Tinker Juarez expected to draw 500 at Beatty Taco Festival

There aren’t too many events where one can go out and participate side-by-side with an Olympian.

At this year’s third annual Beatty Beer and Taco Mountain Bike Festival people will get a chance to do just that.

The festival will be at Spicer Ranch just north of Beatty off U.S. Highway 95 from May 5-7.

Who is Tinker

“Tinker” David Juarez will be out riding in the Tinker Classic mountain bike race, which will feature a 60K race and a 100K race. Juarez will be conducting various clinics for mountain biking also.

Juarez is a three-time National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) cross-country (XC) champion and four-time national champion in the 24-hour solo category and a two-time member of the U.S. Olympic team.

Cimmaron Chacon, the owner of Gro Promotions, a promoter of the race, said the race should attract close to 500 racers. Chacon’s company is tasked with designing the new trails for Spicer Ranch and beyond.

Chacon said Tinker was ready to ride with anyone that could keep up with him.

“He races all over North America,” Chacon said. “People clamor to get Tinker to their race. He is a big celebrity in the bike world.”

Where the money is going

For the last three years, Saving Toads Through Off-Road Racing, Ranching and Mining in Oasis Valley (STORM-OV) has been throwing mountain biking events to fund the progress of a massive trail-building project that will consist of 300 miles of trails surrounding the town and connecting the town via bike trails to Death Valley National Park. Funds from events like the Tinker Classic will go to building these trails.

Up until now, there has been little progress on the trails to Death Valley, but David Spicer, who is the president of STORM-OV, said this is all changing.

“We have been successful in getting Death Valley National Park working with us on permitting the route on existing roads in the park area out past Rhyolite,” Spicer said. “Our efforts also have brought us a recreation planner and archaeologists into the Tonopah office.”

“Believe it or not, two government agencies are now working together with a local community. Hopefully, we can keep the effort going and the benefits coming. Our master plan has resulted in them preparing a plan of development. This is an important step, things are moving forward … finally.”

One thing Spicer had to do to have all these events at his ranch was build new bathroom and shower facilities, which were completed last year.

He said the new facilities allowed him to have the Boy Scouts camping on the ranch and allows him to have all these fundraising events on the ranch.

Ranch drawing thousands

“We had another successful Boy Scout Mountain Man Rendezvous,” Spicer said.

In all, 1,864 scouts and 300 administration people were on hand the first week in February over three days.

“We added in a fireworks show two of the three nights also,” Spicer said. “They made a huge financial impact with increased sales experienced by the businesses up here. They now are scheduling in groups of 20, 40, 60, and 80 scouts with me for weekend retreats. Our local group of scouts is holding firm with its members and the Council members from Vegas are as promised spending time here.”

He said this continual flow of visitors are helping our local economy and is helping to put Beatty on the map.

“Good changes are coming to Nye County slowly but surely with our planning and execution of Beatty becoming a recreation-based destination,” Spicer said. “Many riders and clubs from Reno, Vegas, and Southern California are now planning trips to our area. It isn’t hard to figure. Just get people out on a trail, off the couch and away from the cell phone and they just might connect with the world around them.”

The Tinker Classic is supported by Barrick, Cannondale, the Town of Beatty, Magura and Club Ride. It offers a $3000 pro purse and is expected to draw riders nationally and internationally.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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