I was born and raised in Minnesota. Winter was a way of life and we embraced it by living in our snow clothes and played outside for most of the day. My sisters and I built snowmen, snow forts, threw snowballs, slid down hills as fast as we could on our sleds and our very favorite ice skating. My first skates were double runners, an ice skate with two blades on the bottom of the skates. I don’t even know if they make skates like them anymore, but we spent hours skating in the winter.
The awesome thing about Albert Lea is there is at least four or five free rinks around town with warming houses. Even when the warming houses are not open, you can still skate on the rinks. The City Arena is also a fun place to skate during the winter. It is a little warmer, your skates come with your skating fee and they have sturdy walker type things kids can hold onto while they learn to skate. We frequently go out during their homeschool skate on Friday mornings and all the kids look forward to it all week.
My very favorite place to skate in town is on the lakes. There is nothing better than dragging a shovel and broom out to the lakes to create your very own skating rink. I grew up near Goose Lake and we would walk across the field with our skates, shovel, broom , hot chocolate and snacks we loaded up our sled and with our dog Rex walking beside us we headed to the lake. To this day it is still one of my favorite childhood memories. It is magical to skate in the wide open spaces right there among nature.
Growing up my sisters and I always had our own skates with our pretty big pom-pom on our toes. All three of my big kids have skates and I am sure next year Timmy will join them. All four of our kids will need new skates next year and I have begun to wonder what we would do about it. We could buy them, but what if they out grow in the middle of the year and do I want to buy all four kids skates? I know from experience they may not grow into each others skates, then we have multiple skates laying around we can’t use. So, what do we do?
Martin’s Cycling and Fitness answered the question for us when I recently drove by Martin Cycling on my way downtown and they had a sign out saying “Skate Rentals”. I stopped in and talked to Scott Martin, one of the owners of Martin Cycling. He was able to give me the ins and outs of their skate rental programs. I thought I would pass the information on to our readers as well.
Here is the information Scott passed on to me:
*They rent/lease out figure skates and Hockey Skates.
*You can rent skates by the day or you can lease them.
*To rent skates by the day is $10 (a good deal if you ask me)
*Skate leases generally run from Oct -April 1st, if you need them through the summer you simply call up Scott and let him know you need them longer. As part of your lease there is not an extended cost, just let them know when you will return them.
*Cost depends on if you rent new skates or used skates, it also depends on the size of your foot and other variables so it’s best to contact them on prices, but I can tell you they are reasonable!
*When you lease or rent skates from them the skates are sharpened and ready to go, if you need them sharpened again bring them in and for they can resharpen them for $5.
Martin’s Cycling & Fitness will make sure our kid’s skates fit them perfectly without causing them blisters or being uncomfortable. One of Titus’ struggles this year was not being able to have strong ankle support which left him frustrated, having professionals fit him to the perfect skate would have left him skating confidently instead of frustrating.
“They were knowledgeable, friendly and extremely easy to work with. I have friends and family who have rented skates from Martin’s for years. This was our first time and they were great to work with. I especially liked if my son changed sizes they would exchange the skates for a bigger size. Quality and affordable. You can’t go wrong with that!”
You can find out more information about Martin’s Cycling and Fitness skate program at their website here or give them a call at 507-377-3704. They are located on South Broadway next to Hardees. It’s a great way to support a local business and keep your kids skating all year long. When you stop in and call tell them you heard about them from Russell’s Adventures. A proud supporter of local businesses.