They See Him Rolling…


Photo By Jake Herman

Freshman Benson Cheng rollerblades during his mile commute to and from school each day.

By Jake Herman, Staff Writer

It’s daring. It’s bold. Some might even say it’s crazy. Roller blading down Gainsborough Road alongside traffic could be described as a lot of things; typical isn’t one of them. That is, unless you’re CHS freshman Benson Cheng.
For almost every day of the 2015-16 school year, Cheng has skated over a mile to and from CHS with only his trusty 1×4 inline roller blades.
“It’s fun, fast and convenient,” Cheng said. “I feel a rush when I go down the hill.”
According to Cheng, he began roller blading in second grade in China. Since then, he’s increased his skill to blading down busy roads and sidewalks.
However, the exhilaration of Cheng’s commute comes with danger.
According to Cheng, rainy days pose a risk to him because he slides when there’s less friction on the ground due to moisture or precipitation.
Whether he’s weaving through walkers on the sidewalks or gliding along the road with cars, Cheng and his roller blades always stand out among other students’ ordinary commutes.
“When I skate, I sometimes see people’s faces look weird or surprised,” Cheng said.
Another interesting aspect of Cheng’s commute is his lack of safety equipment, as he’s often seen without a helmet or pads.
According to a 1999 Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) injury surveillance study, 46 percent of inline skating injuries happen when a skater wears no safety gear, compared to just seven percent of injuries that occur when skaters wear knee and elbow pads, wrist guards and a helmet.
According to Cheng, he recommends knee and hand guards for beginner skaters who will most likely fall due to their inexperience. As for him, he believes he has enough “experience and caution” to skate without safety equipment.
Despite the risks involved, Cheng wouldn’t skate to school if he didn’t both enjoy and excel at it.
“I like it because I can get somewhere while doing my favorite sport,” Cheng said. “It helps me wake up in the morning and just feels fun.”