Ray's MTB Roadtrip report
When you live in Canada, harsh winters are something you have to deal with 5 months a year. Sure, we have a few indoor places that we can ride all year long, but more is needed. For the last five years, we have been going nowhere else than Ray's Mountain Bike Park. If you want to meet nice people, ride awesome stuff from huge jumps to rock gardens, Ray's is definitly the place to go. After all, RideBMX ranked the place as America's best wood park. When we first started doing this, we were a small group of 6 friends, willing to escape the winter for a week. Time went by, and this year, we ended up with a group of 13 good friends heading to Cleveland together. There is no words to describe how fun it is to spend a week riding and partying with 13 of your best homies. Fortunately, we had Julien Grimard with us, and as usual, he snapped some photos. Hit the read more link for a short read mixed with some photos of the trip.
Above photo is Samuel Croteau. He always makes it sound like he has no clue how it's going to work or simply doesn't care, but always makes it look super easy. 360 transfer from the grey Oakley jump to the blue one. This line of jumps (with the legendary RedBull berm) is one of the most important features of the park. Not only is it super fun to ride, but its there since the very start. So many transfers are possible on it, and it is just so fun to make trains on that thing.
Michel Plonka - Tailwhip
This is Etienne Piatek. He is from France and has this laid back riding style and is always stoked on having a good time. Stress is not in his dictionnary at all, but party is printed on every single page. That's all you need to know about him.
Above photo is Stéphane Bélanger clicking a nice tabletop on the Rythm section's hip. Stéphane is not the guy that has the most tricks in his pocket but it's always a treat to watch him ride good jumps.
Etienne Piatek - Backflip
Michel Plonka - Toboggan
Julien Sylvestre - Turndown
Louis Lhomel - Toboggan
This is Joel Marchand. This kid has just so much control on his bike its crazy. This is a transfer from The bern jump to the smaller one right beside it. Joel's arm was honestly like an inch from the neon light and he was a bit scared to go this high because he was blinded by the lights while doing the trick. Definitly an awesome photo.
To be honest, Cleveland definitly isn't the nicest place to be at, but they are lucky enough to have Chenga 2 just minutes away from Ray's and our hotel. If you go to Ray's, we strongly recommand the Howard Johnson hotel, its about 3 minutes from Chenga 2, 10 minutes from Ray's, super cheap, and they let you have a lot of fun. On our last day in Cleveland, we had the chance to have a late night private session at Chenga 2. Despite being really tired, we still had an awesome time and managed to snap some photos:
Stéphane Bélanger - boostin'
Samuel Croteau - Tabletop
Overall, this trip was a success. Lots of good times were had with all the homies and our good friends Pabst and fourloko. Big thanks to all the boys for coming on this trip, to Ray@Ray's for making this cyclist's paradise possible, to Keith@Ray's for making sure we have a great time every year and to Bob Delaat for being so awesome. This trip was awesome, can't wait for next year to go back! All the photos above were shot by Julien Grimard, and a video will also be released really soon!