CHIPLEY -- On his third attempt, Chance Robinson mastered the "wheelie" riding stunt.
His thick black back bike tire zipped down the sidewalk Monday evening along U.S. Highway 90. The front wheel swayed in the air, jerking left and right every other millisecond -- or so -- as he steadied it using the handle bars.
He does bike "tricks," or riding stunts, after homework with about five of his friends. They usually are resolved at attempting such skilled stunts in driveways or, as was the case Monday, down sidewalks parallel to busy roadways.
In a letter-to-the-editor earlier this month, Chance noted he and his peers are looking for "better spots to ride our bikes with features such as grinding rails, jumps and a racing track."
Currently the city does not allow bikes at its parks. City officials Thursday said the city does not have the land to build a BMX track, which usually are between 900 and 1,300 feet long, 15-24 feet wide. BMX is an abbreviation meaning "bicycle motocross," off-road sport cycling that usually includes racing and often dangerous, though skilled, stunts.
Permitting bikes at parks hasn't come up at a City meeting, officials said.
Pal's Park, 1544 N. Railroad Ave., prohibits skateboards, skates and bicycles in the park and on sidewalks; however, adjacent to the regular park is a skate park where skateboards are permitted.
"It's a good park," said Chance's mom Diane Robinson, of Chipley, who is a Holmes County News reporter. "It's just not conducive for the kids to be able to ride their bikes because it's just for skateboards."
The relatively small skate park features a number of fixtures used in skateboard stunting, such as, one-foot high ramps. A jump ramp for BMX riding is roughly six-feet high.
"I feel like the kids need to have a place that is safe, that is away from the roadway," Robinson said. "Otherwise, you have children up and down the roads and that's really the only place that he has to ride."
"And I'm scared to death for him to do that," she added.
A Mongoose Brawler is the key to the 11-year-old's stunt success. It's light and allows him greater maneuverability.
"I'm able to do better tricks since it's not as heavy," he said.
From "grinding," or balancing his wheels, along the edge of a concrete block adjacent to the U.S. Highway 90 sidewalk to bunny-hopping -- making his bike jump -- down his driveway, Chance's passion -- and dilemma -- for the sport was evident Monday evening.
"I can only do three (stunts) right now," he said, later adding, "it's not as fun because you don't have much, like jumps and rails and stuff."