SOUTH BEND — Before he got into BMX biking at The Kitchen Skatepark, Coal Maule spent much of his free time in front of the TV.
"I wasn't riding before I came here," said Maule, an 18-year-old senior at Mishawaka High School. "I was playing video games and pretty much staying inside."
Maule said friends told him about The Kitchen, an indoor BMX bike and skate park on Sample Street west of Olive Street. He's been riding here regularly ever since.
The Kitchen is a creation and labor of love of Brett "Mad Dog" Banasiewicz, a South Bend native and championship BMX biker until he was seriously injured during a competition in 2012.
Located in the 3300 block of West Sample Street, the facility is filled with ramps for BMX bikers, skateboarders, scooter riders and other extreme sports enthusiasts to refine their skills.
Banasiewicz said he depends on volunteers to operate the park and make needed repairs to the ramps, as well as to the bikes, skate boards and scooters used by the park's patrons.