Throwback Thursday: Checking Out Ray’s MTB With Emily Batty—2009
This place is huge. This photo only shows a tiny portion of the indoor trail system at Ray’s MTB.
Ray’s MTB is located inside this old parachute factory in Cleveland, Ohio. The building was no longer being used when Ray Petro persuaded the owners to let him and his friends build a trail system inside so they could have a fun place to ride in the winter.
It was snowing outside when the MBA crew arrived and met these guys who had just pulled up and were getting ready to go inside for an all-day riding session. Many of the riders we met at Ray’s had driven four or more hours to get to the park. After we got a chance to ride there, we could understand why they were so enthusiastic. The place is great and incredibly fun! (MBA’s John Ker still thinks it’s the most fun place he’s ever ridden.)
The park has somewhere around 100,000 square feet of space devoted to mountain biking. It’s huge. This is only a small portion of the total area. The indoor mountain bike park was about as big as three full-sized football fields.
We met Emily Batty (above) for the first time on our visit to Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park in 2009. She was super friendly, incredibly appealing, and amazingly talented. She took first place in the women’s pro race that weekend, beating fellow Canadian (and future two-time UCI XC World Champion) Catharine Pendrel (shown below) in the process.
Future superstar Catharine Pendrel, above, finished behind Emily in this event.
Emily Batty (center) collected $1200 in cash for her win.
Ray’s team adds new features to the park every year, so the trail system may not look exactly like this these days.
That upside-down rider at the upper right of this photo is doing a backflip into a foam pit, one of the many remarkable features at the park.
When riders wanted to take a break from the action, they could hang out by the fireplaces between sessions. The local pizza company delivered pizzas to the riders on a regular basis when we were there. By the way, that’s MTB photographer Ron Sellers (wearing the blue jacket and hat) sitting by the third fireplace of this group.