Everyone’s talking about it. This was the winter we were planning to make our first trek out, but like many we’re feeling the recession and are seriously short on ze cash. Basically we’re stuck inside looking at all the same websites as everyone else, looking at what the kids in So-Cal are doing and reading about various pilgrimages to Ray’s MTB Park- the new winter destination and mecca, located in Cleveland, Ohio in all places.
Ray and his crew have really set the bar with their park. For someone that has yet to ride it, what gets me is the scale of the riding environment. The space just looks huge. Many of the clips focus on the technical slow and skinny stuff, which is great, and will totally get beginner and those new to indoor park riding engaged. But take a look at this recent clip that was posted on Pink Bike:
That’s what I’m talking about.
This is one of the coolest clips I’ve seen to date- probably because it focuses on the stuff I would be riding if I were there. This is why Ray’s has the rep it has- there are lik, a million and two jumps to hit. Not to mention that when you actually see someone riding, it is apparent that there is plenty of space and room to breathe. The box jump section that comes up at 1:11 seriously just gets me stoked!
Small table line on the left, intermediate in the middle, expert on the right, with a million different transfer options to get through it. This is a park built for riding bikes and was designed for the riding experience we want. Jumps, and lots of them.
Note that while the jumps are tall, the distance between the lip and the landing aren’t that far, as the jumps are designed to maximize hang time and less about distance, which makes them a lot easier to do tricks on. The jumps in the expert line aren’t small either if you look closely. All the ramps are built to maximize the fun factor, and less about being “hard.”And since everything is made of wood, the maintenance is minimal, and every time you come to ride, all the lips are exactly the same, which means less time working on figuring out the way through the rhythm, and more time booting air.
Plus if you look close, there are a few box jumps (table tops) with nice big resi-mat landings. Resi-mats and foam pits are THE way to learn new tricks. Especially when you join the over-thirty club.
Ramps and Bowls
At 1:38 you see a rider on a quarterpipe line with a wedge in the middle. There is no better setup for learning legit wall rides than this one- this line is totally friendly whether you turn to the left or the right. This section of the park just gets me- if I ever win the lotto and build myself a private park, I’m bringing these guys in to help me with the layout and construction.
The park has something for everyone
Here’s a clip that gives more of an overview to the rest of the park.
Portland needs a park like this. Seriously. Until then, start planning your trip to Ohio.