There was vacation time to burn, but terrible, horrible, awful, east coast weather in the way. (The weather may actually have been nice, I can’t remember.) Either way, I needed a change, from the monotony of solo road rides and lapping the same mtb trails over and over again. It was time to get out of town and do something that no man has ever done before. (In reality many men, women, and children have done this before, but doesn’t it sound more exciting the other way?)
On preparing for a BMX trip, there is an ever evolving list of things to bring with you. It is as follows:
- RedBull– A necessity for any journey. They say it gives you wings, but the evidence of that comes from a cartoon commercial, so we can’t rule it out, however can’t prove it to be true in a controlled environment either.
- Animal Can I Eat? Soundtrack– This got me stoked for riding as a teenager and still does trick now, especially the Stephen Hamilton part.
- Malt Liquor– No BMX trip is complete without a tallboy of Steel Reserve or better yet a Colt 45. Even if you don’t imbibe in the earthly pleasures of alcohol, you can still throw the full, unopened can at aggressive drivers, or rig up your own roller system in the hotel room.
- Your Bike– This is sometimes overlooked, and when it is your day takes a downward spiral fast. (Actually at Ray’s you don’t even have to bring your bike, they have really nice rentals of MTB, BMX, or 26” Dirt Jumpers.)
- Tire Tubes– If you have them with you, you won’t get a flat. This is Newton’s Law of tube poppage.
So I got these things together along with spirit of wonder and adventure, and got into my car and drove to Cleveland, OH. The drive is very easy. It’s literally one road for like 600 miles, and then you do some windy, twisty, turns through the manufacturing area of Cleveland and arrive at Ray’s MTB.
After a six hour drive, I dropped my stuff off at a hostel and went straight to the park. There was no time to waste on things like dinner or rest. The park is enormous. I can’t even describe the magnitude. They have bike trails, pump tracks, skinnies, ramp rooms, street spines, and very very big jumps. Everything looks smaller on the GoPro… Just Sayin.
There are also a great things to do in downtown Cleveland, like going to local breweries and museums. (The Cleveland Art Museum is free by the way.)
In short, whether you ride a mountain bike, a BMX bike, or a road bike, a trip to Ray’s is a must. They have everything to keep beginners and experts shredding the gnar and having fun. So if you get the chance, do it!