The history of Western Spirit
The early days: Burb and bar ends
“Back in the day”, as our oldest guides say, Western Spirit Cycling was founded by a charismatic mad bike rider named Lu Warner. It was 1989, Lu couldn’t get enough of riding his bike and decided he should impart some of his joy on the masses. He acquired a Suburban, dubbed “the burb”, and a couple of guides and started taking people around the White Rim. Now Lu can be found in some semi-state of retirement in Crested Butte, CO, but his vision was just the beginning.
Ashley Korenblat bought Western Spirit in 1997 and since then has spent many days riding unknown trails creating the plethora of trips that Western Spirit now offers. Ashley is a graduate of Dartmouth and Tuck Business School, a former bike racer, former wall street captive and possessor of entrepreneurial spirit. She was president of Merlin during the titanium mountain bike heyday and served as the IMBA President working to sustain trail availability to everyone. Combine all that with the desire for a Moab lifestyle and an alternative view of a fulfilling career path, and you have the perfect recipe for the owner of a cycling tour company.
Enter Mark. Mark is our charming, wicked-fit, voice of reason, miraculously lured from his ski town tradition to live in the desert. Ashley and Mark got married in 2000 and now run the company together.
All of us in the office have worked outdoors and are familiar with what you will experience on a Western Spirit trip. At any given time when you call you can talk to someone who has been on any trip that interests you. That’s because we love to be out there too!
The guides "training" in Moab, Utah
At Western Spirit, the staff is the heart of our company. Our guides love what they do and are dedicated to providing you with a memorable vacation. Each of them has received extensive training in backcountry travel, cooking, natural history, and first aid, not to mention their cycling and mechanical skills. They are committed to the outdoors and have a great deal of knowledge and experience. Their attention to every detail leaves you free to enjoy the riding.
Lizard Head Pass, Telluride CO
In our busy world, we often don’t get to be outside enough. Even if you do, there’s some phenomenon that just makes you want more. Nothing like going somewhere to make you realize all the other places you still need to go! Traveling outside makes you see Mars when it’s the closest to earth it’ll ever be, makes you smell the fragrant lupine covering the mountain slope, makes you feel the wind, see the perfect sunset, catch an eclipse of the moon, experience the herd of elk in the alpine meadow, and start to tell time by the location of the moon in the night sky.
What’s that all worth in our busy world? Well, it is our world.
On all of our tours, we strive to protect our fragile mountain and desert environments. Many of our campsites are remote and unimproved, and we seek to leave them better than we found them.
Western Spirit Cycling strongly supports the International Mountain Bicycling Association. With the right to ride on public lands comes a responsibility to preserve those lands for future generations. You can hold up your end of the bargain by joining IMBA. Once you are an IMBA member, your bike flies for free on selected airlines.
We have nothing but praise and admiration for the incredible photographers who have contributed to this web site. We are constantly awed by their talent. Our profound thanks to:
Anne Keller, Whit Richardson, Mike Schirf, Sandra Salvas, Chris Barlow, Chris Giles, Stephen Trimble, John Humphries, Chris Gardner, Glenn Oakley, Piper Watson, Gary Colet, Marc Weinstein, Clint Bogard, Stephanie Hager, Jim Kimble, Russ Aubertine, John Minor, Larry Baldwin, Jeff Troutman, Carl Nasr, Nancy Whyte, Erik Proano, JC Coughlin, John Thomson and Karen Kefauver.
Western Spirit Cycling, Inc. operates under special use permits from the USDA Forest Service in the Boise, Coronado, Dixie, Grand Mesa, Gunnison, Kaibab, Manti La Sal (Moab and Monticello Ranger Districts), San Juan, Sawtooth, Uncompahgre, Salmon-Challis, Clearwater, Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Caribou-Targhee, Black Hills, Coconino National Forest, Mount Hood, Gifford Pinchot, Umpqua, Nantahala, White Mountain, Monongahela, and Pisgah National Forests and by Dakota Prairie Grasslands. As well as under permits issued by the Bureau of Land Management in the San Juan Resource Area; Henry Mountain Field Station; Moab, Arizona Strip and Grand Junction Field Offices; Grand Staircase National Monument; and by Bryce, Zion, Capitol Reef, Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, Glacier, Mount Rainier, and Redwood national parks. Western Spirit is a concessionaire in Canyonlands National Park.
Western Spirit and the Environment
Western Spirit and Sustainability
Western Spirit Giving Back
USDA Non Discrimination Statement
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call 202-720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA Forest Service is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Western Spirit Cycling – The Best Cycling Tour Company In The United States