The Victorville Daily Press (Sunday, April 30th) reports that James A. Woody park re-opened Saturday after remodeling the facilities there to allow BMX bike riding. Congratulations to the local cyclists that kept after the Town Council until this got done, and thanks to the Town of Apple Valley for making this a reality.
According to William Furmage, who has been pushing for this change for years:
On July 2005 my sons and 12 other BMX Freestyle riders were in the skateboard-only section of James A. Woody Park in Apple Valley. Undercover police and Code Enforcement showed up and impounded their bikes for 30 days and fined them. Being an original BMX Freestyle Vans member from the 1980s and riding BMX bikes in all the So-Cal parks in California since the late 1970s, I saw those fines as an injustice to all BMX freestylers who wanted to do their tricks in the skateparks. So I started attending A.V. Council meetings — over 125 in a 5½ year period. I would not stop until they made a change for our youth and others interested in BMX Freestyle. I attended the Adelanto meeting when I heard they were building a skatepark there, to tell them that they needed to allow bikes, too. As a result, bikes were cool in Adelanto from the start. I also attend meetings in Hesperia and Victorville to ask for a BMX part for those kids, too.
Although they started calling them skateparks in the 1970s, BMX Freestylers ride them too. For the first couple of years, the council would just give excuse after excuse for not letting the bikes ride there. I wouldn’t go away and stand for their excuses because of my history with the sport and knowing what I know about skateparks and BMX Freestyle history in skateparks.
Clearly, a lot of work went into gaining BMX access to the skate park, but unfortunately this is the way things usually get done: Without evidence of community interest and support, even supportive local governments aren’t going to act unless we help them decide to do so.