It won’t be long before 900 cubic yards of dirt being moved in the Gardnerville Ranchos’ Mitch Park will be molded into a group of bicycle pump tracks.
The tracks are a sort of motocross track for bicycles, similar to one in Truckee, according to Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District Manager Bob Spellberg.
He said the project, including two beginner tracks, an intermediate track and an advanced track, may be done as soon as next week.
Spellberg said the track was designed by Coloradan Lee McCormack.
“He’s the guru of pump tracks,” Spellberg said. “We invited him to bid on the project and he sent one in.”
The entire project will cost $60,000, including design, dirt, construction and the irrigation system needed to keep the dirt in place.
“You have to specialize the water system because you water the track to keep the dirt from cracking,” Spellberg said.
The irrigation system will be built this winter, but won’t be operated until the weather warms up again.
The start hill itself consists of 200 cubic yards of dirt, similar to that used for the Truckee tracks. The pump tracks will take up an acre of the 20-acre park behind the Gardnerville Ranchos Volunteer Fire Department on Mitch Drive.
Spellberg said he has rules for a Reno pump track he proposes implementing at the Ranchos tracks, including the requirement that riders wear a helmet.
He said body armor might also be a good idea.
“Some of the expert jumps are fairly high,” he said.
The pump track is part of the Mitch Park plan for a family oriented park.
“Ranchos Aspen is all sports-oriented,” Spellberg said. “This park is totally family oriented, it’s different. That’s what we’re trying to achieve.”
While not as spectacular as the pump track, the district planted an acre of lawn over the summer near the gazebo.
Last year saw the opening of the two-acre fishing pond, which Spellberg said has been stocked twice in the last two weeks with rainbow trout.
“Bass have spawned in there twice,” he said.
The park also features a children’s playground, a climbing rock for smaller children, tennis courts, picnic tables and a gazebo.
There is also a dog-friendly walking and equestrian trail around the perimeter of the park.
Spellberg said lots of people use the walking trail, and he sees a few horses, which are permitted in older sections of the community, on the trail.
There’s even a spot for people who just want to find a spot to sit and relax.
“We set a lattice up, and put some vines around it,” he said. “The benches are in there where people can come in and sit and read a book or watch the mountains.”
Despite all the improvements, there is still a lot of available land in Mitch Park and Spellberg is already looking to the next improvement.
“It could be a basketball court behind the fire station,” he said.
Mitch Park is open dawn to dusk.