BMX ramps donated to area bike enthusiasts
BMX ramps at The Unit in Greenville. Submitted Photo
Greenville’s loss could be Kinston’s gain.
Professional BMX rider Ryan Nyquist has long operated one of the top private BMX complexes in the country, which was located in Greenville. However, his decision to close The Unit has led to the potential for a boost to Kinston.
Nyquist has donated the ramps from his facility to a group of BMX aficionados in Kinston, in the hopes they can become the centerpiece of a new, public facility in Kinston.
The ramps, worth more than $300,000, are currently being dismantled and moved to storage in an old tobacco warehouse in Kinston, according to Kevin Albritton, who is one of those heading up the project.
Albritton said there were talks with city leadership last year to open a skate park, before the donation of the ramps, which had to be shelved due to funding shortfalls.
“We got the ramps donated; that’s the expensive part,” Albritton said. “It wouldn’t cost the city anything except for the location.”
A location is all that is needed, Albritton said, to allow Kinston to have a facility that would be a magnet for riders from all over the country.
“It would be definitely a draw [because] it is not some run of the mill, average skate park,” he said.
The ramps could be configured to provide training for both beginners and more advanced riders, and would be one of only a handful of facilities in the country of its kind.
Interim Director of Parks and Recreation Scott Alston said the city is currently looking into all possible options. “Currently we have no facilities that are available right now, but we are looking at any way we can to help them out, with storage or use of a facility,” he said. But, he said, Parks and Recreation is very supportive of the idea, and hopes that a solution can be found.
If the city is unable to provide the necessary facility, Albritton said he hopes another solution can be found, such as forming a nonprofit that, with the donation of a building, could offer camps and riding lessons to underprivileged kids as well as facilities to other riders. The building would need to be fairly large, though because the ramps are modular.
Albritton said they could be configured to fit whatever facility they find. It would also need to have a fairly high ceiling to allow for high-flying tricks.
Albritton said he hopes people in Kinston understand how big of a deal it is that this was donated to Kinston, what a big deal this place The Unit was to the sport of BMX, and what a difference finding a facility to house the donation could make to Kinston’s economy.