Big Wheel Blading’s COVID-19 Coverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every skater in the world in 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.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Myles-Cotter-Sparrow.jpg

Myles Cotter-Sparrow is a 39-year-old inline skater from Gaysville, Vermont. Myles has been the product marketing manager at Rollerblade since 2017 and worked for Roces from 2008-2017. His family owned and operated Zero Gravity Skatepark in Rutland, Vermont from 1992-2005 and Whaleback Mountain Ski Area in Enfield, New Hampshire from 2005-2015.


What is the current situation with COVID-19 in Vermont?

My town is small and most days there is not much happening. The only thing that has changed is we have less chit chat between each other. Vermont is strong, all 626,299 (2018) of us and we have under 200 cases at the moment. We are not densely populated so we just have to follow the safety guidelines. New York State is bordering Vermont to our west and has been hit heavy by the Virus. New York City is a hot spot with 10,000+ cases.

Backside Farfegnugen on the box.
Are you still skating? If so where at? And what precautions are you taking to stay safe?

I mainly ski or hike this time of year, but with all the Mountains closed I have skinned a few times and gone on a few classic hikes. We have been walking along the river too.  I follow the guidelines from my state; practicing a high level of cleanliness, maintaining a low percentage of contact with people outside of my small network, following the stay at home order and working from home.

Snow at this time of year makes skating intermittent. Spring allows for longer days and dry roads, so I have been out on my nearest skate-able road a few times. The road has low traffic and almost no people. But I still limit my time out, don’t touch anything, spray my skates with disinfectant, limit any interactions, all while having fun and staying cheery.

I have the stretch of road near me that is fun. Not much traffic and with the COVID -19 it is next to none. It passes a farm and is great for training or just rolling along. I have just been getting my heart rate up for 40 mins or so. Rollerblade has started a #whyiskate hashtag. I skate because I am an active human and movement is important to my overall health. It makes me smile and allows me time to think. Even though I am only traveling a few miles from my house to skate, getting out feels like a level of normalcy.

What would make you stop skating all together?

If the government (scientists, WHO,) told me too. If I had learned that the virus was being released by the trees or the Nanobots got a new mission.

What other activities are you doing to occupy your time?

I am able do some spring cleaning and other projects I have not had time to do. Catching up on My wood pile. I do have some Kettlebells and small home gym that I use.

How has COVID-19 affected your normal everyday life?

I have been working from home since March 16. This has been helpful but has put street on my internet connection. Rural Vermont has poor internet service. I have the best connection available to me, but with all my neighbors also at home using the internet, the connection has been pitiful. Luckily I do not have any difficulties getting food or supplies. Smaller populations don’t have the long lines and supply chain issues that big cities have.

Old ski edit of Myles from back in 2004, he was ahead of the times…
What are your major concerns right now and looking into the future?

The progression of the virus and how it continues to reshape our everyday life. Hoping that the friendliness of everyday life does not disappear. The idea of humans being scared of each other is not a good feeling.

How is the skate community in Vermont responding?

All the skaters are spread across the state. Self-isolation skating is easy. I do feel like our rural skate life natural leads its self to digital skate sharing. I feel the world should mimic this and create skate challenges that promote things like a “skate a 10k week” or #whyiskate, #howiskate posts. Share good COVID-19 safe skating locations and practices.

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Jan Welch

Founder and creator of bigwheelblading.com

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1 Comment

  1. […] Jan Eric Welch is a 44-year-old inline skater and founder of bigwheelblading.com who lives in Lyndonville, Vermont. Jan has been involved in the inline skating industry since it’s early years, producing Scum Magazine from 1994-1999, which was both an online magazine and a print zine, winning best website at the 1999 SXSW Interactive Media Festival in Austin, Texas. He worked for Daily Bread Magazine in San Diego, California from 1999-2001, ran Rat Tail Distribution and 4×4 Urethane with Jon Elliott and Brian Shima, founded Vicious Bearings with Jon Elliott and Chris Peel and released nearly a dozens aggressive inline skating videos during his videography career. He currently hosts the Annual New England Blade & Camp in Vermont and New Hampshire every summer with Myles Cotter-Sparrow. […]

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