--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---
The Connecticut Bicycle Exchange is known for being a place that sells mountain bikes and skateboards, but more importantly to its patrons, it is also a place where they can skate freely without fear of being harassed. All over the country, skateboarders get kicked out of public and private places for skating. In fact, in Bristol skating in public places such as sidewalks or streets and private spots such as parking lots, is considered a crime, city police said. While skating generally is not considered illegal, if you are found skating in these areas you will be accused of loitering and asked to leave. While these are legitimate concerns, it leaves skaters without a place to go. That's where Connecticut Bicycle Exchange --known to skaters as CT -- enters the picture. The skate park at CT is one of the only places in the state that rives skaters the chance to skate legally. The park, open Thursdays to Sundays, routinely draws people from all over Connecticut. Skaters range from elementary school age students to those as old as 25. Crowds can number as many as 60 a night. The skate park provides several ramps, including the largest ramp -- a half pipe -- used for skating tricks and stunts. The rest of the area provides plenty of room for street skating. Being an indoor facility is an added bonus. Because snow and ice on streets and sidewalks curb outdoor skating, many fans enjoy thier sports inside during the winter months. But, most of all, CT provides places for skaters to do what they love most. Put best by a skater himself, Simon Stowe, 19, of West Hartford, said, "It's cool for us to have a place to go practice and just have fun with our friends without being hassled."