Ray’s second Indoor Mountain Bike Park is now open in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The park opened New Year’s Eve with nearly 95-percent of their 100,000 square feet of indoor riding terrain.
“Once we received approval from the city we basically kicked the doors open,” said Eric Schutt, marketing director for Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Parks. “It’s a lot like we’ve seen in Cleveland, where we instantly have become a destination location.”
A previously postponed grand opening weekend complete with ‘meet the pros’ event is rescheduled for 29-30 January and will feature a host of professional riders, including: Aaron Gwinn, Ryan Howard, Jeff Lenosky, Ross Schnell, Stu Thompson, Kirt Voreis and Cam Zink.
The grand opening event includes a barbeque on Saturday, which will be hosted and served by the pro riders at noon and followed by a raffle at 5pm. Sunday is marked by a ride with the pros and ‘BMX night’ at 4pm, which is hosted by legend Stompin’ Stu Thompson a regular rider at Ray’s Cleveland location.
“He’s a legend who’s come to the park and loves it,” said Schutt of Thompson. “If you ever watched “Joe Kid on a Sting-Ray”, he was one of the guys featured in that movie.”
One of the last features yet to be finished is the park’s pump track, which should be completed by the grand opening weekend.
Schutt said that the parks evolve as part of their use. “The park is never done; we are constantly improving the quality, the safety and the experience. It’s two fold we’re doing it while we’re operating, when we see how people are interpreting the space and using it, but in a bigger sense it’s why we close in the summer to make more drastic changes. People that are newer to Ray’s don’t necessarily know that.”
Mountain bikers are sure to enjoy the park, which offers cross-country style riding in addition to stunts and jumps: mountain bikers are sure to enjoy the park, which offers cross-country style riding in addition to stunts and jumpsRay's MTB Park
Mountain bikers are sure to enjoy the park, which offers cross-country style riding in addition to stunts and street style features
Since opening three weeks ago, Ray’s new Milwaukee location has averaged roughly 50-75 riders on weekdays, mainly during the lunch hour and after 5pm, while a couple hundred riders show up during the weekend days.
“It was neat,” he said of the New Year’s Eve opening. “There were a lot of people that had their ear to the track… when we opened they burst through the doors — on a holiday weekend with only 24 hours notice we had several hundred people in here — and it has only gone up from there.”
Ray’s offers a complete fleet of rental bikes comprised of Trek’s top-of-the-line dirt jumper, called the Ticket Signature; a custom spec’d Trek Mullet single-speed cross-country rig that’s been specifically built for the indoor riding park; and a host of Mirraco BMX bikes. Daily rental rates are US$10 for any of the bikes. “If you don’t want to put your $8,000 Top Fuel on the back of your car and drive through the salt, you can just use what we have here,” said Schutt.
Ray’s MTB also offers free use of safety gear (elbow and knee pads, plus helmets) from Dainesse, Fox, Troy Lee and THE for any rider at either Ray’s MTB park location, Milwaukee or Cleveland.
Ray’s Milwaukee is open from noon to 10pm on weekdays at a rate of $19 and 9am to 10pm on weekends for $24; season passes are offered for $299. Kids 12 and younger receive a half price discount.