Big Wheel Blading’s COVID-19 Coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every skater in the world in some way. In this new series, Inline Skating and Life During COVID-19, we will be checking in with various inline skaters from around the globe to see how the pandemic has affected their life. This is only one part of our COVID-19 coverage, which includes editorials, interviews with skaters who are deemed essential workers and an in depth report of what long term affects the pandemic will have on our sport and industry. Also check out the series, Essential Workers, Inline Skaters on the Front Lines of COVID-19, where we talk to inline skaters from around the world who are considered Essential Workers. If you’d like to contribute an editorial piece or have any comments or suggestions you can email janericwelch@bigwheelblading.com.


Mike Torres is a 36-year-old inline skater, freelance cinematographer, camera operator, and editor from New York City, New York. Mike has produced some notable inline skating content over the last several years, including mind-bending collaborations with Leon Basin and Them Skates.


What is the current situation with COVID-19 in New York City?

New York City is a major COVID-19 hub in the US right now. The city is on official lockdown, so we’ve all been laying low since then. It’s been a ghost town the past couple of weeks.

Are you still skating? If so what precautions are you taking to be safe?

Early on we took this as an opportunity to skate spots that would otherwise be too crowded with people. We haven’t gone out filming since we’ve been on official lockdown, it just doesn’t feel like the right thing to do right now, even with all the precautions we were taking. We were covering our faces, keeping our distance from each other (other than when we were filming fisheye), sanitizing hands/cameras/spots, and avoiding passersby as much as possible. I might go out for a solo Wizard practice session in a little bit. It’ll be a good way to get some fresh air, exercise a bit, stay away from others, and challenge myself physically/mentally.

Expect a lot more solo Wizard experimentation in the next couple weeks.

What would make you stop skating all together.?

I think it’ll be obvious when that time comes, and I will gladly abide.

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time?

I’ve been hanging out with my dog, catching up on some old editing projects, doing crossword puzzles (a must), making myself crazy by reading the news, and playing C-Lo over Google Hangouts.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life?

My girlfriend is a nurse in a Brooklyn hospital. Hearing about what they’re facing on the front lines is stressful enough to affect my daily mindset, but beyond that just worrying about her constantly, wondering if she’s okay both physically and mentally, and dealing with the fear of living with someone who is exposed to this for 12 hours a day for 3-4 days a week. We live with two roommates, neither of them have been to our apartment since shit hit the fan.

What are your major concerns?

I’m worried about what a military presence looks like in New York City.

How is the skate community in NYC responding to the lockdown?

From what I can tell, if people are skating here they’re either just cruising the streets solo, or skating with a very small group in places where there is a low number of people. Pretty sure all the official group skates have been called off.

Wizard practice.
The Church of Leon by Mike Torres featuring Leon Basin.
Nights & Weekends by Mike Torres and Augusto Castillo.
Ellos, a collaboration between Alex Broskow, Mike Torres, Christian Delfino, and Them Skates.

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Jan Welch

Founder and creator of bigwheelblading.com

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