Why not us?

I think that has been asked many time in the past, but I don’t think it has been asked in this manner or about this topic. Why don’t we have an indoor mountain bike park yet? Why not us? Like that illusive Super Bowl ring, cities that are indeed inferior to the home of brotherly love have one, but we are missing something big. We are missing an indoor mountain bike park. Instead of sitting on the couch at 10pm, I would probably be getting back from the park at this point. Many folks in Cleveland are heading home after a night on the skinnies, drops, and ramps of a former parachute factory, but not us. We are hoping that the snow is hard enough on the trails to support a good night ride. Maybe if we are lucky, the snow is pushed out of the bike lane and we could get a good road bike ride in, but not in Cleveland! They are putting in hard laps on the cross country course, building their skills on the planks while we are spinning away on the self induced purgatory of riding out trainers.

What does it take to make a park like Ray’s Mountain Bike Park? It takes a large industrial space, a customer base ravaged by the cold, and someone like Meatball Ray who is willing to put it all on the line for the sake of riding indoors. I think we have all of those things, and maybe even more riders. We must have more riders. While cruising the parking lot in Cleveland, plates from Pa, NJ, NY, Ct, Va, Md, and other places along the best coast easily outnumbered the buckeye state plates. How is that for some evidence? I have personally made this trip a few times, and no matter how nice it maybe to spend some time traveling through this commonwealth of ours, it would be great to stay near home and ride a place like this.

You do not have to be a huckster or a teenager on a BMX to enjoy riding at an indoor mountain bike park. Sure they make the cool videos that you find on YouTube, but there are plenty of opportunities to ride a cross-country bike in a park such as this. On my most recent trip to Ray’s, I threw down some hot fast laps with a gray haired gentleman on a 29er. Talk about breaking stereotypes eh?

Where do we go from here? I have never talked to someone in the know who said this would not work in Philly. It is an opportunity wasted if we don’t have a park similar to Ray’s. The last thing I would want to see would be someone outside of our region running the park for us so we have to take the bull by the horns and get this done before someone does it for us. We can’t sit by and let this happen to us. We need to identify sources of capital that will make this a profitable business for all that are involved. We need to identify a safe, large, and inexpensive location that will led itself to building a park like this and we need to build it. All of these things take work, but they do not take too much time. We could be riding at our own park next year. Lets get it done.

Want to help? Fill out this survey. Do you have leads on capital resources, available real estate, park designers, etc? Get in touch with us.

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