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  1. #1
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    Allowing bikes into skate parks

    I'm posting this in hopes of hearing if anyone out has experience/stories and resources about successfully integrating bikes into skate parks where they previously weren't allowed.

    This morning, I was kicked out of the park by a group of dads (also skaters) who claimed I posed a risk to their kids. Funny thing is half the kids weren't even wearing helmets.

    Anyway, they pointed to the rule board which says no bikes allowed. I've lived in many places where this rule just isn't followed and no one- skaters or bikers or whatever care. Although they were all generally more bike friendly towns and had more bike culture. It also says no scooters or rollerblades but kids are there on those all the time. I am of the opinion that it's an antiquated rule that comes from misinformation and misunderstanding about different sports much like the old skiers versus snowboarder thing.

    This is a major bone of contention in the small bike community here as the town has stated they will not build us a concrete or dirt bike park. I'm thinking I'd like to open a dialogue with the skater community and the city about integrating bikes somehow. Ideally, full and free integration but even partial (like bike hours, "adult swim" hours, plastic peg/pedal rules) would be tolerable.

    What resources, experiences, success stories do you guys have?

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Ganze's Avatar
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    sucks man, our parks are integrated.

    I would talk with the park managers, usually city people, and offer to supply volunteer hours from all your bike riding friends.

  3. #3
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    Most skateparks were advocated for and designed by skaters.....then built by a company who builds skateboard parks.

    This is why you see a lot of skateparks for skate boarders only. The only way to get bikes into those parks is to advocate for it and get as many riders as you can to show up at city hall and say, "hey, we want to be able to ride the skatepark and if not, we want a bike park built too."

    The problems that I have encountered are:

    - Most skateboarders are elitists and don't want bikes in their park
    - There is this idea that bikes do more damage (pegs can but now they make plastic pegs or they can be removed).
    - They think bikes are more dangerous.......well, with the huge brakeless trend in BMX I can see why. If I advocated for bikes I would advocate for the park to require all bicycles to have brakes.....mostly for safety. A bicycle can stop on a dime when it has brakes. If you want to do brakeless tricks, then don't use the brake.....duh!!
    - There are a lot more skaters in most communities than there are bikers who want to ride skateparks. You need numbers to convince the city to change their minds.

    One city in our area wouldn't allow us to ride in the skatepark, but they agreed to haul in dirt right next to the skatepark and allow us to build jumps.......that was a decent solution.

    It's a battle worth fighting. But good luck finding people who are willing to fight for it. I tried and most of the younger Freeriders and BMXers said they wanted to ride the park, but they were unwilling to put in the effort to make it happen. As adults, we need to find a way to get these kids into the advocacy side of sports like BMX and Freeride.......until they do that, it's going to be hard to accomplish much.

  4. #4
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    BMX Riders Organization | have been tackling this issue for years now.

    In the bigger scheme of things, though, part of the sport of bike riding is building your own riding spots. Start digging trails. Build wood ramps. Etc etc. Yes, it's hard work. But the payoff is incredible.

  5. #5
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    Yeah unfortunately it's a "skate" park for a reason and this problem is all too common. Truthfully you will hurt the skaters (especially on a 26") if you hit them and they don't look out for anyone when they're in a line.

    Idealy you should to find the times when the kids aren't there and sess. (Usually early morning or dusk/dark) Then once you're comfortable with the park you kind of have to be a dick and act like you ride there all the time and don't care.

    Otherwise you have to suck it up and make a coalition to build something somewhere else in your city as mentioned above.

  6. #6
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    We don't have that problem around here, but after thinking about it I can see some validitity in the concerns. I would look for a compromise to start with. In talking with the parks commission, maybe suggest that there be a certain times when bikes are allowed in the park - either exclusively or along with the skaters. Point out that scooters and other unauthorized devices are being used there as well. Also kindly point out that the local bikers have no area of their own and the only options they have is to ride in the city near pedestrians, cars, etc... Hopefully that might start the dialogue of integration of bikes into the skatepark. I can say that confrontation (with the skaters, parks commission, etc...) never seems to get you anywhere so I recommend being curteous and empathetic. Consider the reaction you and other bikers would have if they built a bike-only park and skaters started showing up to use it.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by snmhanson View Post
    . . . Consider the reaction you and other bikers would have if they built a bike-only park and skaters started showing up to use it.
    or . . . . i don't think it's equivalent but, . . . . guys bringing RC cars to DJ trails:

    RC Bashing on a Dirt Jump Track - YouTube

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by snmhanson View Post
    We don't have that problem around here, but after thinking about it I can see some validitity in the concerns. I would look for a compromise to start with. In talking with the parks commission, maybe suggest that there be a certain times when bikes are allowed in the park - either exclusively or along with the skaters. Point out that scooters and other unauthorized devices are being used there as well. Also kindly point out that the local bikers have no area of their own and the only options they have is to ride in the city near pedestrians, cars, etc... Hopefully that might start the dialogue of integration of bikes into the skatepark. I can say that confrontation (with the skaters, parks commission, etc...) never seems to get you anywhere so I recommend being curteous and empathetic. Consider the reaction you and other bikers would have if they built a bike-only park and skaters started showing up to use it.
    That's most given concern-the safety. So bike hours would seem to relieve that. Although I see a down side-what if your buddies don't ride the same things as you? If we offer no metal pegs also, hopefully we can get something accomplished.

    Interesting story about your last bit. I moved here from Flagstaff, Arizona (a huge bike mecca) and BMXers were technically not allowed in any of the skate parks but rode there anyway so the city built a bike specific park which was awesome.

    BMXers, skaters, everyone preceded to use the BMX-only park and everyone still used the others because in the culture there, no one cared. except for one park in a suburban area where parents would get mad.

  9. #9
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    I've seen parks that have reserved hours for bikes. I thought that was a pretty good compromise because, frankly, collisions happen, and a bike hitting a skater has a lot more potential for serious damage than two skaters.
    "In nuclear war, all men are cremated equal" - Dexter Gordon

  10. #10
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  11. #11
    Don't believe the Hype...
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    Learn to skate if you want to ride a skate park.
    Made with real bits of Panther, so you know it's good...

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    use promo code "lucky" for 5% off

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckybastard View Post
    Learn to skate if you want to ride a skate park.
    Know how to skate. Learn to ride a bike in a skate park.

  13. #13
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    there's a skate park by me that's flooded with kids on razor scooters.... i hit it when i'm riding by. dunno if i'm allowed

  14. #14
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    Guys ride bmx all the time at our local skatepark. I've never seen any signs that say otherwise.
    In fact, tonight there were about 20 skaters, and 7 bmx guys out there. Wasn't any trouble.

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