Sunday Streets could spawn skating world records

Sunday Streets returns to the Great Highway this weekend.
Steven T. Jones

A Guinness world record for the longest roller skating chain may be broken here in San Francisco this weekend. The car-free Sunday Streets returns to the Great Highway and Golden Gate Park, where “godfather of skating” David Miles plans to break the record now held by Samsung Asia Pte Ltd. in Singapore, with 280 skaters on August 6, 2006.

In addition to the going for the longest chain of skaters record, he'll also create the record for longest skating serpentine and longest chain of inline skating as well. For the longest inline skater record, each skater must hold onto the other skaters hips as the group moves together a distance of at least 400 meters without breaking the chain. For the longest serpentine, which includes both inline and regular roller skates, participants must hold hands and follow the head of the serpentine as he or she makes turns to the left and right and moves forward creating a snake like motion with the skaters.

Mayor Ed Lee has agreed to participate and possibly lead a group as well. Although Sunday Streets event is free, registration to participate in this record is $10 and skate rental is $5. Skaters who plan to be part of the record must be registered and can do so here. Miles says there are currently 120 participants signed up but people wanting to participate can register the day of the event starting at 8a.m. The first attempt to break the record starts at 11 a.m. starting at the skating center at 6th Ave and JFK. In addition, Miles and his crew will be performing a “Thriller” dance on skate and “Cha-Cha-Cha Slide” starting at 2:30 p.m.

Sunday Streets also offers free bike rentals for one hour from Bike and Roll and Bay City Bikes at JFK and Transverse or at Lincoln and Great Highway. The seven-person funcycle will be on route and can be flagged down for a try. Roller skate rentals will be at 6th Ave and JFK. Rock the Bike returns with a bike pedal-powered stage at the Rivera sea wall on the Great Highway. For five hours, feel free to walk, run, bike, skate, or waddle. Other fun activities will start at the end of Martin Luther King Drive.

At this event, The Department of Public Works in collaboration with the SF Arts will host a free mural wall painting at The Great Highway and Lincoln. The art piece will be 40 foot long on a blank wall and everyone is invited to paint on it. Spray paint is provided and Francisco “Twick” Aquino, who created the mural at 21st and Capp streets in the Mission, will be the guest host at the free wall.

Sunday Streets encourages people to enjoy streets as open space and perform or lead activities such as yoga. The idea of this event comes from Bogota, Columbia and San Francisco joined this global movement in 2008 to create a healthier city.

“As San Franciscans, we are tapping into what communal creating is,” Sunday Street Coordinator Susan King said. “For 2011, Sunday Streets created a new policy for programming events, allowing for greater community participation and, allowing for more spontaneous activities. We are making participation more accessible and leading activities at Sunday Streets easier…the space itself is the activity.”

Miles also says, “when roads are closed to traffic, we can do all the things we are supposed to do, like be active and be healthy.”

The car- free event will last from 11am to 4pm, rain or shine.

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