As a frequent visitor to Astoria and its surrounding cities, I have discovered that there is something for everybody to do, from surfing to shopping; every person has something they can enjoy, or so it would seem.

Recently I discovered a group of people (in which I am included) who seem to be cut out of the coastal picture of "entire family" enjoyment. BMXers.

Yes, it is true that bicycles are allowed to ride in the street. However, as any extreme sport athlete can testify, flat ground is not the best place to practice your sport, especially when there are cars speeding by you. In the cities of Astoria and Cannon Beach there are public skate parks which everybody is allowed to use, that is, everybody who rides a skateboard.

The reasons for concern about bicyclists using a skate park are legitimate: they have more momentum that a skateboard, making crashes possible, and have the possiblity of damaging the park. Yet these two concerns are now becoming outdated. Bicycles are the only vehicles in a skatepark that possess brakes, making it easier for them to stop and avoid collisions.

The most damaging part to the park of a bicycle is the pegs, which can be easily removed. There are new "park-friendly" pegs that are made of plastic. With the addition of these types of pegs or the lack of pegs period, it makes it almost impossible to damage the park.

Another concern is the potential of a dispute between a bicyclist and a skateboarder. However, there are many ways that make fixing this problem simple.

There could be a set time when bikes are allowed, which many skateparks (including the West Linn skate park) have successfully implemented, there could be a "bikes only" part of the day, or the skaters could be given the power to ask bicyclists to leave.

All of these are possible solutions to the minuscule problem of a feud.

These skate parks are much of the time empty. I believe there is the possiblity of more people getting more enjoyment from these attractions to the city. There are many solutions to the few problems of bicyclists using the skatepark, and in the end I believe that the admittance of bikes to the skatepark would benefit the city as a whole.




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