(Copyright 1996. The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

April 1, 1996

A place to skate without grief

By Amanda Lehmert and Danielle Ouimet

The Tattoo

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

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

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."