dig out my skates — and maybe my old Spice Girls CDs.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.

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