Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ray's Indoor Awesome Park

The typecasted “DH guys” (Jared, Tyler, and Sean), me (Zerbe), and Sequoya took a trip up the Cleveland, OH to go to Ray's Indoor MTB Park this past weekend. It also turned into the Tour De Sheetz as we continued to visit at least 3 different Sheetzes (is that how you pluralize it?) on our journey up to the great brown north and back to Mo-town.

Well thanks to a few navigational errors and emergency bathroom breaks we got up there shortly after high noon to a packed, snow covered, and unorganized parking lot to heaven within a slightly run down industrial park. As I walked in I could hear angels sing as soon as I opened the doors. It eventually was drowned out by my verbal frustration at the line to the cash register, and my computer waiver form not getting accepted. Eventually we passed the guards, got a wrist band, and started shredding. Trying not to go too big too soon, we stuck to the beginners/warmup room and the xc loop at first. Then it was like being in the movie labyrinth - except no David Bowie and the creatures were replaced by little kids wrecking in front of you everywhere - because everywhere around every obscure corner was a new exciting area. They used every single square foot of that place! I felt like a kid trying to describe it to people – “They had jumps and berms and logs and an elevator and teeter-totters and a pump track and a foam pit….” In all seriousness, if you are a mountain biker of any skill level, you need to see this place with your own eyes. You also have to try and not be intimidated. There’s so many good riders there, most humiliating of all is the little kid on a bmx bike, hitting every jump so much smoother than me, or a crazy pool–like park area where everyone is watching as I attempt three failed wall rides. Probably the best part is the foam pit. I’m not much for tricks, but here’s a chance to try stuff you wouldn’t normally – especially since the consequences are minimal (like me landing crotch first onto my top tube). The best part is there’s a tv with a 30 second delay so you can watch yourself superman off the bike during a failed no-hander (Tyler), do a squirmish whip (Zerbe), or nosing it over the ramp (Hilty) – as you climb out of the foam blocks. Speaking of, thanks to my slight weight problem and my bike’s slight weight problem, I would bury myself everytime upon landing. Sequoya commented “Zerbe, you go deeper than anyone else.” Worst part of the foam pit is the kids, either the ones who think this is a wooden themed chucky cheese, or the ones who ride right up, cut you off in line, and flop in taking twice as long to get out or the way. Everyone laughed as I lifted the one kid in the air solely by his one arm, then he refused to take Hilty’s hand next time he was stuck. We did not take a camera, but I paid someone a hefty reward for catching a rare glimpse of Hilty mid-flight.

Next time we go this season (and there will definitely be a next time) we’ll have some crazy sick pictures….

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