This 58-Year-Old Is Still a Mountain-Bike King

Tinker Juarez almost certainly would not be a extremely great accountant. Or salesman. Or seriously any variety of desk jockey. And he is familiar with that. The 58-calendar year-previous mountain-biking legend has been riding since he was 13, and even though he does not regret his lifestyle choices, sometimes he thinks about other avenues when he’s on his bicycle, passing men and women commuting to perform. “I never know what I’d be executing if I was not using,” he suggests. “I simply cannot see myself sitting down in any variety of creating all working day. Maybe I’d be a gardener and mow lawns. I know I’d perform tough at it although.”

It’s Juarez’s dedication that has served him become an icon in the mountain-bicycle environment. Born David Juarez (his spouse and children gave him the nickname Tinker), the Angeleno began his career as a BMX racer, becoming a single of the early superstars of the activity in the nineteen seventies. Immediately after 15 a long time racing BMX and using freestyle, he switched to mountain biking in 1986 and started to rack up a long record of accomplishments, including multiple national championships, two appearances at the Olympics, and plenty of solitary-race wins. Now, after more than 3 many years as a skilled mountain biker, he’s still salaried with Cannondale, his bicycle sponsor given that 1994, and racing at the elite pro degree most weekends of the period. “My position is using my bicycle, and I still have to go to perform for eight hours each and every working day, just like you,” Juarez suggests. “Every calendar year when my deal is up, I never know if I’m gonna get a different a single. I test to practice tough each and every calendar year and test to maintain the racing lively and stay chaotic.”

Juarez was an early adopter of BMX—when he was just a teenager, he and his mates claimed a dirt mound on a vacant good deal in their community in East Los Angeles, employing shovels to create jumps and berms. They set fenders and mud flaps on their solitary-speed Schwinn bikes to make them appear like bikes. Even then, Juarez had a stellar perform ethic, using his BMX day-to-day, hitting soar following soar for hours following university. “It’s just apply,” Juarez suggests. “Like everything else, you have to devote you to it. For me, BMX was about regular repetition.”

Juarez’s tough perform led him to podium finishes, sponsorships, and the honor of being dubbed King of the Skateparks by Bicycle Motocross Action journal in 1980. But in contrast to numerous BMX riders, he was also into the endurance side of the activity and would cycle from his residence for various miles to hit distinct parks in the course of the town. Inevitably, Juarez suggests, he felt like “the previous guy at the gates” at BMX competitions, so he began looking for a new problem. His knack for pedaling served him effectively when he transitioned out of that type of cycling and into mountain biking in the mid-eighties, soon starting to be a star in the burgeoning sport.

“After 15 a long time of using bikes with just a single equipment, it felt seriously great to have six gears on a mountain bicycle to decide on from,” Juarez suggests. “And the technological innovation in mountain biking was rising so fast. I appear back again and simply cannot consider what I was using in 1990 compared to what I ride nowadays. I never think I could at any time go back again to racing a 26-inch wheel yet again.”

Juarez put in many years at the best of the mountain-bicycle environment, carving out a area of interest for himself in approximately masochistic endurance functions. He owned the 24-hour solo mountain-bicycle classification in the early 2000s, winning dozens of grueling right away races and consecutive 24-hour solo national championships from 2001 to 2004.

More than 19 a long time following being inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame—an honor that commonly arrives following an athlete’s career is over—Juarez is still aggressive in endurance functions: he won the Maah Daah Hey 100 in the North Dakota Badlands in 2018 and topped the podium at the UCI Masters Mountain Bike Environment Championship in Quebec in 2019.

Juarez credits his late-career results to his reliable education schedule, which has him using day-to-day, tackling at least 300 miles and twenty,000 feet of elevation each week. He also commonly places in 3 long, 70-moreover-mile rides a week on his highway bicycle in the mountains outside L.A. Other times will see him executing hill repeats guiding his residence. “I’m generally pushing tough,” Juarez suggests. “I generally know that each working day could be my final opportunity to ride, so I never want to slash myself brief.”

This calendar year, Juarez’s schedule is as chaotic as at any time. Beginning in the spring, he’ll compete each and every weekend, largely in the pro division, and will test to protect his UCI masters environment championship in France this summer. He has races scheduled in Australia and Portugal, and he’s began dabbling in gravel functions, which he suggests fits his all-natural climbing means. At 58, Juarez suggests he still feels great—as long as he gets more than enough rest. The only time he feels his age is when he has to vacation to an intercontinental function: the time adjust, reduction of rest, and routine disruption wreak havoc on his performance. “If I simply cannot rest, I’m screwed,” Juarez suggests. “Racing for eight hours following being up all night time? You simply cannot have a terrible night time and race guys half your age.” Juarez combats shifts in his schedule by exhibiting up to intercontinental functions various times beforehand to give his body time to regulate.

Jet lag apart, Juarez feels great and sees no end in sight for his skilled mountain-bicycle career. “I guess using your bicycle is great for your health and fitness,” he suggests. “I’m still using tough races, and the only guys ahead of me are half my age. But I’m generally making an attempt to get.”

Direct Picture: Courtesy The Cyclery Bike Store