Break out those roller blades because this spring Winnipeg will unveil the world’s longest floating inline-skating trail on the Assiniboine River.
The Economic Development Winnipeg (EDW) Assiniboine River RollerWay™ will run approximately 8.1 km, spanning the middle of the Assiniboine River from The Forks Harbour to the Assiniboine River Park Bridge.
“Rollerblades have been making a steady comeback over the years, and we want Winnipeg to take the lead in bringing back its popularity—particularly given it, like skating, is a great sport for social distancing,” said EDW president Dayna Spiring. “We feel the combination of roller skates and our beautiful Assiniboine River will provide the perfect setting to see us through what is hopefully the last summer with COVID,” Spiring continued.
Composed of eastern white cedar laid atop of multinautic dock floats, this massive dock system/RollerWay™will be anchored to the muddy river bottom every 20 feet, ensuring a mostly stable base for all your rollerblading escapades.
Rollerblade-hungry public has spoken
A recent city-wide poll showed that 68 per cent of respondents were in favour of a new form of recreation on the Assiniboine. A further 87 per cent of respondents indicated that rollerblades were going to be their preferred mode of transportation for summer 2021.
EDW is hoping this new trail will be speedily embraced by this rollerblade-hungry public.
“Given how most active Winnipeggers felt defeated by the early closure of the Centennial River Trail, we feel like this quick turnaround to rollerblades is just what’s in order for the city’s morale,” said Spiring. “We will also have measures in place to ensure safety is paramount.”
To accommodate what will surely be a massive influx of inline skaters, The Forks Market will offer rollerblade and rollerskate rentals featuring new sanitary click-then-glide technology (sort of like a ski boot; there will not be blades available for rent with laces).
Lifejackets will be encouraged on the RollerWay™, while other forms of human-powered transport—fat bikes, beach cruisers, mountain bikes, unicycles, and all bikes in general—will be strictly prohibited.
New Guinness World Record at play
The entire project consists of 2,657, 10 ft. long multinautic dock floats, which combined will constitute the full 8.1 km needed to ensure a new Guinness World Record for the city.
The current record holder for a floating rollerskate/inline skate track is Streda Bodrogom’s Riečne Plávajúce Kolieskové Korčule Hercules (RPKKH), located on the Bodrog River in eastern Slovakia. The RPKKH regularly reaches lengths of 7.8 km, depending on currents and levels of the Bodrog.
The RollerWay™ is scheduled to be ready for May long weekend, with NHL Jet Blake Wheeler (of course*) slated to be part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Cooling floating huts
As part of this, The Forks has expanded their annual Warming Hut competition to invite local architecture and design firms to submit ideas for cooling floating huts to be strategically staged along the Assiniboine.
You can submit your floating hut design idea to RollerWay™email@example.com
*We say of course because his last name is Wheeler and he is a noted inline skating enthusiast.