Underground skating club Inline Insomniacs officially registers as an RSO

Neal+Specter%2C+sophomore+in+Engineering%2C+skates+across+campus.+Inline+Insomniacs+creates+a+community+for+different+kinds+of+skaters+from+skateboarders+to+roller+skaters.+

Photo courtesy of Neal Specter

Neal Specter, sophomore in Engineering, skates across campus. Inline Insomniacs creates a community for different kinds of skaters from skateboarders to roller skaters.

By Aidan Finn, Staff Writer

Inline Insomniacs, a midnight skating club that has been a community outlet for late night thrills and skating across campus, officially registered as a University RSO.

Christina Simley, senior in Engineering and president of Inline Insomniacs, shared her experience of the transition.

“The transition to become an RSO was difficult because we lost our membership during COVID-19,” Smiley said. “Organizing as a president is pretty easy, since we meet weekly to go skating.”

The group has been a key player in the various underground socials across campus, lasting through many years and student presidents. 

Michael Ball, a former student at the University who graduated in 2012, has been rolling with the Insomniacs for years and watched the group evolve over time.

“Imagine ‘The Breakfast Club’ on skates. Inline Insomniacs has a two plus decade track record of haunting (campus) beneath the moonlight … oftentimes rain or shine,” Ball said. 

The RSO celebrated their semester of misadventures by riding all over Champaign with the same positive euphoria that made the notorious social club what it is today.

“It’s grunge. We’re dorks,” Ball said. “Sometimes we initiate newcomers with Disney songs, and everyone on wheels is welcome to join for a little night time adventure and escape from the mundane.”

The group has had dozens and occasionally hundreds of students gather outside around 10 p.m. for a planned route across town, from trips to the southern suburbs of Champaign to the farthest corners of old Urbana. 

The group featured holiday events, like a Halloween skate done in costumes and occasional winter “Inline-on-ice events,” where they took to the University of Illinois Ice Arena for a night of ice skating.

“My favorite part about being part of Inline Insomniacs is the friends I’ve made and the events I’ve been able to organize and be part of, including the barn dances and costume skates,” Simley said.

Vance Ursiny, junior in Engineering, sees the group as a quality way to socialize. 

“Inline has been a great way to destress and exercise in the middle of the week while also being a way to meet a lot of new people,” Ursiny said. “My friends got me into it sophomore year and it’s been a really good time ever since.”

Daniel Garcia-Rico, graduate student in Engineering, sees the group as a fun and healthy outing for those familiar and new to campus.

“Skating is a great opportunity for cardio while enjoying fresh air — making it a great destressor from school,” Garcia-Rico said. “Inline insomniacs has introduced me to some great skate friends and crazy spots around campus. We challenge each other to learn new tricks as we skate towards the middle of nowhere.”

Shiv Trivedi, freshman in LAS, is new to the group yet has already grown enthusiastically attached to the group.

“I’m an avid inline skater and Inline Insomniacs is one of the best things that I’ve found on this campus,” Trivedi said. “Meeting up with dozens of others with the same seemingly niche hobby of inline skating every Wednesday night is a highlight of my every week. I’ve met and learned from so many interesting and diverse individuals through Inline Insomniacs.”

Neal Specter, sophomore in Engineering, sees the group as a positive way for new students to take up skating as a hobby.

“We don’t have the fastest pace so most people with some experience should be able to keep pace quite easily,” Specter said. “We have made multiple routes that we can choose from. Usually sticking to good pavement and low traffic areas preferably. Going out at 10 p.m. also means there isn’t too much traffic to begin with and we are able to go down larger roads as a group.”

 

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