November of 2004 saw the opening of Ray's MTB Indoor Park just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. This 71,000 square foot facility houses jumps, ramps, berms, log piles, rocks, and other obstacles, on three courses designed for Beginner, Sport, and Expert-level mountain bikers.
For directions, hours, rules, rates, and all of the other relevant details, go to Ray's web site at:
Several of the Century Cycles staff have checked out Ray's, and gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up! Gary and Kevin from the Solon shop made their first trip on Jan. 14, 2005. The course felt a little tough at first, but that was probably due mostly to not being on our bikes for a while. After a little warm-up and practice on the Beginner course, we were able to clear many of the tracks on the Sport course. We look forward to going back to master the rest. We even spoke to Lonnie, a rider who had come all the way from British Columbia just to check out Ray's!
We had a lot of questions about the place before we went, so we put together this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list that we hope will help other future Ray's riders:
Q. What kind of bike is best?
A. Our XC hardtails worked adequately, but were not ideal. Dirt jumpers, all-mountain, freeride and the like would be best. Singlespeeds are fine; once we found a good gear at the beginning, we rarely shifted at all after that. Gary was glad that he switched to platform pedals; Kevin stuck with his clipless pedals and was happy riding on them.
Q. What should I wear?
A. Gloves and helmets are required. We go along with Ray's recommendation to wear elbow and knee pads. If you don't wear pads, long sleeves are a good idea, if nothing else because it was kind of chilly in the building on that winter day. The vibe of the place is definitely grunge, with baggy shorts, t-shirts, and skate/BMX-style helmets being the norm, but you won't be looked down upon in your full-on spandex race gear if you've got the skills to back them up!
Q. Is there a place to change if I don't want to arrive in my riding clothes?
A. There are men's and women's restrooms, and you are welcome to change clothes in them.
Q. Are there lockers or some other place to store my stuff?
A. There are no lockers, but you are welcome to stash your valuables on the shelves behind the main counter, at your own risk.
Q. What kind of shop services are available?
A. There are basic supplies available at the main counter, with energy snacks and drinks. Elbow and knee pads can be rented. A work stand and air pump are available for use.
Q. Is there water available?
A. There is a water fountain right near the start/finish of the course. You can fill your bottle, or just stop by for a sip at the end of your lap. A hydration pack is probably overkill.
Q. Are spectators allowed?
A. There is a "park" area with picnic tables and benches near the start/finish line; spectators are welcome there, but not beyond the wall that separates the park from the course. There is a fairly good view of the Beginner and Sport courses from the park, and a couple of the nearest tracks of the Expert course.
More Pictures...Feb. 4, 2005
Adam and Justin
Keith and Brent
Brent on one of the Outer Loop jumps
Ray's MTB was featured in the July 2005 issue of Mountain Bike magazine: