Mountain bikers like coming to Lincoln County for the annual Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder, sponsored by the local state parks system. And why is that?
According to organizer Dawn Andone, State Park Interpreter, comments she heard this year for the fourth annual ride focused on the beauty of the scenery, hospitality of the local people and a well-planned event.
Just a few of the comments that were posted on the website at www.beaverdamgravelgrinder.com, included the following: “Great ride yesterday!!! Thanks.” “The support was incredible. All the water jugs left on the road were superb and greatly appreciated, especially that last one after the very hot return from lunch,” and “Just a HUGE THANK YOU AND how AWESOME the 2017 Gravel Grinder was this year!! Even better than the ride was the hospitality of the Lincoln County Nevada State Park Rangers and all the personnel working the Grinder. I really don’t come for the ride as much as the friendly atmosphere, the beautiful well kept parks and the oh so delicious Dutch oven cobbler and that yummy potato salad!! You will see us up here in the Fall for the Park to Park and also next year’s gravel grinder. Don’t change a thing. You all should pat yourself on the back and congratulations to a superb riding event. We appreciate and acknowledge ALL of your hard work for this event and throughout the year!!”
Andone said all the riders, 40 in total all said they also wanted to return for the ride in 2018.
Word of mouth and advertisements placed online and in mountain biking publications are getting the word out on the value of the Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder.
Andone believes, “It is the beautiful scenery along with the chance to get out of the city for many people that is the big draw.”
Each rider, on whatever length loop they are planning to follow, start out by going up a steep climb, the same road you use to drive down into Beaver Dam, and many said, “Man, that hill, we’re glad it’s in the beginning!”
“But riders also get to come back down the hill at the completion of the ride,” Andone says.
Park Ranger Shaylen Budreau said the Lincoln County Road Department did a very good job in keeping the roads in good condition. Self-serve water stations were placed a various points along the routes and the park service has a UTV vehicle to bring a rider in if a bike gets damaged in a way it cannot be fixed in the field.
The continued success of the Gravel Grinder is pleasing to Andone. The first year, 2013, only had three riders, but since then it has grown significantly each year.
She said people like this ride “because they love to be able to get out of the city and go mountain biking in such beautiful scenery and see things that normally you would not see if you were just visiting here. At Barclay, the old LDS church/one room school house is a huge hit which opens up a whole line of interpretation to be able to explain to them about the way people settled the area and the way people used to live at the beginning of the 20th century.”
Andone also wanted to thank all the local supporters of the Gravel Grinder this year, the town of Barclay and the Hafen family, Great Basin Foods for their donations, bags of ice from the Knotty Pine Restaurant, and Carol Mathews for her delicious homemade muffins and potato salad. “People love the local cuisine,” she said.
With the planning and construction of the mountain biking trails around the City of Caliente, is it expected mountain biking will become a popular tourist attraction for the county.
Up next is the popular Park to Park Pedal and Century 100 ride at Kershaw- Ryan State Park in October.