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|Flyer for the Great DC Shoe Burn.|
Jason Ryan, who created a stir earlier this week when he announced a planned DC Shoe burning for December, sent an e-mail over this morning with a rebuttal against the news report we posted last night. To recap, Ryan is organizing "The Great DC Shoe Burn" to protest the planned construction of a skate plaza in Phoenix, funded by the Rob Dyrdek Foundation.
I've edited down his response to bullet out the points he wants to make. The following is from Jason.
I wish you had given me more time to e-mail you back my comments. I was out riding Chandler Bike Park when your message came in, and didn't have time to e-mail you back until I had finished riding, completed a tech scout for a job I'm shooting and run a couple errands. When I'm interviewed by reporters from Arizona's biggest newspaper, The Arizona Republic, they'll give me at least a day to get back to them.
I and most BMX riders that aren't "in the industry" or have some kind of sponsorship conflict of interest have an enormous problem with this statement by Geoffrey Taylor: "Secondly, we're in the business of funding and in some cases building skateparks, which is a completely different animal than building a BMX facility, in terms of design. If you take a BMX bike onto a skateboarding facility, it can be very destructive. And that is a concern when we're talking about the amount of time and money we're putting into these facilities," he added. Skateboard companies, skatepark designers and builders have stuck to this bold-faced lie for as long as I've been advocating for bikes in skateparks. It disintegrates under scrutiny.
We will absolutely be going to more city council meetings and putting pressure on city officials. Phoenix is just as much at fault as DC Shoes is. They're going along with the bigotry of the foundation, and doing nothing to stand up against it. This burning is just a part of our strategy in dealing with this problem.
A little background info on Chandler Bike Park -- Pat Blackburn (a Chandler resident and BMX coach) and I fought hard during the development stage to get what is now the Chandler Bike Park to allow BMX riders, skaters and inline skaters. Actually, we originally just wanted BMX access to the Chandler Skate Park. The city insisted that the new park allow only bikes, which perpetuates segregation, which the 3BC is wholly against. The good thing, though, is that Chandler has provided for the needs of BMX riders, skateboarders and rollerbladers by having two parks. Phoenix has only provided for the needs of skateboarders and rollerbladers fourfold already. They have no plans to build a bike park.
If this park doesn't allow bikes, kids will be ticketed, arrested, incarcerated, and get criminal records for practicing what we both know is a positive and healthy activity. -Jason Ryan