Strap on your skates and wrist guards, grab your helmet and blinky and hit the streets!
Empire's Tuesday Night Skate (TNS) is a weekly night skate around New York City. We do group skates all over Manhattan (e.g., Fort Tryon and the Cloisters), as well as destinations in Brooklyn (Prospect Park), the Bronx (Jerome Park and the Concourse), Queens (the Unisphere), and New Jersey. Overall distance ranges from 15 to 25 miles (25-40 km), but is usually close to 20 miles (30 km).
Intermediate and advanced skaters. We really, really, really recommend that you be comfortable skating both at night and in city traffic. If you are not comfortable skating on NYC streets after dark, you will not be happy or safe skating TNS.
TNS is not as big as it used to be, but the skate usually has 10 and 15 skaters, although, of course, it depends on the season. In winter, there may be only two or three skaters, but in summer on a nice night, there should be about a dozen or more. You just never know.
We think you can guess what night of the week we meet. Our meeting time, though, is 8 p.m. We roll out at 8:15. We skate all year long provided that the streets are dry and the temperature is at or above freezing — 32°F (0°C). Well, okay, we may stay home if it's exceptionally windy.
We meet on the north side of Grand Army Plaza, Fifth Ave. & East 60th St., Manhattan. This is also the southeast corner entrance to Central Park. Just look for some inline skaters hanging around near the gilded statue of General Sherman.
(Please note: If you skated TNS with us in the past but haven't done so in a few years, we have had to move the starting point. The Blades skate shop where we met for like decades closed up in early 2016.)
Because we care about the safety of the people we skate with, we want you to take appropriate precautions for your own safety, and for ours. Please wear a helmet, wrist guards, and some sort of illumination such as a blinky or even a helmet-light. Bright clothing really helps, as does reflective material. (Actually, reflective and/or light-colored clothing is required by state law for anyone skating after dark. So there you go.)
We do our best to signal stops and turns, call out potholes and street crud and cars, and also obey traffic rules. If you do not know how to do any of that, please ask!
If you have to ask…
What? There's more?
Some of the TNS crew try to stay together for a little extra socializing after the skate is (officially) over. Depending on the week's route, this may mean that we'll get an adult beverage and hear some music at a skate-friendly establishment in the West 80s or perhaps East 50s. Sometimes, though, we may just get a slice of pizza at a place near the Queensboro Bridge.
A footnote for those of you who care about this kind of thing… The Tuesday Night Skate is New York City's oldest group skate, and one of the oldest in the world. It originally began about 1986 or 1987 when inline skaters started meeting regularly to skate the NYC streets at night, and became an organized weekly event sponsored by the Big Apple Road Rollers (later known as New York Road Skaters Association) in 1989. TNS was a BARR/NYRSA event until late 1994, and then was independently organized for a few years. TNS has been an official Empire Skate Club event since January 1999.