On Saturday, Portland officially opened the Pier Park Skatepark. Amid an eager crowd of hundreds, Parks Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Mayor Tom Potter, Commissioner Sam Adams, local skating advocates and St. Johns community members cut the ribbon on what is the first of 19 new skateparks coming to Portland.
In addition to skaters, bikers also showed up to test themselves on the new pools, rails, and full-pipe. I rode out to St. Johns to check out the action, but I locked my bike up at the entrance.
I’m a total outsider in the world of BMX riding so I just mulled around and soaked up the atmosphere. It was sort of chaotic with so many skaters, bikers, and onlookers all trying to get close to the vertical walls to see the action. Everywhere you looked someone was whizzing by. Collisions and near-misses were rampant.
I bumped into Bear, an old friend I’d met during a visit to Weir’s Cyclery. Bear lives just four blocks away from Pier Park and said he plans on being out there everyday. Lucky for Bear, he graduates from high school in six weeks. Some kids have all the luck.
The next park in the plans will built at Glenhaven Park in northeast Portland. Like the Pier Park Skatepark, Glenhaven will be built by Dreamland Skateparks, one of the most respected skatepark builders in the country.
This an exciting initiative and it’s great to see so much energy and cooperation between the city and community groups to build places for kids to do their thing.
What I like about the BMX and street riding scene, is that it’s the only type of cycling that kids actually think is cool. Once kids think bikes are cool, they might start riding them to school, then to work, then to the store, and so on.
At Interbike, there was always an entire separate section just for the BMX industry. It was like a whole other world where the rest of us corporate-polo-shirt wearing, Timbuk2-loving types stuck out like a sore thumb.
Who knows, maybe BMX can change the world…
Take a browse through my photos for more of the BMX scene at Pier Park.