Ray’s MTB Park Background Check

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Ray’s MTB park in Cleveland, OH is a winter refuge for a lot of bike riders on the east coast.  The building is gigantic, has more than enough to ride and a long day of training your friends through the sections there feels like a fun day at the trails.  Now in their eighth season, Ray’s has gained a reputation as one of the most fun indoor places in the world to ride a bicycle.

However, long before Ray’s there was Rayon.  The building at Walford Avenue in Cleveland where Ray’s MTB park currently sits was built in the early 1930s and was initially occupied by the Industrial Rayon Corporation.  The company was America’s first major manufacturer of rayon, an artificially produced, fibrous textile still used today in everything from neckties to carbon fiber race car hoods.  Because of the material’s strength and versatility, the company prospered during the depression due to the high demand for rayon during World War II.  In the late 1930s the company was moved to a larger plant in Painesville, OH and following the end of the war, was bought as a division of a larger textile plant.  The building at Walford Avenue kept comparatively short term tenants for the next several decades until Ray’s MTB park opened it’s doors in 2004.

The photos here give a glimpse of some of the details that still exist from an edifice that was raised over 80 years ago.  The thick, steel beams and large rivets that piece the structure together are a testament to the thriving US steel industry of the 1920s and 30s.  Layers of chipped paint over top of unused piping and electric wires throughout the building just add to the character of a place that houses some of the best times you’ll ever have on your bicycle.

 

By      01.31.12

one response

  1. Kenny Newberry 02.01.12

    place is amazing. thanks for the history.

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