2.18.2006

Ray's Indoor Mountainbike Park/Mike Mapp and Ramptech
I have never been to Ray's Indoor Mountainbike Park
would love to go
would love to check it out
would love to walk away wiht the skills that Ray's demands, offers, and nurtures

years past I competed against Ray at the 24Hour of Snowshoe Mountainbike Races
we talked in the tent waiting for our team mates to return so we could race our laps
we talked after our laps at the American Lung Association trying to recover
while I slammed enough orange slices to make a dozen oranges
Ray boldly smoked cigarettes
yes, Ray smoked cigarettes in the American Lung Association volunteer tent

so, although I do not know Ray that well.... there is some things about Ray that makes me think about Mike Mapp
it is not just the cigarettess
it is something about their personality and their ambition
there is a certain boldness to each of these individuals
an arrogance
something reminiscent of Field of Dreams
what made Ray think that an Indoor Mountainbike Park would work?

what made Mike Mapp think that he could have a company that specializes in Skateboard Parks?

I can remember when Mike was still starting out with Ramptech..
he was not remodeling houses
he was not building decks
he was not taking calls to tile bathroom floors
he was not accepting calls to knock down a wall to open up the kitchen area
no... Mike was waiting for people to call and ask him to build their skate parks
the only problem.... skateboarding was not that popular at the time
skateboarding was still a fringe sport
but Micro (a popular nickname for Mike) believed

the phone rang from time to time
4 out of 5 times the calls were from a roller blader

when Mike got those 4 calls.... he got angry and he hung up
some of those roller bladers would call back... he would smell them out and hang up again
Mike was an old school skater who had no love for the rapidly growing sport of roller blading
the times changed skateboarding rose in popularity
mike's business began to grow as well
skateboarding became the most rapidly growing sport in the world
but... just as there were more skateboarders
there soon became more skateboard ramp manufacturers
previously Mike Mapp had stood alone....
alone and poor
things changed
now Mike stands in a crowd... a crowd and well... I do not know his bank statements but he has not offered to fly me to a house in Aspen in the Ramptech Company Jet
the CATCH-22 of popularity

Mike Mapp and Meatball Ray are not unlike a mountainbike race promoter
in so many ways it is a thankless task
not just doing what you can... but doing what you love.... giving to those something that no one else is offering
from the distance I saw a rapid rise and fall of Dan Comber and his Mid-Atlantic Race Series

hope that Ray is having success with is Indoor Mountainbike Park
hope that Mike is having success with the whole Ramptech experience
hope Dan is doing well and hope to see him at his one race the Susquehanna Scorcher
me I am just blogging while my younger son naps, my older son watches Scooby Doo cartoons, and I wait for my brother and sister inlaw to arrive with their four kids

ray's mountainbike park

ramptech

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