By Michael Collins
If you are preparing to board that spacecraft at the end of the Santa Monica but want to have a little fun first, take note: the hill down to the pier is one of the best in-line plunges around! Just watch out for the tourists crossing the road down by the carousel. They DO make things more interesting for the experienced skater though.
Other hidden downhill treasures include Raymond Street in Santa Monica from the top of the hill at 4th Street down the steep incline to Ruth Avenue. No stop signs or traffic to worry about and the tarmac is smooth.
Palisades Drive in the Santa Monica Mountains provides a very long and intense downhill. Head up the road to the Palisades Highlands and cruise the fairly safe street all the way to Sunset Boulevard. Then head over to the Self-Realization Center and thank your God that you made it!
The Southbay offers an Olympic-sized downhill on Wilmington Avenue. The long stretch from University down to Del Amo is obscenely fast if the signals cooperate which they tend to do.
The most hellacious of the lot begins on Saddle Peak Road high in the Santa Monica Mountains. Head towards the ocean on Schueren Road, take a left on Rambla Pacifica, and then left on Las Flores Canyon Road, known to jaunters as “The Canyon That Eats Men.” It ate me, that’s for sure!
Helmet, knee, elbow and wrist guards required. A death wish helps as well….