Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ray's Indoor Mtb Bike Park

As promised a little insight on my trip to Ray's, for those of you who may be reading this and are wondering what the heck is Ray's? Ray is some guy who decided to take an old abandoned factory and turn it into an indoor mountain bike park. There are not very many trails to choose from in that part of Ohio at least not that I can find and the winters up there are cold with lot's of snow covering the ground for much of the winter. Ray's is a blessing for the bike lovers of northern Ohio and a real treat for visitors like me. I was quite impressed with what I saw and rode. Would I trade some of our singletrack for an indoor park? No, but I might trade a few miles of rutted out fireroads.

I had a feeling arriving as early as possible was going to be my best option since it was a Saturday and being my first time I would have a bit of a learning curve. We arrived at 10am just an hour after they opened, next time I'll get there at 9. There wasn't much of a crowd but riding on raised platforms made of wood with a concrete floor below takes some time to adjust to especially with no trailmap and four or five lines to choose from at every turn. I found myself making wrong turns and bad choices here and there for about the first hour but I managed to stay upright.
It's a bit intimidating at first but once I learned which obstacles to steer clear of and which way was the best route of choice I had an absolute blast. It would have been fun to have a few friends to ride with or my partner in crime Melinda but the call of new shopping centers and malls with fancy stores proved to be too strong and after an hour of watching from the sidelines her and my Mom decided it was time for them to move on leaving my Dad to watch alone. I have to say thanks to my Dad who waited patiently for a couple of hours while I enjoyed myself.

Ray's has a little bit of everything for everyone, well except for the ultimate beginners. There was a beginner room but it proved to be a bit much for some and even I had a bit of trouble navigating everything. The place was broken up in to several categories, skills areas for all levels, XC style riding, a BMX room, half pipes, bowls, a pump track and a dirt jump section but it was closed for some reason.

I knew going into this that my 29er might not be the best bike for the job but it would have to do. If it were up to me I would have at least on one of everything but space and limited funds say no. The bikes I saw the most of were bmx and 26" hardtails. The Mamasita performed great on the XC stuff and the trials course but the pumptrack was a bit tight. It didn't help that I had never ridden a pump track before either.

As far as the bowls and half pipes I chose to just watch from the sidelines rather than get in anyone's way. I had plenty to ride and could have gone back another day. Next time I'll probably just rent a bike and save my tires for the dirt.

I should have the video finished by tomorrow, I can't give it all away in one day. I don't want to be one of those deadbeat bloggers who get's fired up about once every three months and rambles aimlessly for 2 pages about what they've been doing for the past few months.
Who wants to read that?


Brad said...

Neat place! I would like to add that to my To-Do-List.

Riding with dogs said...

yes you should, the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame is a must as well, located there in Cleveland too.