Burnside's BMX Roots

Dean Dickinson

Burnside Skatepark in Portland, Oregon

Being born in Staten Island, NY, almost 3,000 miles away from Portland, Oregon, I am probably not the right person to be introducing a feature on Portland's Burnside Project and the BMX scene that evolved out of the park. But I've always been fascinated by the place, ever since first laying my eyes on the concrete contraption in an early issue of Ride BMX Magazine. (The story featured Ride editor Brad McDonald and Taj Mihelich road tripping to Portland to ride the park.)

Of all the places for this feature to grow out of, it was in the valet lane of a casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. ESPN contributor Dean Dickinson and I were brainstorming for ideas, and somehow we hit upon the history of BMX at Burnside. Dean got to work pretty quickly, playing the role of modern day BMX anthropologist with key members of the Portland BMX scene, and the results are truly great. Not only did Dean come across with a comprehensive video, he brought OG Burnside local Shad Johnson into the equation, who contributed words and photos from his personal archive.

I know Burnside is the direct product of skateboarders, but the park also helped to ignite a progressive BMX scene in the Portland, Oregon area, and this is our shot at giving credit where it's due. Thanks to Dean, Shad and John Bristol for making this happen.

Check the full feature here: Burnside's BMX Roots.

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