Earlier in the Spring, we did a series called Support Your Park, where we checked in with a couple of parks and asked how they were doing during the unexpected COVID -19 related closures. Since then, the parks that we love have returned, but with new protocols to keep you safe. We circled back with some of the parks to give you the details on what to expect when you decide to ride indoors this winter.
A quick note before you begin, although we try to provide the most up to date information, make sure you check the parks website, in case of any changes.
Breaking Free Skatepark
1044 University Ave, Rochester, NY 14607, United States
Represented by Owner Dave Raffa
When did you reopen and how has the return been? Breaking Free Skatepark reopened on Saturday, June 13th. If we had followed the New York state guidelines we would not have been allowed to open until the last week of August. If we had obeyed those guidelines, we would not be here right now. There is absolutely no way we could have absorbed rent for that long and still existed. DIY OR DIE. We went full send and did what we had to in order to stay afloat. Our customer responded and we have done well since reopening. Perhaps being the only place open for kids helped keep us busy? We have had higher attendance than any summer in the past and have moved a ton of product. I am in the business of offering a controlled environment and safe space for people to explore their individual freedom of expression. In my opinion, both I and the state do not hold dominion over your (the rider) ability to manage risk. Among other things, progression based action sports trains one to manage risk. This is psychological anxiety management training. I would not dare to take that away from my customers, especially now when we need it the most.
What are the new protocols?
On hours: We limited some hours but for the most part, we are using our normal summer hours. (until October 1st)
On mask requirements: In the beginning, we mandated masks in the shop/customer area. In the riding space masks were optional. Since then with the decline of cases in our area, we still ask for masks to be worn in the shop but I will not force anyone to do so unless someone expresses concern. I give people the right to choose. I trust that individuals will do what’s right for them and each other. We have so much space at the park that it’s easy to keep your distance. We have no issues nor complaints with how we have handled it.
On time slots: We are running our session times as normal.
On food at the park: We do not serve any food that involves handling. Some people bring in food. That is up to their discretion.
Are change rooms and bathrooms still open? Yes
Anything else we should know, including max capacity? Nope, with +20,000 sqft there is plenty of space for people to maintain safe social distancing.
Have prices change based on the new protocols? We have no changes in any of our pricing. Some products we sell have gone up in price from our distributors. We have yet to raise our prices on any retail goods in response to that. The cost increases from COVID world will eventually be rolled on to the customer one way or another. I don’t see us raising our session pricing anytime soon. Product pricing is due for an adjustment.
Any words for the support you’ve received so far? We have an amazing customer base that has been here since day one. They have my back because they know I have theirs. There has been nothing but good vibes since reopening! All of our lady’s nights have been packed! It seems many took up riding something during the lockdown and they have found their way to Breaking Free Skatepark. In light of the COVID world and the political unrest both in Rochester and around the country, Breaking Free strives to be a sanctuary away from all the noise and static. We want riders to come here, have fun, relieve stress, and leave better for it. Cheers.
Daniel Dhers Action Sports Complex
171 Tradition Trail #207, Holly Springs, NC 27540, United States
Represented by Owner Daniel Dhers
When did you reopen and how has the return been? We “re-opened” about 4 weeks ago and the response has been very positive. The locals and we were dying to be on a more regular schedule!
What are the new protocols? We are doing “open sessions” Saturdays and Sundays, two sessions each day 12 pm – 3 pm and 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm. The rest of the week/weekends we are open for reservations only – we offer private sessions from 1 up to 5 hours as well as lessons and birthday parties. Masks are required in the lobby area but not to ride since we have a big space we trust the riders to practice social distancing. The vending machine is fully operational with drinks and snacks. Bathrooms are open. We do have a max capacity in the building so we encourage riders to reserve their spot for the “open sessions” online through our website or Instagram.
Have prices change based on the new protocols Yes, the open sessions are $16 for three hours, and the private park rentals and lessons start at $50. You can check out more information at ddasc.com
Any words for the support you’ve received so far? Thank you so much to all the people that have supported us through these incredibly difficult times. It has been a lot of effort from everyone in the community to keep us going!
Joyride 150 Indoor Bike Park
150 Bullock Dr #1, Markham, ON L3P 1W2
Represented by General Manager Dave Thomas
When did you reopen and how has the return been? We reopened on August 7th, 2020 to a maximum capacity of 50 riders. Then we were able to increase that to 150 later in August. We spent a lot of time prepping our facility to reopen safely so the return has gone as smoothly as we could hope for. Our staff has really stepped up to the plate and helped us out immensely. They’re all committed to maintaining a safe environment and it’s been awesome to have their full support.
The new protocols are an adjustment for everyone but we’re really happy to see our regulars back and welcome a number of new riders as well. We’re constantly changing how we operate to make the park the best experience possible. We love riding and seeing people ride so we want to be able to keep that going.
What are the new protocols?
On hours: Our hours are Monday to Thursday, 3:00 pm-9:30 pm and Friday to Sunday 10:00 am – 9:30 pm with a short closure to clean the facility from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm. Riders can ride just one session, or join us for two. Having the two sessions allows us to give as many people as possible the opportunity to ride given we can only have 150 people in the facility at a time. If you would like to ride both sessions there’s a small carry-over fee. You do have to leave the park for 30 minutes to allow us to clean the lounge, front counter, concession, and rental equipment. The list of what we’ve changed is pretty extensive but we have it all listed here, or you can watch me talk about it on video too!
On mask requirements: Everyone is required to wear a mask anytime they are not actively riding. If you’re hanging out on the deck, lounge, or anywhere else we ask that you please put on a mask it keeps us safe and is mandated by York Region.
On food at the park: We are serving packaged food only at this time, but riders are free to bring in their own food. Pizzaville still delivers to us as well! There is currently no food or drink permitted in the riding areas.
Change rooms and bathrooms still open? Bathrooms are open, with new automated soap dispensers. We’ve also switched our cleaning supplies to use Ecolab products. Ecolab is a name well known in the restaurant industry and they really helped us develop a great cleaning regimen.
Anything else we should know, including max capacity? We spent a lot of time creating our new protocols and we hope that everyone feels safe at the park. Our lounge is reconfigured, we have hand sanitizer stations in multiple places and plenty of reminders posted on how to stay safe while still getting your shred on. To help plan your visit we have an occupancy counter on the website, it’s updated every five minutes or so and lets you know exactly how many people are at the park at any given time. We welcome everyone to come, have fun, be safe, and check out the new mini!
Have prices change based on the new protocols Prices have changed. A day pass is $14.15 for those 6 and under and $26.55 for riders 17 and up (plus tax). All of our current pricing is listed on our website’s pricing page. We are also still offering our memberships, six months is $780 and a year is $1170 (plus tax), both include bike storage at the park.
Any words for the support you’ve received so far? We’ve received a lot of thank-yous for preserving through this. Which is awesome. We of course want to thank everyone for supporting us and hope that you continue to do so. We want to remain a big part of the local riding community!
Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park
9801 Walford Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102, United States
Represented by Media Manager Brooke Trine
When did you reopen and how has the return been? We reopened on July 5th for Sunday Sessions only through the summer. Although there were restrictions in place, we had great turnouts all summer! Since July, we’ve opened full time (as of October 2nd).
What are the new protocols? Currently, we are not doing appointments or reservations. As winter approaches, if we begin to near our capacity and feel we need to implement a reservation system, we will update everyone via our website and social media.
Due to COVID, masks are required at all times while in the park. We are not offering free rental helmets or pads (helmets are required to ride the park). We’re also not providing loaner tools, so it’s crucial to come prepared for whatever might happen to your bike while you’re here (i.e. multi-tool, tire pump, etc.). There are markings throughout the park indicating 6’ spacing; we strongly encourage you to follow these markings while you’re hanging out in common areas with your friends.
Aside from the above, a lot of what riders have come to expect from Ray’s is still the same; we are still offering our entire rental bike fleet (12”-20” BMX, 29” XC, and 26” Dirt Jump bikes); we are still offering snacks, drinks, and a shop full of the best parts and merchandise; and you can still call and order your favorite delivery to enjoy while you’re here at the park.
Have prices change based on the new protocols? There haven’t been any adjustments to our pricing. As of October 2nd, we are open full time for the 2020/21 season with the same hours and pricing that we’ve had in previous years. For the full schedule, you can visit the Prices, Hours & Directions page under the Park Info tab on our website https://raysmtb.com/prices-hours-directions/
Any words for the support you’ve received so far? We are thankful to have been able to make the most of our downtime and create some new rooms/features in the park for this season; the park is truly the best it’s ever been! We appreciate the kind words and support from the riders and are happy to still be able to provide a place for them to come to enjoy their bikes during the winter. We recognize the inconvenience of wearing a mask while in the park, but the restrictions we have in place are solely based on state/local mandates. We are doing everything necessary to align to state guidelines in order to stay open for the season and keep everyone safe! Thank you everyone for the continued support, and we hope to see you soon!
The Wheel Mill
6815 Hamilton Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15208, United States
Represented by Owner Harry Geyer & General Manager Michael Potocnzy
When did you reopen and how has the return been? We reopened in June just for summer camp and then a month later to the general public. It’s been a little slow, partly because some people don’t want to wear a mask in the lobby, and partly because some people don’t want to ride around people inside at this point.
What are the new protocols? Click Here for the full breakdown
On hours: Hours are the same, but we opened a bike shop that has different hours.
On mask requirements?: We require masks whenever you aren’t riding. We marked out the decks so that you can take your mask off to ride and not have to sit too close to another rider.
On time slots: We have timed entry, but you can stay as long as you want. Passes need to be pre-purchased unless you have a monthly membership.
On food at the park: We aren’t selling food or drinks, but you are welcome to bring your own or order in a pizza!
Change rooms and bathrooms still open? Bathrooms are still open, but no water fountains
Anything else we should know, including max capacity? We have a capacity limit so buy your timed entry slot before you come so we don’t have to turn you away!
Have prices change based on the new protocols Prices are the same other than one price for all riders on the weekends. Spectators are limited too so that we don’t get over capacity with people who aren’t even riding.
Any words for the support you’ve received so far? Honestly, it’s been a mixed bag so far, the mask thing has some people in a tizzy for whatever reason. We’re just trying to keep everyone safe and not get shut down. A lot of people have been thankful, though, that we’re keeping their families as safe as possible in this environment. They’re not feeling overly burdened by the soft, little, cotton mask, haha. Our software sucks for buying passes online, but after you do it once it’s easy, and most people have figured it out without incident. It’s easy to forget that some families have been tragically affected by this virus, so I’m just happy we can be open at all. It’s a natural human tendency to feel resentful of being reminded of a potentially terrible thing every day. We just want it to go away and not have to confront it. I hope everyone can be that lucky.
Featured image by Kyle Carlson