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Jim Richardson Posts

A People’s History of the People’s Free Skate

Hear the totally true story of the People’s Free Skate Rink from its creators: Lake Superior Aquaman and Robot Rickshaw interviewed by Ryan Welles on his podcast “True Stories and Other Damage.” Featuring the genesis of it, all the behind the scenes information, anecdotes, and a few extravagant claims, finishing up with the harrowing account of our iceberg ride.

More Homegrown Trolley

Iceberg Ride


 

Robot Rickshaw and I sailed into our imagination on an iceberg, a doomed expedition worthy of Shackleton. Do not attempt. We selected a vessel and set sail from the Lakewalk around the Va Bene area. The wind was at our backs as we navigated down the shore past Fitger’s, where we disembarked just as our vessel began losing seaworthiness. We had sailed approximately 500 feet. However the real journey was into the depths of the human heart. Do we in fact have missing time as we suppose? Did we sail into a mist and live on the Isle of Avalon for untold years, before charting a course back to our day-to-day lives?

Storming the Radisson

… with Emily Rose Olson and Emily Hayes.

Underwater views of ice sheet breaking up

 

Tons of People’s Free Skate Rink Freakout Footage

Video by Lane R. Ellis

Going out today to rebuild the rink

This week will be cold but relatively free of precipitation, so any rinkspace recovered will likely survive a few days. It looks like a blasted moonscape out there right now, but a couple hours of shoveling will uncover the byways of our lost civilization, that culture of pure leisure we established whose spirit survives.

“People’s Free Skate Rink” by Tomas Soderberg

Tomas’ video scrapbook from the People’s Free Skate Rink on Saturday. This event was the culmination of a rolling 7-day spontaneous party on foot-thick ice over 40-foot-deep water. Featuring DJ Kevin Craig, in a set he shared with Pete Biasi/RAW SPACE. Footage includes the snowy owl that buzzed us in the final frames.

DNT coverage of the People’s Free Skate Rink on Lake Superior

Today’s a great day to skate the biggest lake in the world

Photo by Jon Choi

The People’s Free Skate Rink on the ice sheet near Leif Erikson Park is still open and fabulous, but the weather’s turning the next couple days so take advantage today-tomorrow while you definitely still can. I think you’ll like what we’ve done with the place, an ice maze of islands and slollums. Don’t need skates, just come bask in the view of the city and the sky. After dark the snow turns pink in the city lights, a premier hangout for the adventurous. See you there!

Return of the People’s Free Skate Rink


 

Max Moen and I did this once before in 2014. This will be open as long as weather permits maintaining it. It is on Lake Superior directly off Leif Erickson Park from the stage, about a quarter mile. It is marked with orange cones which hopefully no one will eff with. Ice is around a foot thick, you could drive a train on it. This is the premier skate course in town, a hundred feet long with many twisty paths. Even if you don’t have skates, it is a great excuse for a party. Bring bikes, kites, beach chairs, flags, capes, etc.
 

A Walk on the Lake and the Things We Saw

Lake Superior Aquaman reporting. Co-starring my buddy Meghan AKA The Meg

Tried Skating to Wisconsin

Made it to 35th before impassable stacks of plate ice.

Lake Superior Aquaman Patrolling the Big Lake on Skates

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