Ray Petro, a man who has helped many in the mountain bike community, now needs that community to help him. Petro, who opened the world’s first indoor mountain bike park, Ray’s Indoor MTB Park, is recovering from a broken neck he sustained while riding Royal View Park in Cleveland. Petro lost his front end in some leaves and crashed headfirst into a tree. He was unable to move and spent 15 minutes facedown in the dirt before a passing jogger found him and got help. Petro immediately went into surgery and when he awoke, learned that his C5 and C6 vertebrae were broken. The doctors stabilized his neck and predict Petro will be able to return to some sense of normalcy with time.
Petro is a pillar in the mountain bike community and a friend to many. When he opened Ray’s 15 years ago, it served as a way for him to put his headstrong attitude toward spreading his love for mountain biking year-round. It also acted as a way for him to redirect his addiction problem to a productive end. Petro has been sober since his first ride on a mountain bike many years ago. The park has been home to first-time riders and professionals alike. It regularly hosts events for mountain biking and BMX riding, helps grow female involvement in the sport with women-only events and regularly gives back to the community. During the summer months, when the park is closed, Petro rebuilds and works on the features. In the winter, he dedicates his time to building trails outside at the Santos trail network near Ocala, Florida, which has become his second home.
Right now, Petro has trouble breathing without a ventilator and is only just beginning to regain feeling in his extremities. He has begun physical therapy and has a long road to recovery. In order to help with his recovery, a GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Petro’s medical expenses moving forward, along with buying appropriate equipment to keep him comfortable once home. Petro has dedicated much of his life to growing the sport we know and love. This is a chance to give back.