Bacon wants his turn inside the deep cement bowl, and the crowd of skateboarders and cyclists at the Austin BMX & Skate Park respects that.
The brown and black pup, about the size and consistency of a couple of cinder blocks, barrels off the lip of the swimming pool-like structure and careens down its steep face, hot on the trail of his owner, Corey McKinney. Together, they zoom around the curved walls, McKinney somehow managing not to flatten the dog’s tail or mash a stray paw.
“I can’t stop him,” McKinney tells me, as dog and owner take a breather on the rim. Bacon can’t just sit by and watch. He chases after McKinney who swoops into the bowl at the 30,000-square foot park on the south side of House Park on his bike, then on a skateboard.
I can’t take my eyes off them. I’ve come here to see if the park is as popular now as it was in 2011, when I wrote about its opening for the Austin American-Statesman. But I’ve never seen a dog run the course.
On this sunny but cold Sunday afternoon, teen-agers, and overgrown teens wearing knit caps and baggy pants who can’t quite give up their youth, swarm over the place.
The park was built with $1.7 million in bond money approved by voters in 2006, and is located just a few blocks north of the dirt jumps BMXers long ago built in a city-owned lot on Ninth Street. Together, the two obstacle fields — one concrete, one dirt — have helped solidify Austin’s position as a top skateboard and BMX destination.
Want to check out the free park? Austin BMX and Skate park is located at 1213 Shoal Creek Boulevard, just off of North Lamar Boulevard.