Extreme bicyclists look for their place

Whether or not scooters are allowed in the skatepark is of little importance to extreme bicyclists. They are already banned from using the park.

"We have to find places we can ride and we usually get kicked out of those places," said Morgan Kugler, 16, an extreme bicyclists. "We're teenagers. We've found what we like to do and we have fun doing it."

Like skateboarders, the cyclists perform jumps, spins and other tricks.

"Unfortunately, that style of bike riding is a little different than what we originally built the bike track for at Edmonds Sport Complex," said Steve Kastens, director of the Carson City Parks Department. "What's become a fad now is more of the extreme-style sport with hops and slides."

It's a style that cannot be used on a BMX bike track or other trails so bikers are often seen sliding down hand rails and sliding across park benches.

But that activity is illegal and cyclists reported having received anything from warnings to fines and community service.

The skateboard park in Mills Park is not designed for bicycle use.

"At the time, they didn't come forward and express an interest in something like this being included," Kastens said. "Had we known, we would have built it a little differently."

However, bicyclists are not ready to trade in their bikes for boards, blades or scooters.

"There's a bigger variety of things you can do on a bike," said Chris Jackson, 15. "You can do street riding, dirt jumping, flat land, racing and skate parks."

Kastens said the city does not have any immediate plans to build a facility to accommodate extreme biking.

"I don't know if it's really the city's obligation to fill every desire the citizen's come up with, " he said.

He suggested it would be more practical if a facility were built by a private organization.

Kastens said it is difficult to keep up with the changing trends. He pointed to the rise in popularity of the scooters and the reluctance of roller bladers and skateboarders to accept them in the skate park.

Many have also outgrown the skate park and are looking for a greater challenge.

"It's a vicious cycle that we get caught up in," Kastens said.

That leaves extreme bicyclists still looking for a place to ride.

"We're like a sport that they don't recognize," said Dane Weiler, 15.


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