VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach is a playground for sports like surfing and skateboarding, but local BMX riders are hoping the city will consider a dedicated BMX park in the near future.
“The BMX scene is fantastic here, lots of riders come from out of town and it’s great with the beach nearby, too,” Colin Mackay said.
Mackay has been riding BMX for 30 years. He said he rode professionally for 18 years, traveling around the world for the sport.
Mackay is a part of a local group of BMX riders, the Thrashmore BMX Association, that is working with the city to hopefully get a BMX park in Virginia Beach. Right now they ride at the skate parks, which are all-wheeled, but not quite set up for BMX riders.
"Coming to these skate parks can be a little dangerous with collisions, and they can get a little traffic here especially on weekends, but having a dirt park, you have one direction to go, you can’t really go back and forth," Mackay said.
The group previously rode at a spot called Mt. Thrashmore, located on private property near Mt. Trashmore. The site was shut down in October 2021, leaving the BMX community with no home.
“Can’t beat riding your bike in the woods and just having fun with your friends, it’s the best feeling ever,” Mackay said.
The association is hoping the city will create a BMX park that's public and inclusive to all skill levels.
Parks and Recreation Director Michael Kirschman said a BMX park is on his radar.
"The questions become how big, where, and how much is it going to cost," Kirschman said.
He said there are two plans being considered. One is a local BMX track that is built at an existing park. Another would be to tap into the tourism industry and create a larger-scale park to attract competitions. Regardless, Kirschman said, both options take time.
“Even if money fell into our lap today to build something, it would take years to build,” Kirschman said.
Mackay said he's willing to wait.
“I keep coming back because I’m addicted to it, because it’s fun, you’re just on two wheels and there’s no better feeling,” Mackay said.
The city council is currently in deliberations for next year's budget. We should know more in a couple weeks if money is available to build the park.