Tuesday Night Skate
Strap on your skates and wrist guards, grab your helmet and blinky and hit the streets!
Empire's Tuesday Night Skate (TNS) is a weekly night skate around New York City. We skate to (and back from) destinations in Manhattan (e.g., Fort Tryon and the Cloisters), as well as points in Brooklyn (Prospect Park and/or Red Hook), the Bronx (Jerome Park or Fordham University), Queens (the Unisphere), and just over the GW Bridge to New Jersey. Total skate distance can range from 15 to 25 miles (25-40 km), but is usually about 18-20 miles (30 km).
Intermediate and advanced skaters. We really, really, really recommend that you be comfortable skating both at night and in city traffic. If you are not comfortable skating on NYC streets after dark, you will not be happy or safe skating TNS.
TNS is not as big as it used to be, but the skate usually has 10 and 15 skaters, although, of course, it depends on the season. In winter, there may be only two or three skaters. In summer on a nice night, there should be about 15. You just never know.
We think you can guess what night of the week we skate. We start meeting up at 7:45 p.m. and roll out at 8:00 or a bit later. We skate all year long provided that the streets are dry and the temperature is at or above freezing — 32°F (0°C). Well, okay, we may stay home if it's exceptionally windy.
In the event that skating on Tuesday evening is called off, TNS might roll on a different night of the week, but only during November through March. Announcement of any cancellation and re-scheduling should appear on the Empire Facebook page. From April through October, skaters can instead attend the Wednesday Night Skate (FB).
We meet by the statue of General Sherman at Manhattan's Grand Army Plaza, Fifth Ave. & East 60th St. (map). This is also the southeast corner (Scholars Gate) entrance to Central Park.
(Please note: If you skated TNS with us in the past but haven't done so recently, we had to move the starting point. The Blades West skate shop where we met for so very many years closed up in early 2016.)
Because we care about the safety of the people we skate with, we want you to take appropriate precautions for your own safety, and for ours. Please wear a helmet, wrist guards, and some sort of illumination such as a blinky or even a helmet light.
Brightly colored clothing really helps, as does reflective material. (Actually, reflective and/or light-colored clothing is required by state law for anyone skating after dark. So there you go.)
We do our best to signal stops and turns; call out potholes, street crud, and traffic; and also obey traffic rules. If you do not know how to do any of that, please ask!
If you have to ask…
What? There's more?
Some of the TNS crew try to stay together for a little extra socializing after the skate is (officially) over. Depending on the week's route, this may mean that we'll get an adult beverage and hear some music at a skate-friendly establishment in the West 80s or perhaps East 50s. Sometimes, we may just get a slice of pizza at a place near the Queensboro Bridge.
Really? Back Then?
A footnote for those of you who care about this kind of thing… The Tuesday Night Skate is New York City's oldest group skate, and one of the oldest in the world. Its roots go back to 1986 or 1987 when inline skaters started meeting regularly to skate the NYC streets at night. Then in 1989 it became an organized weekly event sponsored by the Big Apple Road Rollers (later known as New York Road Skaters Association). TNS was a BARR/NYRSA event until late 1994, and then was independently organized for a few years. TNS has been sponsored by the Empire Skate Club since 1999.
The Empire Skate Club's premier event each year is the Big Apple Roll (BAR), an exciting five-day extravaganza in early August of group skates, social events, and adventures exploring and experiencing New York City on skates.
The 19th annual Big Apple Roll is scheduled for the weekend of August 6-8, 2021.