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Ocean Pines BMX-Skate Jam honored local skate activist

A skater shows off his moves on a show ramp that was set up in Ocean Pines on Saturday for the OP BMX-Skate Jam.

By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer

(Oct. 12, 2023) The Ocean Pines BMX-Skate Jam rocked the skatepark on Saturday afternoon with music from Mirrors and Wires and a ramp set up next to the skatepark for BMX bikers and skateboarders to try.

Some were trying the ramp for the first time while others were clearly experienced BMXers. One biker, Veron Zweifel, did some amazing stunts as his dog, Barry Alan, raced back and forth, following along on solid ground.

Jim Solomon organized the event for his friends, Sean and Kristen McLaren, who are moving to Texas.

“Sean and I have done free events over the years for the kids. This is a send-off party for them,” Solomon said.

This is the first event that included the BMX bikes, now that they are allowed in the Ocean Pines Skatepark.

“He [Sean] is the big reason why there are skateparks around here. He did it all in the shadows and did not want anyone to know. He did it for us. I was young when he started. This was 20 years ago. And now he is handing the reins to us to take over,” Zweifel said.

The next stop is Sunfest, Oct. 19-22, Solomon said. They will bring the show ramps to the inlet.

“It’s a good way to show Ocean City why they need to change the rules for the skate park, especially with the revamp happening,” Zweifel said.

The Ocean City Skatepark is currently being expanded as part of a rec complex project and is expected to be completed in 2024.

“They don’t allow bikes in and they don’t plan on changing the rules as of right now, even with the revamp happening this winter, which is silly, because they are inviting the Jackalope festival here, which also will start including bikes next year.”

The Jackalope Fest is a traveling festival that hosts competitions and demonstrations by world renowned skateboarders, BASE jumpers and boulderers.

 Zweifel said he will have many riders out there during Sunfest, to show the need to allow BMXers access to the Ocean City Skatepark.

“Everyone who needs to see the need for change will be at the event. When they see all these kids riding the ramp with bikes, it’ll be a good opportunity.”