Ray Petro is familiar to the readers of CoolCleveland. Since our mission is to follow the coolest people around, Ray has been a natural subject for us since the day we met. We’ve interviewed him time and time again.
Ray has given so much to me, my family, our community and the biking community worldwide. His life story has lifted countless people as they witnessed his journey from a $1000-a-day cocaine and alcohol addiction to salvation through biking.
He built the world’s first indoor bike park, Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park, with his bare hands and the help of a growing crew of assistants 10 years ago. The massive 150,000 square foot playground for bikers just off West Boulevard in Cleveland is jammed with adventure seekers from a dozen states each weekend during the season.
Ray continued building and upgrading his bike park, then a second park he built in Milwaukee. It got so popular that one of his sponsors, Trek Bicycle, the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world, offered to buy the park and hire Ray to supervise annual upgrades each summer, while the bike parks are closed so riders can enjoy the outdoors. Last year, Ray took the option to buy the Cleveland bike park back and he added tens of thousands of square feet of new indoor trail.
A biking legend throughout the world, Ray’s story is best told through his own autobiography, “Ray’s: The Inspirational Story of the World’s First Indoor Mountain Bike Park,” written with Johnathon Allen, highly recommended.
Ray took a bad spill on the trail recently and he is on a long road to recovery. We are all confident that Ray will bounce back as he faces and overcomes his latest challenge, just as he has done time and again. Ray has inspired countless kids and riders through the years. And now he needs our help.
Join the GoFundMe campaign, which has already raised over $30K of a $150K goal to raise money for his medical expenses.
We love you, Ray!