Markham’s indoor bike park wows top riders & families alike. Written by Colin Field.
If you’re the two-wheel type that dreads snow, you owe yourself a trip to Joyride 150. Hell, if you like to ride a mountain bike of any kind, you owe yourself a trip to Joyride 150. Even if it’s just your kids who love bikes, you owe yourself a trip to Joyride 150.
Since opening its doors in 2010, Markham, Ontario’s Joyride has become a Mecca for cyclists in the region. The 102,000 square-foot indoor bike park is a tribute to all things bicycle and a hub (pun intended) for province’s cycling scene. And why wouldn’t it be? The place is incredible.
With cross-country loops, a spinning studio, pumptracks, a skatepark, jump lines, foam pits, half-pipes, a picnic area and a retail store, the place has it all. It hosts women’s weekends and Red Bull athletes. Online, it has over 30 million web impressions. In a strange reversal of roles, mountain bikers are actually moving from British Columbia to Toronto so they can access these facilities on a daily basis.
Inspired by a trip with his kids to Ray’s Bike Park in Cleveland in 2008, co-owner Mark Summers returned from that trip with a new career in mind. “We just threw together a business plan,” he remembers. “A pretty in-depth business plan. And it looked like the numbers could work.”
And Joyride was born.
“It was a moment of stupidity I guess. We went for it.”
But it hasn’t been easy.
“It’s starting to work now. It was a pretty tough struggle there to begin with. Do I have any regrets? Depends on the day. For the most part, no. Everybody’s happy that comes in here. So many people grow into the sport through the place.”
And those people are becoming the who’s who of their sports, not only in Canada, but around the world. Regular local Drew Bezanson is one of the best BMX riders in the world, winning Simpel Session and the Toronto Jam, and podium-finishing at Red Bull Dirt Conquers, X Games Austin and Dewtour Streetstyle.
Another regular, freeride mountain biker Brett Rheeder, won the Colorado Freeride Festival, City 8, and the Bearclaw Invitational, and took second place at Crankworx Whistler and the Red Bull District Ride.
These guys are riding at Joyride daily throughout the winter, with a bunch of talented fellow riders who will blow your mind. And the atmosphere at Joyride makes them totally approachable and totally friendly. The building is a safe haven for anyone who loves riding; it’s accommodating and encouraging.
When you see Summers smile widely watching a little kid on a run-bike get her first feeling of cruising on two wheels you’ll realize that anyone who loves to ride a bicycle should check this place out.
This fall look for changes to the intermediate jump lines and the big pump track. The continuous improvements to all rider areas will continue and plans are in the works for a new, and bigger retail space. joyride150.com