One major downside to living on the 45th parallel is that it gets really cold during the winter. Every time I talk with Jeff he reminds me that he rides around in shorts for most of the year. Anyone who loves riding and lives in the great white north probably feels just as cheated as I do.

Well, as luck would have it, I live near an indoor bike park. Joyride 150 first opened its doors in December 2009. Since then, riders in the Greater Toronto Area have enjoyed winters far more.

My original article about Joyride 150 and what it has to offer, unfortunately, (or maybe it’s fortunately?) is no longer valid. Since 2009 the park has been constantly upgraded and Joyride recently added another 12,500 square feet, called the Street Plaza, to the existing 90,000 square feet. Other major changes that can be seen are the changes in the park’s features and the addition of corporate sponsorships.

Specialized and Norco have stepped in to sponsor parts of Joyride. The ever-improving skinny section is all sponsored by Specialized. From the original 5 lines, there have been vast improvements, allowing riders options to go from one line to the next. Again, these features are all high skill, low consequence.

To be honest, one of my favorite sections at Joyride is the jump line section. The new lines have changes that improve the opportunity to get major air. The progressive lines still exist, and you can’t avoid always wanting to go bigger.

As for the original XC course, it has been extended a bit and, again, improved quite a lot. The addition of two little climbs, a bridge, and a few little optional drops make the course a lot more fun. The XC course can easily be ridden with either a single speed bike or a regular XC machine. Try a DJ on the course for a bit of fun and challenge (inertia is your friend).

Other big changes include the Subaru beginner area. It has been expanded and the old expert skinnies have been removed. Although fun, the expert skinnies were under-utilized. Mark and Scott from Joyride decided to take that space and use it for the expanded pump track and beginner area.

Speaking of the pumptrack, the new-and-improved pump track is world-class with an all-new advanced layout which is both flowy and fast! The main feature here is the massive 180° turn. You can literally get parallel to the ground at this spot! The improved intermediate pump track also gets my nod, with the two main turns now banked. I have to say again that Mark, Scott, and the crew deserve some serious recognition for their superb efforts building some excellent features.

The FIT section is now up and running with spinning classes and training available for those who want to really have a workout. Many top-class riders make the FIT area a go-to spot for part of their winter training.

If you’re looking for individual coaching, that’s available in both the FIT studio as well as the park. Can’t nail that whip or 360? Then coaching is the way to go. For park coaching you’re looking at a cost of $30 per hour which is well-worth the money considering that an injury due to poor technique can cost far more than that.

The rental and shop area has improved vastly as well. If you break a part or decide you want to rent, they have nearly everything you need, as well as a good selection of protection, gloves, helmets, and snacks.

A key part to the growing success of Joyride are their links to other businesses. With a deal at Comfort Inn or Hilton Suites hotel you can extend your stay if you’re planning a visit. These specials range from $85 to $135 CAD.

Joyride regularly hosts various events such as MTB movie screenings and Q&A sessions with pros like Darren Berrecloth. Another great event is the Women’s weekend, and skills events are always popular.  A few friends of mine attended these events and they all loved them. These events are a great chance for women to ride, enjoy some snacks, get skill training, and network.

If you find yourself in need of some riding in the Toronto area, check out Joyride 150! Lemme know when you’re coming and I will show you around.

Your Turn: Have you ever ridden in an indoor mountain bike park? What were your thoughts and impressions?

# Comments

  • jeff

    Yes, it’s nice living in a place where you can ride outdoors year round but that also means we don’t have anything like Joyride. There’s definitely something to be said for the type of community a place like this builds and the collection of skill-building features that are available for riders of all abilities. Riding my MTB indoors is definitely on my to-do list!

  • blundar

    I have never been to an indoor place like this. The only similar thing that I have done was hitting the local urban landscape (railroad ties, short sets of stairs, parking lots with a bunch of parking curbs, parking garages, and anything else we could find in the city that was fun to ride). However, that meant that we had to watch out for business owners that did not like for us to do that on their property. It also meant that we could not ride in the winter when it got cold.

    Big props to the city that funded and built this place!

  • jtorlando25

    Very cool! May have to change next Winter’s road trip and visit Canada instead of going to Ray’s.

    • syd

      Well.. What you could always do is head up during the summer as well…Bring you DH bike and I we can do both.

    • jtorlando25

      I like where you’re going with that!

  • gar29

    You don’t have to go to Canada for a place like this. My buddy visits one in Cleveland called Rays MTB. I would love to check out one of these places, it is a great option if you live somewhere cold and snowy! Looks like a great way to work on your skills for the summer.

  • Stl_Greaser

    If only there was something like this a lot closer to home for me! I would be there a lot during the “MUDDY” season here in the midwest! Also if there where night sessions I would be there almost every night after work!

  • syd

    I can see something like Joyride and Ray’s take off in many places. It makes a bunch of sense..Specially if you tie it into a place where you can have events like kid parties or corporate meetings and team building stuff..

    • Stl_Greaser

      We have a skate park in St. Louis built and run by BMXers, I wonder if they would be interested in something like this for one of the next expansions? I know there are a few guys that go there for there late sessions with their 26er dirt jump bikes. I may have to start working on that!

  • Jared13

    I was lucky enough to hit Ray’s in Milwaukee a few times over the past two winters. The opportunity to work on specific skills was awesome; I just wish they were closer than the 5-hr drive.

  • captainmorgan

    I live in Milwaukee and today we got a foot of wet heavy snow. So instead of shoveling, I’m going to go ride for a while at Rays!

    But places like Rays in both Milwaukee and Cleveland and Switchback in SLC and Lumberyard in Portland are godsends to us that live in places where year round riding is less than convenient. I hope that this is a new bike industry trend and more of these places pop up!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.