Skate for Sarah Inaugural Fundraiser

Held September 9th, 2017, at the John Rose MN oval, the first annual Skate for Sarah – “Keep the rubber on the road” basic inline (rollerblade) skate lesson for new skaters in exchange for donations to Operation Smile  event was powerful. Sarah’s sisters were very appreciative and felt the event was “so very special”. In addition to providing inline skate lessons, and a Sarah Sticker, a representative from Operation Smile was present handing out Operation Smile buttons with images of children who had reparative cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries through Operation Smile, an organization Sarah served with nearly thirty missions as a nurse practitioner .
On August 10, 2017, immediately after Robichon’s facebook page publication of Skate for Sarah, Sarah shared Robichon’s Inline and Quad Skate School’s post promoting  “Skate for Sarah – keep the rubber on the road”  benefit .   Sarah’s share of the benefit would be her final facebook post, resulted in over 400 shares of Robichon’s Skate for Sarah page and served as her means to publicly announce her pending death.
Sarah Gutknecht’s final facebook post


What followed was an outpouring of love, support and honoring of Sarah on her personal facebook page during and after her death the evening of August 24, 2017.  The following is a sampling of Skater’s support of Sarah:
1)  Sarah’s Former Media Machine Team Manager, David Thompson

2) Deb Ingersoll, spouse of Physician and Inline Skater, Al Ingersoll

3) Noelle Robichon, Speed Instructor to Sarah Gutknecht:

Providing support to Sarah as she approaches her final days on Earth.


August 10, 2017 Sarah wrote to Noelle, ” I really appreciate your support and coordination, can’t thank you enough. Much Love, Sarah”. 

Fourteen days later, on August 24th, 2017,  after a long fight with the illness, all the while supporting her ailing father, Sarah succumbed to pancreatic cancer.  

The day after her passing her young sister posted the following to Sarah’s caringbridge site:

Leaping into the Next Adventure

Journal entry by Amy Nelson

Now it is our turn to be open to new and exciting adventures as we say goodbye to our life on earth with Sarah. Sarah passed away peacefully at home last evening, with Ann, and her sisters, Julie and Amy by her side.

Sarah has forever changed each and every one of us, making us the best version of ourselves. Whether she has encouraged and supported us, been a rock for us, made us feel amazing, cared for us, or inspired us.

“Your smile and eyes, the windows into a soul with infinite power to heal and love.” such a perfect description of Sarah by Noelle Robichon.

Sarah will always be with us. She will live on through us. Sarah will be waiting for us, for an interval, just around the corner.

Here is to a new beginning.

Sarah would encourage us to move forward, press on, living with her spirit guiding us. Whether it be feeling free to dance like no one is watching, loving with your whole heart, sharing your gifts selflessly, or living like there is no tomorrow.

Sarah’s passing from pancreatic cancer the evening of August 24th, 2017 made the event particularly poignant.  September 6th 2017, a few evenings prior to “Skate for Sarah” benefit, Sarah’s younger sister, Amy Nelson contacted Robichon’s Skate School through its facebook page with the following message:
“Noelle, My sisters, Anne Schreck and Julie Savelkoul, Sarah’s spouse, Ann Kools and I plan to attend the “Skate for Sarah” event on Saturday. Thank you for having this great event!”
Excited to hear Sarah’s sisters would attend Skate for Sarah, Noelle invited the speed skating community on Sarah’s facebook page on the informal, seemingly formalizing local speed skating e-mail list time (many of whom Noelle has instructed, in order to spend time with her sisters and share Sarah stories with them.
With short notice, the following speed skaters arrived in support of Sarah: Melissa Dahlmann, Jeff Steltz, Connie Ecklund  and Ovid Westin.  Numerous others arrived to take lessons including Sarah Gutknecht’s work colleagues Minh Nguyen and Sue Richmond Johnson both former colleagues from Shriners Hospital.
Robichon’s take pride and comfort knowing they supported Sarah’s family enough for them to drive hours away from home: Rochester, MN and Cedar Rapids, IA to demonstrate their appreciation of Skate for Sarah.
The second annual Skate for Sarah benefit is August 25, 2018.  Click here to sign up early.
DONATE to Operation Smile:  
To donate in support of Sarah and operation smile now click here:…

Contact Us

Whether you would like to request more information about our inline (rollerblade) skate lessons, have a question or comment about skate lessons you have had with us, or have feedback on our website, we’d love to hear from you:

Twin Cities Skate News

US Bank Stadium Inline and Roller Skating

In its second season,  inline and roller skating in the US Bank Stadium begins November 14, 2017.   Skate hours are from 5pm to 9pm.   No January Dates. February dates pending.

  • NOV 14, 2017   5:00 PM 
  • NOV 15, 2017   5:00 PM 
  • NOV 21, 2017    5:00 PM 
  • NOV 27, 2017    5:00 PM 
  • DEC 6, 2017      5:00 PM 
  • DEC 11, 2017     5:00 PM 
  • DEC 20, 2017    5:00 PM 
  • DEC 21, 2017    5:00 PM 
  • DEC 27, 2017   5:00 PM 
  • DEC 28, 2017   5:00 PM 

4:45PM | Doors Open
Participants can enter through the NW Legacy Gate or Skyway
5-8PM | Family Skate
8-9PM | Athletic Skate

Skaters will need to bring their own equipment to participate as skate rental will not be available. Skaters are required to bring their own safety gear, including helmets. Participants are welcome to bring inline skating equipment to the stadium and will be subject to a bag search and standard security procedures. A bag check will be offered for $3 per event. After purchasing tickets, inline skaters will need to sign a waiver in order to skate at U.S. Bank Stadium.

September 9, 2017
 Held September 9th, 2017, the first annual Skate for Sarah – “Keep the rubber on the road” basic inline (rollerblade) skate lesson for new skaters in exchange for donations to Operation Smile benefit was powerful.


Kids Skate Camps

Outdoor Skate Camp

You Come to Us

If you would like our skate instructors to go to your skate camp/ event,  please go to Skate Camps for You link.

2018 Kids Skate Camps.

Robichon’s Kids Skate Camps are the first in the world for inline skates.  Approaching its 25th anniversary of running week long kids skate camps across MN, Robichon’s is now expanding the length of skate camps while also accepting direct registrations. Partnered with The John Rose MN Oval, the largest outdoor skate rink in the world, we are able to safely introduce children to the activity of outdoor recreational/fitness inline skating as well as a variety of sport specific disciplines including: aggressive, freestyle, skate-to-ski, roller hockey, and speed skating.

Our skate camp participants return year after year, attend multiple camps and some have become skate instructors with us.  We enjoy listening to parents of skate participants sharing dinner time and bedtime stories about what they learn and how fulfilling their inline skate camp experience with us is.

Minnesota Youth Skate Camp

Our staff is both volunteer and paid instructors. We have our apprentice skate instruction program which helps teach students how to be a Robichon  Skate Instructor.  By taking our camps, they learn the necessary skate skills to become a skate instructor with us.

Our kids skate camps are appropriate for ages six years of age and older, including kids who are brand new beginners, advanced beginners and intermediates.  We recommend our advanced skaters specialize in sport specific courses; such as, speed, street/ramp, freestyle,  roller hockey and/or skate trips but we can take advanced skaters in our camps.

In order to keep our skate camp pricing low, we do not offer refunds,  transfer of days, or transfer of camps due to illness. Please ensure you sign up for the camp week which works best for you and your family.  Reducing administrative challenges helps our skate camps thrive. Thank you in advance for your assistance with efficiency.

2018  Kids Skate Camp Dates:

Skate camp runs from 9 to 12pm, Monday through Friday.

Camp #1: June 18 through 22, 2018,

Camp #2: July 9 through July 13, 2018,

Camp #3:  August 13 through August 17, 2018.

Photo Credit: Star Tribune

Brown’s Creek State Trail

Description:   Brown’s Creek State Trail, which opened in October 2014, is the latest addition to Minnesota’s extensive trail system. The rail-trail stretches from the St. Croix riverfront town of Stillwater to meet up with the popular Gateway State Trail in the town of Grant, thus becoming part of the expansive Willard Munger State Trail system. With this connection, trail users have direct access to the St. Croix River via off-road trails from the capital city of Saint Paul to Stillwater.

Length: 5.9 miles out,  11.8 out and back.

Parking and Trail Access: 

Brown’s Creek State Trail

To access the tail in Stillwater from Saint Paul, take I-694 to Exit 52B. Merge onto MN  36E., andgo 8.5 miles. Turn left onto MN 95 N./St. Croix Trail. In 2 miles, parking will be on the left at Laurel St.  the trail is adjacent to the parking lot.

Midway on the trail, parking is available at Brown’s Creek Nature Preserve. From Saint Paul, take I-694 to Exit 52B. Merge onto MN 36 E., and go 5 miles. Turn left onto Manning Ave. N., and go 2.6 miles. Turn right onto McKusick Road N., and in 1 mile, turn right onto Neal Ave. N. Parking will be on the right in 0.1 mile.  The trail is adjacent to the parking lot.

To access the trail in Grant, from Saint Paul, take I -694 to Exit 52B. Merge onto MN 36 E., and go 0.5 mile. Take the exit toward Hiton Trail, and follow Hilton north 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Stillwater Road/75th St. N., and to 1.2 miles. Turn left onto Jamaca Ave. In 1.9 miles, turn right onto MN 96/Dellwood Road. Parking will be on the right near the trestle bridge at 1.4 miles. Follow the Gateway State Trail southwest 0.25 mile to reach Brown’s Creek State Trail.

Difficulty:  The smooth asphalt trail takes skaters through beautiful scenic views toward the Gateway Trail. The trail is very smooth with a slight uphill grade toward the Gateway Trail, down on a skate toward Stillwater. Due to the slight gradual slope, Skate Ventures rates teh trail difficulty as a blue (two and one-half wheels) or beginner intermediate trail.Skaters should be able to use a heel brake down a steady mild decline.

Usage: The number of users is mild to moderate.  At this time, skaters will encounter bikers more often than skaters on Brown’s Creek State Trail.

Surface Condition:  Fresh smoothly paved asphalt makes for an excellent skating surface.

Scenery:  The paved route follows the former Minnesota Zephyr line that operated a dinner train along the route until 2008. Noted for its scenery, the route passes through woodlands along a 2-mile stretch of dedicated trout stream and through a mile long corridor alongside the St. Croix River, a National Scenic Riverway and Minnesota’s only river in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The trail passes several historic sites. It also enables users to connect to local and regional parks and trails in the Stillwater area.

Water: No water source is available while on Brown’s Creek State Trail. It is best to carry water or a sport drink during your skate. Hydration  and electrolyte replacement is key during exercise.

Skating Ability Recommendations: SV recommends proficiency in OSB Level 1-4, and trail skate classes. Skaters who can stop, start and turn with ease on flats and down moderate inclines are prepared for Brown’s Creek State Trail.  Skate Ventures skills needed are, the defensive skate position, stabilizer, heel brake stop, heel pump stop, grass stop and modified trail stride.

Fitness Recommendations: Skate Ventures skaters who can skate at least 6 miles on beginner intermediate trails with some ease. Trail Skate Class 2 prepares you for Brown’s Creek State Park Trail.

Trails that Connect: Gateway Trail



Link: Brown’s Creek Trail Map 

 Gateway Brown’s Creek Trail Association

SV Lesson Meeting Location: SV skate instructors will alternate meeting locations depending on  inline skate class objectives. First location is the parking lot on Laurel Street East downtown Stillwater, MN at the eastern end of the trail. The alternate location is Brown’s Creek Nature Preserve parking lot off of Neal Ave N.

  • Disclaimer: always skate with caution as skate surface conditions change from season to season due to weather changes. 
  • Last updated: 11/7/17


           Minnesota’s Indoor and Outdoor Recreational Roller Rinks


Rinks, both indoor and outdoor, are excellent controlled venues to safely practice new skills. Blended with qualified skate instruction, we recommend using flat smooth concrete, wood, grass, carpet and/or asphalt to refine skating skills. The following are a list of  adequate places to practice skating.

Indoor Roller Rink Directory

Cheap Skate: Coon Rapids, MN

Roller Gardens: St. Louis Park, MN

Saints North : Maplewood, MN

Skateville: Burnsville, MN

Skatin’ Place: St. Cloud, MN

Woodbury Fun Zone: Woodbury, MN

Outdoor Roller Rink Directory:

Chanhassen Recreation Center: concrete rink in Chanhassen, MN

John Rose Oval: concrete rink in Roseville, MN

Lexington Park: concrete rink in Roseville, MN

Nelson Park: asphalt rink in St. Louis Park, MN

Plymouth Creek Park: concrete rink in Plymouth, MN

Colby Lake Park: aspalt rink in  Woodbury, MN

Kargel Park: concrete rink in Woodbury, MN

Ojibway Park: concrete rink in Woodbury, MN


Baker Park Reserve

Description:  Baker Park Reserve trail is part of Three Rivers park and trail system adjacent to Lake Independence,  constructed on a rolling prairie which loops around a small lake.

Length: 6.23 miles

Getting There: The reserve is located about 20 miles west of downtown Minneapolis off of County Road 19.  From Highway 12, take County Road 29 north to County Road 19, and follow County Road 19 north to the main park entrance. The park entrance is approximately ½ mile north of Dairy Queen on Cty Rd. 19.

Or Travel on Hwy 55 to County Road 19, turn south and follow 19 to the main entrance. Entrance will be on your left.

Parking:  General parking at Three Rivers parks and trails is free for personal vehicles. Reservations and fees are required for premium parking areas and certain vehicles.

Click here for more on Three Rivers trails, parking and passes:

Difficulty: With its smooth asphalt, low usage and consistent moderate size inclines, Baker park is prime territory for anaerobic interval training, sport specific muscular power development and inline skating skill technique refinement.  Due to lengthy moderate inclines and corners requiring stopping and turning skills at speed, we give Baker Park Reserve trail an intermediate trail difficulty rating.

Usage: Due to its remote location, the number of users is far less than other popular locations such as Lake Calhoun or Dakota Rail Regional Trail.

Surface Condition:  Since the surface is fresh smooth asphalt, the condition is very good.

Scenery:  With nearly 2,700 acres of natural lanscape including a view of prairie and lakes with Trumpeteer Swans, Baker Park Reserve’s inline skating trail is a beautiful not-to-distant remote getaway from busy city life.  The trail offers fantastic views during fall leaf color changes in late September early October.

Water:  There is one fountain pump near the northwest end of the loop. We recommend bringing a personal water source, snack and minor skate repair tools.

Skating ability recommendations:  We recommend proficiency in OSB Level 1 – 4, and trail skate classes . Skaters’ who can stop, start and turn with ease on flats and down moderate inclines; are able to employ the defensive skate position, stabilizer, heel brake stop, heel pump stop, grass stop and modified trail stride are prepared for Baker Park Reserve Trails. Due to its remote location, we recommend skating with a friend and cell phone.

Fitness recommendations:  We recommend skaters can skate at least 12 miles on beginner inline skate trails such as the greenway with some ease.

Other Trails that Connect:  If you are interested in combining endurance with interval hill skating exercise, we recommend exploring Lake Independence Regional Trail which intersects with Baker Park Reserve trail.

Commentary:  The adjacent park has numerous other recreational facilities for swimming, boating, picnicing, camping and golfing.  


Baker Park Reserve Trail Map

Link: Interactive Map. Click here for an Interactive Map of Baker Park Reserve Trails,

Click here to return to Robichon’s Trail Ratings and Recommendations

Lesson Meeting Place: We will meet you at the main entrance parking lot on Hwy 19. Parking fees apply. An alternate option is parking on the residential streets and walking or rolling to the park’s main entrance.


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