New Tricks for an Old Dog
Last October my brother Chris and I tagged along with some friends to Ray's MTB Park . After being off a BMX for over 15 years I wasn't sure I'd ride, I just wanted to see it. When I saw the park for the first time, my fear faded and I couldn't wait to start riding. Ray's Milwaukee has obstacles to ride for every level of rider. From beginner trails, jump boxes of all sizes, and even a full "skate-park" area with a mini bowl. It was slow going that first night (I was a little rusty and feeling old), but the next day I was tired like I'd been to the gym- it was a great work-out! So needless to say, I was hooked and have been riding there at least once a week since.
Realizing that I wanted my own bike instead of the rentals, I turned to Ben's Cycle to look for a park/dirt jump bike. They steered me towards the Specialized P1, a great entry-level bike that is upgradeable to adapt to your riding skill. It's strong and sturdy and the geometry of the P1 reminds me of an over sized BMX, but more forgiving. The 26 inch wheels allow you to roll or jump everything with ease. Having the dirt jump frame makes it feel as if you were riding your old BMX you had when you were a kid.
Now that I have become more comfortable riding the P1, I have seen my skill level increase every time I ride at Ray's MTB Park. The first couple of times I went to ride, I stuck to the beginner sections. The regular riders encouraged me to keep trying new things and improving. The vibe of the place helps you learn. Weeknights are not usually crowded. The Ray's staff and other riders are willing to help. I never thought I would be doing this in my mid 30's, but man it's fun!