Event Recap and Photos by Steve Mondek
Over the weekend of August 17–19 the Tucker sales staff from regions five and 32 hosted a Dealer Appreciation Ride in the Taylor Park region of Colorado. For those of you that don’t know the area, Taylor Park boasts some of the best and most sought after single-track offroad riding in the entire state. The location (or base camp) for the event was Harmel’s Ranch Resort which is located along the Taylor River halfway between Gunnison and Crested Butte.
The event was six months in the making and came about as a result of a passion, desire, and need from dealers and the Tucker staff to resurrect the Malcolm Smith rides of old. It’s been some time since Tucker hosted a ride of this nature (in the region that is) and was long overdue. There were several different ways we could have approached the ride, but the decision was made to limit the number of spots available for the first year and ease into it to ensure success and build from there. That said the final headcount ended up at 40 and included dealers, vendors, and staff.
Dealers began to show up on Friday evening where they were greeted with a warm meal, happy hour, vendor’s row, and a top-notch swag bag. Saturday morning participants were treated to a breakfast buffet followed by a riders meeting led by Kent Stockman and Eric Croy. After that everyone headed out on the trail for a fun-filled day of epic mountain riding.
Riders were split into beginner, intermediate, and advanced groups and Eric and Kent were gracious enough to each lead a group along with local trail legends Mike Thuillier and Morrill Griffith. Each group rendezvoused mid-day at local rider/legend Steve Weidner’s cabin located at the base of Flag Mountain where he hosted lunch. If you’ve ever been on a Colorado 500 or Malcolm Smith ride throughout the years, then you’ve likely been served BBQ by Steve and his brother Dave.
After lunch, everyone worked their way down the mountain and back to Harmel’s Ranch where cold beer, dinner, and a warm bonfire consumed the rest of the evening. Sunday ran in a similar fashion with a breakfast buffet and more riding. Lunch was on your own as most people were packed up and on the road by 12:30-1:00pm.
In total there was 27 riders present representing 17 different dealerships. Numerous Tucker brands also participated and each of the following stepped up in a big way to help make the inaugural event a success: Pro Taper, Answer, 100%, Dunlop, Hinson, XTrig, KYB, Motorex, Muc-Off, and VP Lubricants. The Tucker marketing team donated POP for vendor’s row, as well as created and helped subsidize an awesome event t-shirt that each person in attendance was able to take home.
To say the ride (and weekend for that matter) was a success is an understatement. All the riders on hand got up and down the mountain safe, the weather was fantastic, and the stoke level among each person in attendance was off the charts. Based upon the reactions overheard from those in attendance (“It’s so awesome to see Tucker doing this!” “This was the best weekend ever!” “So great to meet the vendors!” “I haven’t had this much fun since 2010!” “Your hospitality was top notch!”) over the course of the three days, we have no doubt we’ll be back in 2019 with an even bigger and better second annual Tucker Colorado Dealer Appreciation Ride! A big thank you to the dealers and vendors that showed up and helped make this event a success.
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