MacLeod: Off my bike and onboard |

MacLeod: Off my bike and onboard

Seamus Roberts and Keller Hydle in the skatepark with Tyler MacLeod.
Photo Courtesy of Tyler MacLeod |

For those fortunate enough to call Grand County home, it’s no secret that the Fraser Valley is full of some of Colorado’s better hidden gems – one of my personal favorites being Winter Park’s Hideaway Skatepark.

In the past, I’ve traveled from coast to coast of the continental United States searching for any and all skate parks along the way. While I’ve found some unforgettable ones, I honestly have to say that our hometown park is right up there with some of my top picks.

And I’m sure a few of you have seen me there. I can usually be spotted as the full-grown man on what many of my friends and family refer to as a “little kids’ bike,” or as I prefer to call it, a BMX bike. I know I’ve mentioned my affinity for cycling in the past, and despite how many years go by, that “little kids’ bike” still just so happens to be my favorite.

But being a snowboarder, it’s easy to look at my skateboard buddies and be a little bit envious of their ability to translate winter passions directly to the concrete. Sure, I’ve tried skateboarding before, and while it seems like I should have the muscle memory to be successful, I’m simply not. If I’m being honest, I’m actually pretty terrible.

This is why last month I decided to sign up for skateboard lessons through the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District.

Held each Saturday morning at 9 a.m., these lessons are open to everyone from the entry-level skater to the more experienced. More importantly, there is an emphasis on skatepark etiquette, which helps those new to the environment understand what is and is not acceptable at the park. With everyone from young kids on scooters to full-grown men on bikes (such as myself) using the park, it’s important that those new to atmosphere know how to keep themselves and others safe at all times.

Taught by my good friend and colleague, Chance Girard, the lessons proved to be extremely helpful while also being a genuinely good time. Our class was small – three students including myself – which allowed for plenty of personalized coaching. In just the first fifteen minutes, Chance had me carving around the horseshoe-shaped bowl like an old pro. By the end of the first session, I felt as though I made more progress in just one hour than I had in all my independent attempts prior.

So, if you or your kids are looking to venture into the world of skateboarding, I strongly urge you to look into some of our local lessons. I know from personal experience that the skatepark can be a bit of an intimidating culture to just dive into, but with some basic skills and knowledge of what it takes to keep you safe, it’s sure to be a fun and easy hobby for anyone of any age. See you at Hideaway Skatepark, and look forward to next month’s adventure!

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