The Why Not? Blog

At the tender age of 25 Dave started skateboarding. 14 months later he became the first person to skate the length of Britain. Another 8 months on he had crossed Australia on his board, breaking a world record & raising over £20,000 for three charities. Now, at 27, he's writing his first book, is a motivational speaker and a businessman, and he's only just gotten started on a lifetime of challenges which from the outside look just darn crazy. So, why? You know the answer, don't you. Why not?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Day 30: Goodbyes, sunshine, roads

Cracking day. Said goodbye to everyone at the campsite after a slow morning. Back on the road by twelve. Aim of the day: get to Okehampton and hopefully beyond. A small shower at about ten this morning suggested the occasional downpour was on the way, but nothing! All dry!

The road to Okehampton was rough and hilly. A little break in the early afternoon halfway up a steepish hill, Dim eyes up Elsa. “Dave,” he asks, “do you think I could skate down the hill.”
“Course you could mate,” I say with an evil glint in my eye. I have to look away to stop him seeing me chuckling. Usually I wouldn’t advise anyone to skate any kind of hill that was beyond their ability, but with Dim there’s a difference. He’s a cameraman. For four weeks he’s been asking me to skate big hills twice because he missed it the first time. And, absolutely positive that he wasn’t going to make the bottom of the hill, I knew that he’d appreciate the footage of his first big fall. He plucks Elsa from the verge and heads for the road.
“I need the camera!” I hiss at Kate and Becs, “Dim’s about to stack big time!” Hehehehe, I couldn’t stop laughing. Got the camera on just in time, he was rolling past the van, going faster and faster. Kate is by my side, she starts to worry. I’m cracking up trying to keep the camera steady. Dimitri is wobbling madly, Kate yells “BE CAREFUL!” and right then came the moment. Dim was in mid air, Elsa hit the side of the road before he hit the floor. He bounced. I doubled over. It looked painful but it was all on tape. And I knew that even if he had badly hurt himself he would have been proud of me for filming it. Hehehe. He picked himself up. Picked up Elsa. Hobbled up the hill showing us the grazes. Like a boy in a candy store, Dim had just had his first big stack. And as I tell everyone I teach to longboard, once you fall like that you don’t do it again. Dim agrees.

Late lunches are not good for the soul. By four, well replete, we were not in the mood to do anything. I felt bloated, sleepy, not at all in the mood for skating. Half tempted to search for a B&B and close my eyes, half eager to claim back some more miles.

At the moment, skating wins. The sun is out, the old A30 is our preferred route. I dive down a few hills, the road twists through small villages and turns from rough to smooth. Dartmoor drifts by, the alternative routes to the busy ‘new’ A30 are running out as Bodmin Moor approaches, and with the day drawing on, the light fading I hit the A30 for the last four miles to Launceston. The road quality is good, the traffic is lighter than I expected. One big downhill then two and half miles of up! Arrghhh! But first, the Cornwall sign!! Last county!!

On the other side, heading east, VW vans stroll by, returning from Run to the Sun. We wave to every one. Another van had broken down on our side of the railings. The occupants, three guys, stand at the roadside and cheer and clap. It pushes me on until the next junction, end of the day. Almost 34 miles. A day’s skate away from the last page of the map. Four days from Land’s End. I’m buzzing, so close.


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