Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Grinding the rails
. . . .

Grinding the rails

Erin Crowell - April 5th, 2010
Grinding the Rails at North Coast Freeride
By Erin Crowell
Several months ago, Levi Kyser took his mountain bike to Ray’s
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
Kyser.
The place is North Coast Freeride, an indoor bike and skate park in
Traverse City. Kyser, along with brother Jesse, opened the venue in
January.
“We see all the kids down at the public park and the way things go.
There’s no supervision,” said Jesse. “Some parents don’t 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”
community.
That, and weather.
“We get a lot of rain and snowy weather,” said Levi.

THE PLAYGROUND
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 didn’t spend hardly any money on the pit. It’s all
recycled material from upholstery shops and manufacturing places. We
only paid about $100 for the wood.
North Coast’s 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. It’s 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. There’s 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 you’ll only see good people at
their park.
“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.

 
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