Think riding a bike across a log that's five feet off the ground is difficult? It is. Think falling off that log onto a concrete floor is painful? Right again. That's one reason you don't see many people attempting that stunt at Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park. The super-skinny bridges and towering teeter-totters in the expert section see action only from the baddest of the bad. Or, as rider Tim Carson puts it, "You gotta grow your balls a little before you get up on it."
Ray Petro turned a warehouse once filled with women sewing rayon parachutes for the Army into a massive wooden jungle gym for the snowed-in mountain biker. Of course, if self-preservation is a priority, don't run away like a little girl; Ray's has beginner and intermediate sections, too.
But watch out for that cement floor. Scoffs Petro: "I've had friends get more messed up on the all-purpose trail in the Metroparks, because they ran into somebody walking their dog." Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park (9801 Walford Avenue) is open 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $15; call 216-631-7433. -- Jared Klaus
Rage in the Cage
Grapplers pummel each other Thunderdome-style.
For 30 fighters, the no-holds-barred matches happening at Friday's King of the Cage will be the longest 10 minutes of their life . . . if they last that long. "It's action, start to finish," says promoter Corey Fischer of the fights that take place in a 25-foot octagon cage made up of rubber-coated chain-link. "But it's not a bloodbath. You can't spike" -- that is, strike an adversary with the points of your elbow -- "and you can't hit an opponent with your knees when he's down. These guys are athletes. It's [more of] a technical contest." Friday's card features both internationally renowned fighters and local talent -- like iconic pugilist Eric "Butterbean" Esch, who will take on both Dieter (the resident whipping boy of 92.3-FM Xtreme Radio's morning show) and former Ultimate Fighting Champion Dan "the Beast" Severn. Unfortunately, not at the same time. The first bell rings at 8 p.m. Friday at CSU's Wolstein Convocation Center (2000 Prospect Avenue). Tickets are $20 to $125; call 216-687-9292. -- D.X. Ferris
Why the Long Face?
Bronco-busting horse doctor knows the ropes.
When Bobby Griswold isn't cleaning or pulling horse teeth, the 36-year-old equine dentist is the reigning saddle-bronc champ on the World's Toughest Bulls & Broncs circuit. The competition pits competitors in four categories -- from riding an ornery bull or a bucking bronco for eight seconds to maneuvering a charging horse in a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels. "I have been extremely fortunate that I've ridden well this season," says Griswold, who's won the saddle-bronc division every year since 2002. "But now I really have to step up to the plate and defend my title." The rodeo starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Gund Arena, 100 Gateway Plaza. Tickets are $10 to $22; call 216-421-2121. -- Cris Glaser
Metroparks naturalist Carly Martin likes to think of Friday's Night Venture program as a below-the-border tribute to Canada's National Beaver Day. She'll lead participants on a hike over the river and through the woods, in search of the buck-toothed aquatic rodent. "And if we don't actually spot beaver," she promises, "we'll at least find evidence of their habitat." It starts at 7 p.m. at South Chagrin Reservation's Jackson Field (on Chagrin River Road in South Chagrin). Admission is free; call 440-247-7075. -- Lucy McKernan