The Bristol Press – After more than 40 years, CT Bike & Skate is closing its doors
BRISTOL – After more than 40 years serving thousands of people as a local skating and extreme sports icon for families and athletes, CT Bike & Skate is set to close on September 27.
Based at 80 South Street, the company is owned and operated by Jim and Marie Parrott. The location has been described as a family business and has operated out of South Street since 1987. The owners previously ran a business in 1985 on Riverside Avenue before deciding to move for more space and the possibility of building a skate park.
As winters set in, skating and biking activities slowed, so the Parrott family decided to turn to the heating and lighting equipment sales service, dubbed Jim’s Better Heat and Light. , too, CT Bike & Skate told reporters.
CT Bike & Skate has hosted a variety of competitions, video game events, music and more with riders from as far away as Maine, Washington DC and Ohio.
According to an announcement on their Facebook page, the Parrott family said they had sought to meet the “needs of average children,” some as young as four and five and those “too old for toys, cars too young”.
“It is with great pride that we look back on our years in business and know the sea change for good that we have instilled in many of these children, over all these years,” the family continued. “And it is with great sadness that we will no longer receive the smiles and happiness that we got from our indoor skateboard park, the place that gave kids a place to go to be kids, grow and learn. .”
From Parrotts early days with BMX racing, involvement with Bristol Civitan BMX Track, the National Bicycle League, advising the BMX industry and its sponsored riders, the family says their time leading the company had been great. They noted that many of their sponsored riders had also competed in freestyle competitions like the X Games.
“We’ve had a lot of skateboard and bike pros on our ramps,” CT Bike & Skate said. “Tony Hawk being our most famous skater, but all the big teams, like the Powell Peralta team, came to CT Bike when they were on tour. Special thanks to Ron Wilkerson for the ramp plans and performance.
Neil Curri shared a story under the CT Skate & Bike post saying Jim came to his town about 30 years ago to advocate for a skating spot “where the cops wouldn’t take our boards”. He noted that the city was a 30-minute drive from the store, however, the owner encouraged the city administration to consider skating and bicycling to be worthwhile activities over basketball or baseball as well. and that a public space should be reserved for them.
“We were little assholes to Jim at times, but we had no reason to trust adults,” Curri said. “Nevertheless, Jim clearly wasn’t there to make money and I’ll never forget that night he came out to support us. I could say a lot more about the significance than that dusty skate park sauna in upstairs was for me as a teenager, but I’ll leave that for another time.
He thanked the Parrotts for their support of local youth.
The store will sell the rest of its inventory until September 27.