There’s a BMX storm brewing

28 02 2013

This winter has been unrelenting in terms of storms, cold temps and all around crappy conditions.

BMXers in the northeast have been hit particularly hard by this nasty weather and are collectively just about ready to say good riddance to old man winter.

Thankfully, this weekend brings two big events that will put a spring in the step of BMXers of just about every stripe in the northeast.

The first is the annual Toronto BMX Jam.  The unofficial kickoff to the contest season and an excuse for BMXers to get a bit of a BMX party going on, the Toronto BMX Jam is a contest that gets people’s stoke factor to go off the charts. Set up as part of the Toronto International Bicycle show (kind of like a mini-Interbike), it features the Toronto BMX Jam, a flatland contest, indoor racing (mostly MTB these days) and a jumping competition.

The riding is unbelievable, the crowd is loud and chances are that you’ll run into riding buddies you haven’t seen for ages.  So much fun. I’ll be there Saturday and Sunday and if you have the chance I hope you will too…this is one of the most fun BMX events of the year.

drew-bezanson-toronto-jam1

Did I mention the riding is unbelievable? Check out this clip from the finals last year.

The second big event is at Ray’s MTB Cleveland.

This coming weekend they will be hosting 3 (really) big names in BMX: Rick Moliterno, Harry Leary and Stu Thomsen.

Rays HOTS_Slide_Thomsen_Leary_Moliterno

That’s almost BMX royalty right there!

If you’re a BMX nerd like me, you know those guys have some stories to tell. Much respect for those dudes.

So if winter has got you down, these events might be the cure for what ails you. Check ’em out if you get a chance.





Enjoy the great indoors this winter

19 01 2013

Dealing with old man winter can really bring you down.

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in one of the sunshine states, have an indoor skatepark nearby (that allows bikes) or are down with practicing flatland maneuvers in parking garages, winter tends to force even the most rabid of bikers into a bit of forced hibernation.

And even if you have an indoor skatepark nearby, they’re often overrun by scooter kids, fruit booters and the like.

Thankfully in recent years, the indoor bike park concept has begun to take off. Usually with a “MTB” in the name, these parks have a little something for everyone…BMXers especially.

Let’s take a look at what some of these parks have going on.

Ray’s MTB

The original indoor bike park, Ray’s MTB is the one that all other bike parks are compared to….it’s basically the one that started it all.  Created by Ray Petro as a way for him and his MTB buddies to escape Ohio’s cold winters it has grown to be an international destination for bikers from across the world. Tucked away in an old industrial building, it doesn’t look like much from the outside…but wow, is it ever fun inside. (Two locations: Cleveland & Milwaukee)

Joyride 150

Inspired at least partially by Ray’s MTB, some Canadian MTBers decided to put their own spin on the indoor bike concept and bring it over the border to a suburb just outside of Toronto, Ontario (Canada). Joyride 150 is also loads of fun and happens to be the closest one to Cruiser Revolution HQ so it’s also the one I happen to visit most often. Drew Bezanson filmed one of the craziest videos of 2012 here (and tends to hit the park on a semi-regular basis too) so you know this park has some fun stuff to ride.

Cranx

Located in Syracuse, NY, Cranx is another good bike park. A pumptrack, jumpline, and a recently completed wooden bowl are just some of the highlights.  It hasn’t been open that long but things are constantly being updated and refined. You can read more about Cranx in the recent post Cranx: shreddin’ in Syracuse. Definitely a great place to check out.

The Lumberyard

The Lumberyard brings the indoor bike park concept to Portland, Oregon. Haven’t been to this one yet but I definitely like what I see. Jump lines, pump tracks, and skatepark-style stuff make this another good one to put on your list of parks to check out. An interesting thing that the Lumberyard has is a full-service restaurant.  Being able to get some BBQ and a beer or two after a good session seems pretty awesome.

What’s your favorite bike park?

Anybody planning a trip to one of these places?