By Erin Crowell
Several months ago, Levi Kyser took his mountain bike to Rays
Mountain Bike Park, an indoor skate and bike park in Cincinnati, Ohio.
It was an inspirational trip for the Traverse City native, who has
traveled to places such as New Jersey, West Virginia and New York as a
semi-professional downhill mountain biker.
I came home and wanted somewhere indoors to ride, so I built some
small ramps in my basement and it snowballed into this place, says
The place is North Coast Freeride, an indoor bike and skate park in
Traverse City. Kyser, along with brother Jesse, opened the venue in
We see all the kids down at the public park and the way things go.
Theres no supervision, said Jesse. Some parents dont want to drop
off their kids. We figured there was a market for it.
The brothers say supervision and safety is the number one reason why
they believe the indoor park is a valuable asset to the riding
That, and weather.
We get a lot of rain and snowy weather, said Levi.
North Coast consists of a 7500 square foot riding area, complete with
rails, box jumps, wall rides, half pipes, street section and foam pit.
The foam pit which measures 16 by 16 and is five feet deep
allows riders to practice tricks, allowing them to concentrate on
moves and not, so much, the landing.
You practice your tricks in the foam and then go to the box jump,
said Jesse. We didnt spend hardly any money on the pit. Its all
recycled material from upholstery shops and manufacturing places. We
only paid about $100 for the wood.
North Coasts capacity holds up to 20 spectators and up to 40 people
in the actual park. The facility also offers private birthday parties.
We have a ping pong table and music streaming. Its a good
atmosphere, said Jesse. We get a lot of teens, anywhere from 10 to
25 years old, and even younger kids.
As far as skill level goes, the brothers say it ranges from
professional and sponsored riders to the just-starting-out.
ERASING THE STEREOTYPE
The skill level varies, but everyone is really positive, said Jesse.
Our place is a little more friendly for a beginner, being people pay
to be here. Theres always somebody watching over the park. Even the
older guys are a little more courteous to the younger guys, said
Levi. We really are pushing a family-friendly atmosphere. We want
everyone to feel welcome and comfortable.
When it comes to the stereotype of young skateboarders and bikers
being bad or rude, the brothers say youll only see good people at
They take care of you when you fall down. When someone does a good
trick, people are yelling and cheering, said Jesse. You can see them
as a misfit crowd, but they take care of themselves and each other.
North Coast Freeride is located at 887 Lynch Drive in Traverse City,
just south of Cherry Capital Airport. Hours are Monday through
Thursday, 2 p.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon-10 p.m.; and
Sunday, noon-9 p.m. For rules, rates and information on booking a
party, call 231-929-4962 or check out their page on Facebook.