Real Ride skatepark has been the staple point of the Riverside scene for some years now.With its bike-friendly scene, contests, and the always-changing set-up, it’s about time someone sat down with owner Mark Laue to get all the history and effort that goes into this skatepark year after year.
How long has Real Ride been around?
Real Ride has been in my mind for about ten or eleven years. It finally became a reality in July 1998 in Salt Lake City, UT, when I found an investor. Since then everything just seemed to fall in place. This July will be the sixth anniversary of the park, so we will be having a huge party with $10,000 worth of fireworks, bands and a barbecue, so everyone and their moms are invited.
What was the original reason for building a park in Lake Perris, CA?
Talk about how things have just fallen in place; I had parted ways with the Salt Lake park due to reasons beyond my control. I grew up in Southern California so I moved back, and within a couple weeks I was contacted by a group that had the deal here in Lake Perris. Originally this place was going to be only two courses and a vert ramp and they were going to call it “The Pipeline.” First off, you cannot ever call another park “The Pipeline”; that name belongs to the old Upland, CA, park from the 80’s. Basically, these guys offered me a partnership that included creative control. So I kept the name Real Ride and redesigned the whole place.
What separates Real Ride from other parks in the surrounding area?
The atmosphere here separates Real Ride from most other parks. We have four different riding courses and a foam pit, also there is a large trail section most of the year. The sound system we have is loud as hell and there are hardly any rules--pay, strap your helmet up, and just basically respect the place. Most parks are either city facilities or corporate as hell. On any given night I am out there riding until I get hurt.
Why is Real Ride so focused on BMX while other parks are not?
Every city has a skatepark built for skateboarders. When I designed the park I knew that SoCal bikers needed a place to ride, so the park has always been set-up with bike-oriented equipment. A lot of guys from Salt Lake like Berringer, Fuzzy, Elf, and Aitken were always stoked to have a good park to ride up there. They always helped out and were always down to support the park whether by promotion or building ramps. Everyone here in California has been the same way. After six years of owning Real Ride I have found the bikers to be the most respectful. A majority of them know what a luxury it is to have a park built for them. These days skateboarders and rollerbladers think everything should be handed to them on a silver platter; they can suck it!
Why do you shut down the park from October to November?
Since we are located on the Lake Perris state fairgrounds, the Southern California Fair is hosted here during October. The area the skatepark is in has traditionally been used for the fair. We move 75% of the ramps every year and close for the month. Most would think this sucks, and it does, but it gives us a chance to redesign everything and refurbish things. So every year we have an annual grand re-opening, usually held the first weekend of November.
What recent changes have you made to the park?
So far we have added an eight-foot-tall, curved wall ride and a triple set of four-foot box jummps in the main indoor course. A mini ramp rhythm section in Building two. In building three we added a four-foot street spine, a huge wall ride and numerous subs and wall slaps. The outside course has been set up completely differently, adding many lines and transfers.
What changes are still to come?
We will continue to build knew ramps throughout the year. The big thing we are doing right now is getting set up for summer camp. Camp has been something I have been working on for years and am pretty excited about. I believe even with the big camps out there, Real Ride still has something to offer kids that want to learn more on their bikes. All of the pro’s that ride here want to help out, because they know what the park has done for them. I think kids will be stoked to ride and camp with other bikers, no skateboarders or rollerbladers, just bikers.
What will Real Ride Camp offer besides bikes-only atmosphere?
Real Ride camp will offer other activities such as basketball, r/c car racing, video editing, Shifter cart racing, and we are working on setting up wake boarding lessons since Lake Perris is located right behind the skate park. Our new website is under construction and should be up by mid-January 2004 with all of our camp information and online store. Right now kids can check out camprealride.com for info and to contact us.
Are there any contests or events coming up?
The next contest is going to be February 28th and is called “Jump your Jalopy.” There will be a pro prize purse and a Piñata filled with cash and product that the top five or so places will get to beat the shit out of. It will be fun to see people fight over that shit when it breaks. Flyers will be out just after the New Year once we get the rest of our sponsors up.
Who are the guys that have helped you keep the park together?
There are so many people that have been along for the ride so far. Since rebuilding this year the biggest help has come from Jeff Emory, who built a lot of the new ramps, Mike Cleveland, Spencer Jasper and the rest of the Temecula crew helped out with the bitch work by putting ramps back together. Mark Kehl will be building the trails after the new year. Shane Guillen and the MoVal kids are always there when I need them. Nasty, Murray, Bagley, Pinter, Whitesnake, Kehl, Parenti, all the pro’s who ride here have helped out by running Real Ride stickers or having their magazine ads shot here. My good Friend Mark Hommel financed things for the park when I needed it. Bmxstuntman.com has always helped promote the park on their site. Amy (my office girl) keeps things as clean as possible. Shaun Wendorf, another good friend has helped manage the park for the last two years. My wife has helped out so much; when I am out of town she brings our kids to the park and runs the office, which is awesome. Thanks to everyone for their help. Without these guys, there would be no Real Ride. If I forgot anyone, sorry.
What are the sessions, times, costs, and other pertinent info for the park?
Winter hours are:
Monday – closed
Tuesday – Thursday 5-10p.m. $10 or 7-10pm for $8
Friday – 3:30-6:30. 7-10p.m.
Saturday – 9am- noon, 12-3, 3:30-6:30. 7-10p.m.
Sunday – 12-3, 3-6
$8 one session, $10 two sessions, $15 all day, and $5 for a foam pit pass