Mtbr Rides Ray’s
I have to admit that I was a little intimidated when I first got the invitation to come and ride Ray’s new indoor MTB park for the Grand Opening of their new location in Milwaukee, WI (the original Ray’s MTB park has been located in Cleveland, OH since 2004). I had seen the promo videos and various photos of stuff like the street park, the stunts and elevated skinnies and, of course the foam pit. Now, I’m a cross country/all mountain kind of rider and I like challenging steep trails, small drops and jumps but I’m definitely not a big air kind of guy. So, my first thought was, “Since I’m definitely not gonna hit the street park or do backflips into the foam pit.. what does Ray’s have to offer a rider like me?”
As it turns out, the answer is: A LOT!
A little background: For those of you not familiar with Ray’s, it is a facility for indoor mountain biking that was created so that snowed-in riders could ride even in the dead of winter. It offers a variety of stunts and challenges. The Milwaukee location actually opened on December 31, 2010 but the Grand Opening event was held just this month. Mtbr was invited (along with other members of the mountain biking media including: Mountain Bike Action, Dirt Rag, PinkBike and Decline) to not only cover the grand opening events (including celebrity BBQ, prize raffle, autograph signings and sponsor booths) but also to participate and ride the park.
Here are the things I discovered.
The first thing you notice even before stepping foot inside the place, is how massive the building is. At 102,000 square feet (with room to grow) there is lot going on here. Once inside, the place is so huge, it’s almost hard to get your bearings. The entryway houses the sign-in area and the registration desk. From there you proceed past the store area with soft goods and various small parts and helmet cam rentals. Next to that is the bike shop/rental/repair area, where you pick up your bike if you haven’t brought your own.
Across from the rental shop area is the downstairs lounge/staging area. Here is where you gear up and prep for your ride. For your convenience, there is also a small do-it-yourself mechanics area with readily available tools for self use. A good place to start off, is the XC loop, which takes you upstairs and around the perimeter of almost the entire place giving you a chance to see the layout of the place.
The various sections of the park include:
-sport and expert jumps