Ray from Ray’s Indoor MTB Park Sustains Spinal Injury

Nov 15, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ray Petro is building some amazing trails in and around Ocala and affecting culture while he s at it.

In September this year, Ray Petro was injured while out riding in Royal View Park in Cleveland. He suffered life-changing injuries and the riding community is now rallying to help support him in his recovery.

Below is the story from the GoFundMe page.

Ray Petro is a man who needs no introduction for those in the cycling community. Ray is the founder, designer and owner of the world's first indoor mountain bike park (Ray's Indoor MTB Park) in Cleveland Ohio. Ray's passion for mountain biking was the key to overcoming his battle with addiction. By creating the park, Ray found a place to pour out his passionate drive year-round and provide a place to share a sport he loves so much.

Over the past 15 years, Ray has provided so much to the cycling community both regionally and nationally. Ray transformed a forgotten factory into an epic all-season riding destination for riders all over the world. It's a place where children have taken their first pedal strokes and professionals have honed world class riding skills. The park hosts unique competitions and events in mtb and bmx, directly supports efforts toward regional mtb trails and continues to help grow the female contingent thorough annual exclusive women's events. In short, the word “Ray's” means “fun” to riders around the globe. Ray Petro's contributions certainly aren't limited to indoor riding. Once the indoor park was well established, he commenced pursuits of taking his building skills outdoors to Santos trails in Ocala, Florida. For the past five years, Ray has been developing those trails with his unique style, in conjunction with the regional mountain bike club.

Ray s MTB Old and New

We don't always get the opportunity to give back to someone who has given us so much. Here is how we can say thanks to Ray for all he's given us and support a fellow rider who's taken a fall. While mountain biking outdoors on the trails of Royal View Park in Cleveland in September, Ray lost control of the front end of his bike in some leaves and crashed into a tree.

He'd laid face down, unable to move and unable to catch his breath for about 15 minutes when a jogger found him. When Ray awoke in the hospital, he learned that he'd suffered life-altering injuries including two broken neck vertebrae (C5 and 6) that were surgically stabilized. Ray is working hard to breathe without the use of a ventilator and is starting to regain some feeling in his extremities. He has started physical therapy but it will be a long journey that begins with getting his voice and lungs back, while working toward regaining as much mobility as possible. With a lot of work, he plans to get back to some sense of normalcy.

Ray will face many mentally and physically demanding challenges that, simply put, will be expensive. Nerves are the slowest part of the body to heal and it will happen over months and years. Ray’s insurance and state support will be very helpful, but they only go so far. Your contribution will help Ray get the rehabilitation he needs along with the adaptations such as equipment and remodeling that will help him to get situated at home once he is out of the hospital.

East Bound and Down Ocala Fl

Ray has given the riding community so much and he will do more great things in his future with our help. It’s time for us to rally. I've organized this campaign in conjunction with Ray's good friend Jeff Lenosky and with assistance from Ray's dedicated sister, Ricci. I'm so thankful to Ray for the truly awesome impact he has had on my life. He probably doesn't really know what an impact he's had in my life or yours. Please take a moment to tell him here!

Ray will be the sole beneficiary of these funds to help with his recovery, through a trust set up in his name. Every contribution will help!

Please Click Here to Donate

MENTIONS: @raysmtb1


  • + 91
 Things like this truly are such an awful thing to happen to anyone, and especially to someone who has dedicated their time to bringing happiness to others. Our thoughts are with you Ray, all the way over from here in the UK. It sounds like you've faced demons and come out stronger before, and this will be no different. Stay strong brother.
  • + 25
 I was ranting with my fellow shop folk about this yesterday. How bummed we are (being Upper Michiganders) that Milwaukee closed and reminiscing about how sweet that spot really was. The environment at Rays parks is unlike any other. The sense of comrade created in a place like that is something I think helps any rider feel more comfortable, weather they have ridden there 1,000,000 times or its their first time on a bike, every person there was there to support the rise of cycling, Ray being the driving force behind the good vibes. He really strives to bring something to the table for each and every rider and as bad as the accident truly is, loosing Cleveland would be as tragic for the community. SUPPORT RAY BY DONATING AND IF YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY, GET UR BUTT TO CLEVLAND FOR SOME SHRED!!
  • + 8
 such sad news, got to ride the Milwaukee park twice and those are memories I cherish, sendig good vibes all the way from Chile!!
  • + 4
 That's terrible news, have soo much respect for him. He has done Soo much for MTB and the nicest guy you'll ever meet. What he has done for the Santos trails in Florida is epic by itself. Wishing him all the best and a speedy recovery.
  • + 5
 Ray is a game changer to the point that I wrote a paper in college about him and others positively affecting local economies through recreation. His impact is immense. This is such bad news and I hope the community gathers to support him and I hope to also see those charity give-a-ways from manufacturers who also recognize his contributions to the sport.
  • + 1
 When I rode Milwaukee a rider went down on one of the larger box jumps - Everyone moved into action - stopped other riders from jumping - staff was immediate and paramedics were on site and stabilizing the situation. This is no different - our main trail crue master went down - the man who helped build all these awesome jumps and possibilities for those of us in the Midwest. We have many thanks to such an awesome man and his speedy recovery - We Rally We Support.
  • + 18
 Being a clevelander i ride rays weekly and it’s something i look forward to everyday. I’ve met Ray and rode with him on local trails a few times. He is a class act and helped me with my riding when i was getting into the sport. Some of my friends are very close to him and are devastated and this event has sent a shock wave through the cycling community in the region. He is a very skilled rider and royalview is a relatively tame trail. If this could happen to him it could happen to anyone. We all love to push and go bigger and faster. Taking risks can lead to progression but it can also lead to tragedy. Find a balance and ride safe guys .
  • + 2
 Wise words...
  • + 15
 You guys need to fix your medical system if poor Ray becomes reliant upon alms after suffering bad luck and an unfortunate injury. What if this happened to the kid next door?!? This is a disgrace to western civilazation. Go put your vote where it belonfs and pay yer goddamn taxes
  • + 4
 True that!
  • + 3
 Well said.
  • + 14
 Never met the guy, but just reading about him it feels like I'd be lucky if I did. Speedy recovery, mate.
  • + 6
 Anyone who has ever had the pleasure to spend time with Ray can attest to his incredible character and genuine nature. He’s as authentic a human being as they make them, and deserves nothing less than to come back stronger than before. All the love to you bud.
  • + 7
  • + 5
 Hang tough...our thoughts are with you Ray. I donated, not a ton, but hope it helps!
  • + 2
 Suffering 4 broken vertebrae myself currently after a crash early September.
Fortunately not as bad as Rays injuries and thanks to a proper health system on my way to recover and able to get on the bike again soon.

All the best to Ray! Hang in there mate!!
Money’s well spend
  • + 4
 Sending some love your direction ray! Such a positive dude. it's hard to comprehend the struggles you're facing.
  • + 1
 Wow - how horrible. Good to hear that he has some feeling, that is a good sign for some recovery. I had the good fortune to spend an hour or so sitting and talking/drinking beer & wine with Ray and GF one evening at Trek World. First time I had met Ray, and what a nice guy. I hope he gets a full recovery
  • + 1
 I have met Ray a few times over the years. Riding at Ray's he would walk through and treat you like he had known you for years. I would see him at Snowshoe or other races. He is one of the most down to earth welcoming people I have ever met. Heal up Ray, I hope my small donation will help!
  • + 4
 Terrible to hear such an injury happened to Ray Frown
  • + 3
 All the best heal quick and hit the slopes
  • + 1
 This guy has done so much for Cleveland's MTB community that he deserves our help. That can mean donating or going and riding what he made.
  • + 3
 florida is free.
  • + 2
 Amen Suddawg
  • + 1
 Florida is fast
  • + 3
 No PayPal?????
  • + 2
 Paypal has a history of freezing accounts when they suddenly get a lot of money. I'd avoid Paypal for things like this.
  • + 2
 Why this happens to Amazing individuals?
My prayers are with him.
  • + 25
 It happens to other people also. You just don't know about it because they are known only by their family and friends.
  • + 1
 Best wishes Ray. Thanks for being such a positive influence on the cycling community.
  • + 1
 I hope Ray gets a full recovery soon!
  • + 1
Sending Healing Vibes
  • - 1
 You my friend can win a Specialized DEMON,.... Or maybe an EVIL frame! Shred on it towards hell.
  • - 1
 Remember your back protection kids!
  • - 2
 And neck protection...
  • + 5
 So are you recommending riding with a full face helmet and a Leatt on XC / trail rides like the one Ray was on? This was a freak accident in which a leaf covered trail seems to be the main culprit. Here's to Ray's speedy recovery.
  • + 1
 @Chadimac22: I live and ride in Ohio and I ride with Ray when we cross paths. The truth is, Yes some people around here do ride full face helmets on XC trails. I think its pathetic when some people scoff at this concept. "Prepare for the worst pray for the best" I certainly hope to ride with Ray again!
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