by Desiree Kane
A few weeks back a friend took me out to a secret skate park created by a bunch of BMX riders a year and a half-ish ago. There's no real address, other than to say it's in NoDa and has a crazy post-apocalyptic vibe because it's under a bridge by the railroad tracks.
(By the way, all of these images move.)
Having lived in the Q.C. for going on eight years now and never having heard about this place, I immediately fell in love with it the moment I set foot on it. My initial impression was that the park had a high sketchiness factor, but that quickly faded. It isn't sketchy at all (well, at least during the day) — it's actually freakin' awesome, supported by an effortlessly cool, tight-knit community. When I mention it to my skater friends, they all know about it, but no one else seems to have a clue. I love places like this.
These unassuming guys on bikes are not only gnarly badasses getting sponsored by major BMX brands left and right, but they are also the ones who created the secret skate park. Zachery Rogers, 27, and recently sponsored by EZRA BMX, and an out-of-towner, Dr. Luis Pizon, invested their own money into it.
Zachery (in the red hat) said there are about 10 guys, including Guerra BMX's Seamus McKeon, far left, 22, Amber BMX's Logan Derberry, 24, Vein BMX's Phil Jones, 25, and death gap stuntman Jeff Junkins, 23, who really came together to make the park what it is.
"You just get bored to death after you've been at Grayson [Skate Park] for six, seven years," he said. "You pay $5-$10 every time you go to different parks and you're going three, four days a week." He shook his head. "This place paid for itself really fast. That's why we built this." The park is located on private, yet abandoned real-estate, and the group is currently looking for inexpensive warehouse space — there have been rumors of surveyors out looking at the land and that construction will begin on condos in a few months.
So, what does any nerdy birdy do after discovering such a righteous gem in Charlotte's culture crown? Duh, she hangs out with the bunch of BMX biker bros who happen to be most of the guys who made the place, a dude with a hexicopter (everyone needs to know a dude with a hexicopter), and another digital media storyteller for an afternoon of web 2.0 shenaniganry, of course!
Kevin Beaty of Charlotte Video Project shot and made the above .gifs and Hardik Patel of Hackerspace Charlotte strapped a GoPro onto his hexicopter. The video it caught was ridiculously rad:
What a great, random, and oh, so Charlotte experience. Tech, art, culture and the outdoors all at the same time. Innnndeeeeeed.