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  1. #1
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    Indoor Bike Parks

    I just built my first DJer and have taken two trips to indoor bike parks in my area. Totally had a blast. I'm learning new skills and having fun doing it. It's also a great winter activity.

    Small wheels, pumping hard, box jumps, flat pedals, are mostly new to me but I'm happy with my progress and have already figured out manualing. I'm no pro yet but I feel like it would have taken a long time to get to this point on my regular MTB out on the trail. I'm getting more comfortable in the air and with the flat pedals too.

    Here's the two parks I've been to.

    Rays MTB in Ohio- Big place, quite MTB friendly but a DJer is probably the ideal tool. Lots of BMX too. Fun flow trails/XC loop, pump track, skinny's, jump lines, etc. Beginner to expert features. Overall it's excellent!

    Cons- foam pit is kind of small and has crusty old foam. Drip buckets everywhere (part of the charm?).

    Joyride 150 outside Toronto Canada- Slightly more BMX oriented but DJers are no handicap. Less flow trail stuff but the pump track is slightly bigger/there is two of them you can kind of link together. BIG foam pit with fresh foam. Progressive jump lines very user friendly. Overall appearance is very professionally run operation. Overall excellent!

    Cons- XC loop is meh. The kids area and pump track are close together so it gets crowded with small riders at times.

    Share your experiences at other indoor parks you would recommend to a friend. (The Wheel Mill in Pittsburgh PA is next on my list)

    Rays Pics
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    Joyride Pics
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    Last edited by *OneSpeed*; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:40 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I wish I had one near me.
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  3. #3
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    I've been to Ray's a few times. I spend most of my time on the tech stuff, since I just bring a trail bike.

    Since you want to play with your new DJ bike, I'd recommend checking out Mega Caverns in Louisville. That place has more for BMX/jumping than it does for other riding disciplines. Bonus - it's mostly dirt. Con - it's mostly dirt, and groundwater seep makes it pretty muddy sometimes (and they have to close areas off).

    I haven't been, but look into Mike's Bike Park in Dayton, OH, too.

  4. #4
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    ^ cool. The Mega Cavern in definitely on my radar, but a long drive for me. I'm more inclined to make that kind of commitment for a real MTB trip. But, the winters are pretty rough here and it's a nice break to have the indoor bike park option.

    I just need to convince more of my friends to get DJ bikes so we can join forces and do more trips.
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  5. #5
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    I'm not really a fan of the contrived pseudo-techy indoor stuff myself; I really like the more skatepark/BMX style terrain.

    We've got a number of indoor parks in the region, but Rye Airfield in Rye NH is by far the best. We even get a bunch of folks together a couple times a year and rent it out for private sessions. Super fun.










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  6. #6
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    I've been to Rays, Wheel Mill, Crankx in Syracuse (now out of business), Wood yard (I think) in Portland, and Louisville. The only one I'd make any effort to go back to is Rays; that's the only one I've been to that has enough variety to keep me interested for more than a couple hours.
    I'm not local to any of them; all these parks, for me were at least a few hours drive, and I didn't find them worth it. If I lived close enough that I could go and ride for an hour, that would change the math.

    Now, if you like riding the same pump track for hours on end - I see people doing this every time (especially at Wheel Mill), that might not apply. I'll do 2-3 laps and I'm done. I prefer the "tech" sections, as it usually takes me a couple tries per line before I can clean them reliably. Rays is the only park I've been to that has enough to keep me interested.

    One note about Louisville: it's cool and humid down there, like clammy. I found it really uncomfortable after about 30 minutes. The amount of space they have, plus actual dirt, there's tons of potential; which is mostly unrealized. It seems like they'd need some better ventilation or something for it to really work though; I spent more time sucking wind and going outside to try to breathe than riding, and I'm from a humid area.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    ^ cool. The Mega Cavern in definitely on my radar, but a long drive for me. I'm more inclined to make that kind of commitment for a real MTB trip. But, the winters are pretty rough here and it's a nice break to have the indoor bike park option.

    I just need to convince more of my friends to get DJ bikes so we can join forces and do more trips.
    They are tearing down the dirt jumps at Mega Cavern...
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    They are tearing down the dirt jumps at Mega Cavern...
    What does that mean? Permanently? Info/source?

    The website says they're closing for maintenance in August but doesn't indicate if that happened in 2018 or is coming this summer? The do say they are doing maintenance and rebuilding new jump lines, is that what you're talking about?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    One note about Louisville: it's cool and humid down there, like clammy. I found it really uncomfortable after about 30 minutes. The amount of space they have, plus actual dirt, there's tons of potential; which is mostly unrealized. It seems like they'd need some better ventilation or something for it to really work though
    I agree with most of this. Quite a bit of what I'd call "dead space" in the bike park area. It is clammy down there. I didn't have any major problems with it, but I do agree that better ventilation would help. Maybe the comfort level depends on when you go. I've only been during wintertime, when temps were below freezing outside. There's a couple places you ride past that get a bit of a cold blast from outdoor air. I'm sure the ventilation dynamics are much different when it's warmer outside.

    It's kindof a shame that the building Ray's is in needs the work it does. The buckets catching drips from the roof/ceiling kinda suck. No doubt the level of roof repairs the place needs would be cost prohibitive, though. I hope someone's budgeting for that work.

    I'm far enough away from the indoor places nowadays that it'll probably be quite some time before I go back.

    There are some outdoor spots pretty close to where I live right now. 2 places with pump tracks, and one of them has maybe 3mi of singletrack trail, some dirt jumps, and a small amount of tech skills stuff.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    What does that mean? Permanently? Info/source?

    The website says they're closing for maintenance in August but doesn't indicate if that happened in 2018 or is coming this summer? The do say they are doing maintenance and rebuilding new jump lines, is that what you're talking about?
    I saw posts in a BMX group I am in as well as the Dirt jumper group.

    Indoor Bike Parks-screenshot_2019-03-11-14-53-14%5B1%5D.jpg

    The original post by Mega Cavern seems to no longer be up so maybe they changed their minds.

    So I would see what they do to it before you plan on going.
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  11. #11
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    Just chiming in because I'm a big Ray's fan - even if I don't go there very much despite living 25 minutes away. I am a pretty sucky jumper, but I can still have fun there (maybe some actual practice wouldn't hurt either), esp. on the skinnies, drops, and the XC loop. BTW - "XC Loop" is a marketing term Ray used to get people to relax and try stuff. Most of what you find on Ray's "XC" loop you wouldn't find in 100 miles of XC off-road trails. And it's all packed into a building, so stuff comes at you fast, with no rest breaks/coasting. The ability to exit the XC loop into the sport room and link to the expert stunts or take optional lines makes everything flow pretty well, too. There might even be some Strava segments in there. It is pretty easy to keep moving and actually log some real mileage. 12-15 mi. in 2 hrs is pretty reasonable even when it's busy. Although at that pace, my whole body is pretty much a wet noodle by that point and I need to chill out to avoid a costly mistake. That's when you order a pizza and go spectate for awhile. I've seldom felt a more chill riding atmosphere - where you can see some really good riders, but you don't have to deal with their egos.
    It's worth mentioning that they really do change it every Summer. I've been going there since it first opened. Some of those early stunts were very difficult. The hardest stuff now is toned down a little bit, but the options and combinations for all abilities seem to be endless.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    One note about Louisville: it's cool and humid down there, like clammy. I found it really uncomfortable after about 30 minutes. The amount of space they have, plus actual dirt, there's tons of potential; which is mostly unrealized. It seems like they'd need some better ventilation or something for it to really work though; I spent more time sucking wind and going outside to try to breathe than riding, and I'm from a humid area.
    It depends when you go. Usually it's not too bad in the winter. In the Spring and summer, it starts getting more humid down there and the moisture can be a pain in the butt.

    That said, the Mega Cavern may or may not be worth returning to. The company really sucks, and they are apparently removing all the good jumps and can't seem to come up with a re-opening date. Go ask the company about the jumps on Facebook, and you'll likely get banned like I and hundreds of other people did.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
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    Wow! That's actually the most direct response I've seen from them. I wonder what their definition of "smaller" is. If the bike park ends up being like their "trails," it will definitely not be worth returning to. If they keep the bigger tables and add some better features and more pump tracks, then I might still go a couple times in the winter. Still, the company has left a bad taste in my mouth.

  14. #14
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    Every time I'm down in Florida I spot an empty grocery store or something. They're huge down there. I always think it would make a cool indoor bike park.
    It gets so hot in summer down there I would have to think people would want to ride in air conditioning.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    Every time I'm down in Florida I spot an empty grocery store or something. They're huge down there. I always think it would make a cool indoor bike park.
    I do the same with all the old mill buildings around here. A few of them have actually had parks built in them, as well as some just being opened once a year for a couple recurring indoor MTB 'races' each winter.

    I've thought about the empty supermarket/retail space too, but they don't seem to have the headroom you'd want.
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