We had our first very, very light snow here in Fredericksburg on Saturday, and it was refreshing given last year we got nothing to speak of all Winter. It also made me think of one of my favorite childhood Winter sports: Skitching (it even has its own Wikipedia article)
Skitching (i.e. “ski-hitching” or “skate-hitching”) is the act of hitching a ride on the rear bumper of a car when there is ice or slick snow on the roads. It is also sometimes commonly referred to as Bumper Hitching. This can also be done with a skateboard or roller skates in urban areas where there is no ice or snow. In addition, skitching can be performed on a bicycle.
So, as I often do, I went to YouTube to find some telling examples of this underground sport, only to find that the majority of them were rehearsed examples with rope, skis, snowboards and the like. That’s not skitching! Using a car to pull you around the snow is a blast, without question, but so is sledding and the like. The thrill of skitching is that it is booth dangerous and illegal. And when I say dangerous I don’t necessarily mean you can get hurt skitching (although you certainly can), but rather the person driving the car could get out and in a fit of rage come after you, not to mention cops on the prowl. We skitched relentlessly after every big snowstorm in my neighborhood—and we had some formidable numbers, a regular pack of kids. Cars were often going slow enough so that we could catch rides all night, and when they discovered us they yelled, got out, and threatened. And a few times they actually got out, left their car and chased us all over our neighborhood, but we always had the upper-hand in that regard. However, it didn;t always end well for us, their were a few unlucky victims who got their fingers caught in the bumpers (when they still had bumpers).
Anyway, i think the following video on YouTube captures the true spirit of skitching better than any of those rehearsed “we’re skitching” nonsense videos. Skitching is all about transgressive transportation, and if that element is missing, than it can be called a lot of things, but it ain’t skitching!