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Sport & Recreation

City Skate
By Kimberly O’Haver
Issue 9
September 9 - October 7, 2004

PHOTOs: alexei gulyayev
On the Move: bladerunning
For in-line skating enthusiasts, Moscow may not seem the ideal city for extreme blading or even for a nice evening skate along the river. But don’t be fooled by the overabundance of bumpy sidewalks along exhaust-filled streets: prime skating territory is just a few metro stops away.

Moscow can’t boast of a seafront skate path like that along the Mediterranean in Nice or the trail along Lake Michigan in Chicago, or even the smooth asphalt of the United States’ bland suburban developments — but the city’s skating hotspots offer great views as well as the chance to see some of the capital’s more famous landmarks.

Poklonnaya Gora

Though this spot offers less than 4 kilometers of trails, the territory around Poklonnaya Gora is still quite popular with skaters. The paths vary between 4 and 5 meters in width and the asphalt is very smooth. The park is historically significant as the spot from which those traveling to Moscow got a glimpse of the golden city from atop the hill. The paths leading up to the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War are lined with fountains and uneven stones, which don’t make for smooth skating. The territory directly in front of the museum and the decent-sized park behind it are ideal for skating, however. The paths are long and suitable for any level of skater, as there are no extreme inclines.
M. Park Pobedy.


All-Russian Exhibition Center/Botanical Gardens

Though the asphalt at the All-Russian Exhibition Center, or VVTs, leaves something to be desired, VVTs is prime skating territory covering almost 6 kilometers. VVTs is also a great spot for skaters who want to catch a glimpse of Soviet Stalinist architecture up close. The various pavilions are reminiscent of a US state fair: the education, biology, agriculture, and atomic-energy pavilions all sport impressive designs that echo Stalin’s declaration that art should be “national in form, socialist in content.” The VVTs territory links up with paths running near the Ostankino Palace and through the Botanical Gardens, which can be skated separately from VVTs, but offer inferior asphalt.

Vorobyovy Gory/Moscow State University/Moscow River

The wide sidewalks of Ulitsa Kosygina, starting at Gagarin Square and leading up to the viewing platform at Vorobyovy Gory, are ideal for skaters looking to get their blood pumping and burn some calories. The route is uphill, but the asphalt is very smooth to ensure plenty of time between strokes to feel the burn in your muscles. Having reached the viewing platform, Moscow State University will be to your back. Take a break and roll by the souvenir venders, gawk at the frequent wedding parties or practice some fancy footwork on the unusually smooth asphalt. From the overlook, continue downhill along Ulitsa Kosygina, past Mosfilm’s studios on the left and the yellow wall on the right, to Mosfilmovskaya Ulitsa. The sidewalk becomes steeper and steeper, so use caution. At the bottom of the steep hill, take a right and enjoy skating along the embankment of the Moscow River on a small road that stretches all the way to Gorky Park. However, once you pass the bridge of Vorobyovy Gory metro station, the asphalt’s skatability declines greatly. For those not interested in marathon skating or climbing hills, the Vorobyovy Gory ski lift can transport you back up to the Vorobyovy Gory viewing platform for 40 rubles. Skating down from here is recommended for more advanced skaters, due to the steep downhill slopes. Watch out for the throng of motorcyclists that gathers near the overlook on summer evenings.
M. Leninsky Prospekt, Vorobyovy Gory.

14 Ul. 1905 Goda (M. Ulitsa 1905 Goda)
253-8641, 10am-9pm, Sat.-Sun 10am-8pm.

6 Smolenskaya Ploshchad (M. Smolenskaya)

1 Bolshaya Sadovaya Ul. (M. Mayakovskaya)
777-7771, 10am-10pm

Today's Gigs
14:00 - Jazz Brunch
19:00 - Martin Landers: ambient chillout
21:00 - Disco nightly, free entry. DJ Alex Sun.-Tue., DJ Suliko Wed. & Thu., DJ Kostya Kleshch Fri. & Sat
Russian Synthpop Concert: Last Page, Inner Conflict, Fashion Suicide
Gyndul Mystei
Children's party followed by DJ Alexander Osadchy with his Funky Sunky program


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