Lake Forest, CA. – BMX Banned

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Lake Forest, California opened a skatepark that allowed both BMX and skateboards, with the help of Etnies shoe brand, 7 years ago. It recently updated and expanded, in the process of doing so it also banned BMX from using the facility. Why? Still our guess, but the city claims a liability issue. Why wasn’t there a liability issue 7 years ago?


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About mike

BMX Riders Organization Regional Director, Southwest

One Response to “Lake Forest, CA. – BMX Banned”

  1. I just commented on the Lake Forest Patch article. I’m going to repost my comments here, because I have found that they get erased often, no matter what news site I’m commenting on. I think the reasons for the deletions range from incompetence of the webmasters to a true attempt to stifle my voice. I know ESPN’s action sports site is notorious for erasing not just mine but all the comments that were ever made on an article.

    Anyways, here are my comments:

    Although there have been some excellent comments and information provided by former Long Beach Councilmember Mike Donelon and by Mike Hines, these are ultimately circumferential to identifying the real forces behind this ban, and the best way to overturn it. I called Etnies skatepark coordinator Nick Gates a few years ago to ask for information about the Etnies Skatepark and its new policy of allowing bike use. I was doing research for the “bikes in skateparks” advocacy I was doing in Arizona at the time. Mr. Gates was very curt and seemed to be displeased that bikes had been allowed into “his” precious skatepark. I have also had much experience here in Arizona in dealing with California Skateparks and SITE Design Group and seeing what I believe to be their rabid behind the scenes anti-bmx lobbying practices. I even have eye and ear-witnesses to this.

    I believe that Nick Gates has been lying in wait for an opportunity to get bikes kicked out of “his” skatepark. When the remodel and expansion came up, he found his chance and I believe he colluded with California Skateparks and SITE Design Group to convince Lake Forest Councilmembers and city officials to ban bikes from the taxpayer-funded facility. This is why Lake Forest isn’t “getting it”, Mike (Donelon). The city DOESN’T WANT to “get it”. This is purely politics, and you know just as well as I how nasty that can be.

    That being said, no reasoning with council or debate over the semantics of California liability law will get bikes back into this skatepark. The ONLY THING that will get bikes back into this skatepark is either voting out the council members that are against bikes, or convincing them they will be voted out. When the bmx riders, parents and their supporters that are Lake Forest citizens do this, the city will most assuredly find “a way to include kids” as Mike said.

    PJ, I know you’ve made up your mind about the devastating effects of bikes in skateparks, so don’t let me confuse you with the facts. For everyone else that has not already cast their opinion in concrete (so to speak), I wrote an article on my website about a skatepark that doesn’t allow bikes in Peoria, Arizona. I showed photos of the wear and tear that skateboards have inflicted on this facility over the years. This park does not allow bikes, and the foolish rule is very well enforced. You’ll see, as Mike Donelon said, that most of the wear and tear (I refuse to call it damage, because it’s from normal use) is caused by the Grade-8 kingpins and hardened chromoly axles that stick out from skateboard trucks. When the board gets loose and goes flipping around (which occurs hundreds of times just in one average session by one skateboarder) it often lands on flat concrete with all its weight on one tiny point of hardened metal, thus exerting thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch. Kinda like a jack hammer, which, coincidentally, is the typical method used to destroy concrete.

    You can read the article at

    I rode the Lake Forest Skatepark in May of this year, before kids who ride bikes were so callously banned. The skatepark had much wear and tear, but it had about the same amount as the Peoria Skatepark (which doesn’t allow bikes).

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