Author: Mark Sevenoff

We all love to think it will never rain on our vacation, but we know the reality. We often say “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices!” Having been taking guests in the backcountry for nearly 30 years, we’ve worn our fair share of rain gear. “Whether it’s a quick-hitting spring hailstorm in Canyonlands National Park or a multi-day rain event at 12,000’ on the Colorado Trail, our guides need to be prepared and they need the best” says Western Spirit owner/guide Mark Sevenoff. “We’ve known about Showers Pass for years and are proud to get our guides kitted out for the season. Only when they’re feeling good and prepared can they do their #1 job of taking care of the guests.” Showers Pass rain gear is designed for the trail, both as a mountain biking rain shell and to double as protection when it is time to get your hands dirty putting the tire chains on an F450.

Showers Pass makes technically advanced cycling apparel and gear to inspire and enable the pursuit of outdoor adventure. All Elements Covered.
https://www.showerspass.com

Western Spirit Cycling has perfected week long bike trips for first timers to seasoned pros. For nearly 30 years we’ve shown folks the best week of their lives.
https://westernspirit.com

What is Outerbike?

With Spring Outerbike right around the corner we thought we’d share a little Outerbike history.  Outerbike is a consumer demo event dedicated to helping riders pick their next bike. It was founded by Western Spirit owners Ashely Korenblat & Mark Sevenoff of Moab, Utah. With changes in sales channels and continual improvements in design and technology, todays cyclists want to try new products and test ride bikes on real trails before they purchase.

For the first several years Outerbike took place each October at the MOAB Brands Trailhead. A few years later a spring event was added and then a summer venue in Whistler, BC followed by Crested Butte, Colorado.

The 2018 Outerbike schedule will be: Moab Spring Outerbike 4/6-8 Crested Butte Outerbike 8/17-8/19 Moab Fall Outerbike 10/5-10/7 Bentonville Outerbike 10/26-28

In 2018 Western Spirit will be partnering with the OZ Trails to bring Outerbike to Bentonville.  “The riding in Northwest Arkansas is truly world class and the OZ trails are a perfect place to test your dream bike” says Mark Sevenoff. 

“Outerbike is focused on one thing: providing world class demo opportunities for riders. We are working to give riders across the country a chance to get in on the action, and the amazing OZ Trails in Bentonville will be a great compliment to Outerbike in Crested Butte and Moab.” said Ashley Korenblat, CEO, Western Spirit Cycling. “By adding new dates and locations, more cyclists will have the chance to try before they buy and meet the companies directly.”

Outerbike events so far have attracted riders from all 50 states and 8 foreign countries. Cyclists start lining up at 7am  for the 9am Le Mans-style start into the exhibit area, and while the morning dash to the bikes is thrilling—before the weekend is over, everyone will have had a chance to try a wide variety of models. Several trails right from the Outerbike venues give riders a chance to compare bikes back to back on the same trails, while additional rides on nearby purpose built singletrack take place each day via shuttles.  In Crested Butte the chairlift starts spinning at 9am taking riders to the top to access the Evolution Bike Park and trails beyond.  Lunch is served to exhibitors and attendees under the big tent from Outerbike chef Ken Moody. Friday and Saturday’s beer garden is brought to you by our friends at the Moab Brewery ,Upslope Brewery  & Bike Rack Brewing.

Scot Nicol, of Ibis Cycles said, “Ibis has participated in every Outerbike since its inception. Outerbike is the perfect storm for manufacturers who want riders to try their bikes in real-world conditions that are essential to evaluating a bike’s capabilities. Held in world renown cycling destinations, Outerbike is not only fun, it provides an easy upgrade path for riders to determine which dream bike is going to be next for them. The format allows for test rides that are long enough and with enough varied terrain for a legitimate test. Customers frequently validate our participation by telling us ‘I bought my Ibis after test riding it at Outerbike’.”

“I know a great event and vibe when I see it. From the beginning Outerbike has manage to keep it all about riders who want to demo bikes. Outerbike is the best. There are other great independent events but few/none of them are as consistent year over year,” said Jordan Huckee from Orbea.

“The location!! Outerbike always does a great job of organization and the Crested Butte venue was icing on the cake!” said Tristan Brandt, Demo Coordinator, Pivot Cycles.

“We love the Outerbike events. They stand alone as a way for us to work directly with consumers. Outerbike is our favorite event,” says Ken Miner, Director of Sales Haibike USA. 

For more information, or to speak with Mark Sevenoff Contact: mark@westernspirit.com, 435-259-8732 .

Western Spirit Cycling is headquartered in Moab, UT, and runs multi-day bicycle tours and outdoor events on beautiful public lands throughout the country. Our trips cover a life-time of bucket list destinations whether you’re a first time beginner or a hard core expert. “If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do!”

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This season sees the Western Spirit guides putting 100%’s line of cutting-edge eyewear through its paces while guiding. While on the bike, 100% sport performance models such as Speedcraft and Speedcoupe will offer the clarity and protection our guides demand. “We’re stoked to bring new insights into the performance needs of our guides and guests and offer a refreshing perspective on the evolution of trail riding” says Western Spirit owner/guide Mark Sevenoff. “The guides are the heart and soul of our company and demand the very best. They’re outside seven days a week in the most extreme conditions you can imagine.” When traveling the West, or back at camp, they’ll be sporting active lifestyle models including the Centric & Type-S sunglasses.

About Western Spirit

Western Spirit is a cycling company who organizes road and mountain biking trips in our National Parks, National Forests and BLM lands. The trips range from mellow family-style outings to 5-day package rides above 10,000 feet on world-class single track. They also run product launches, press events and team building trips for corporations interested in giving their employees and corporate partners a challenging bike experience that will be both emotional and physical. It’s all about connecting people with their equipment, the trail, their guides and themselves.

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About 100%

The roots of 100% date back to the early 1980’s, when the popular logo graced the jerseys of the biggest stars in motocross. Thirty years later, the passion for the Spirit of Racing is greater than ever, being now an influential icon in mountain biking and cycling that inspires a whole new generation of racers, still asking them, “How much effort do you give?”

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Happy 2018 and welcome to a new year! We’re entering our 28th year in business based out of the mountain bike mecca of Moab, UT and have some great new things to share with you.

To start with we’d like to welcome two new employees to our office team. Many of you remember Eric Donley one of our senior guides from a few years back. Eric and his fiance moved down to Moab this fall and he will be helping to spearhead our sales and marketing team while doing a bit of guest guiding. If he happens to pick up the phone when you call you’ll be immediately at ease with his calm demeanor and friendly voice. Not to mention his keen knowledge of all our trips from his years in the backcountry.

Our amazing Operations Director Don Wiseman retired this December making room for Scott Greiner to fill his shoes. Scott moved here from Reno, NV and brings with him a wealth of experience from both guiding and organizational work in the adventure travel industry. We couldn’t be happier with our crew, but that’s not all. We’re also in the midst of a website refresh so in the next month be on the lookout for a fresh look and some exciting new online offerings.

On the physical side, we’re proud to continue our long-running partnership with Specialized bikes for the 17th season and will be upgrading our fleet to the 2018 Camber Comp for all mountain bike rentals. Just like some of the pro peloton, we’ll be running disk brakes on our all carbon Specialized Roubaixs this year as well. The Roubaix provides you with the tools you need to explore the road less traveled and we’re confident you’re going to love them.

On the vehicle side, we’re adding two more 15 passenger Ford Transit E350s to our growing fleet. After investing in two a few years back, we’re convinced they’re more comfortable, safer, easier to drive and with the twin turbo Ecoboost motor, even more powerful than our old V-10’s (thinking of a fully loaded trip climbing 7,000′ up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon). For our guests that just means you get to the trails in more comfort and more safely than ever before. We’ve been with Ford now for over 25 years and they like us so much they even featured us in a commercial last year!

Enough bragging for now, but you’ll be hearing more from us rest assured:) While there’s snow on the ground in Moab right now, it will all be melted before you know it and we’ll be gearing up for spring trips down south. Hope to ride with you this year and share some time around the campfire.

Cheers,

Mark Sevenoff

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Our Five Favorite Views Around Telluride

We have a couple of great trips involving the amazing town of Telluride, Colorado: Telluride to Durango and Telluride to Moab. What makes this town such a favorite among road and mountain bikers, travelers, socializers, and artists? Among other things, the views. Here are some of our favorites. 

Mt. Sneffels

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The view of the Mt. Sneffels wilderness area on the way out of the town is dramatic, to say the least. Each season offers a different color palate to highlight the contours of the stunning mountain ridges. Wildflowers, fall colors, and even snow adorn the landscape elegantly. This view provides a great start to Western Spirit’s Telluride to Moab trip. There are great hiking trails up to the summit and along the ridge too, for visitors looking to get up above town on foot.

Bridal Veil Falls

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This 365-foot cascade is the tallest waterfall in Colorado, located just a few miles outside of the town. Hiking trails provide the best view of the falls and the historic hydroelectric power plant that sits at the top. For a while, the falls were a well-known and very challenging ice-climbing destination, but now climbing is prohibited and we recommend just enjoying the view.

Top of Ski Resort

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The view from the top of Telluride ski resort provides the perfect multi-faceted view of a modern mountain town. You can hike or ride the gondola up and look down at the streets nestled in the box canyon. The man-made structures seem so tiny and insignificant compared to the breathtaking mountains that stretch across the horizon in all directions. This is one of my favorite views to put everything in perspective—either in life, or just when planning out your hikes and bike rides for the next few days.

The Night Sky

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Far away from city light pollution, Telluride is an amazing place to look up at the night sky. From a hammock, through a tent skylight, or simply from laying on the ground, you can’t beat an evening of stargazing after a long day of cycling. The alpine meadow at the top of the Galloping Goose railroad grade is one of my favorite spots to lay down and look up. We camp there on the first night of our trip from Telluride to Durango.

Main Street

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The town’s main drag is a colorful display of Victorian architecture that looks great against the mountain backdrop. Historic sites and stories line the street, with signs of the rich mining history, the more recent establishment of the ski industry and outdoor adventure travel, and the subsequent cultural ripening. Art galleries, boutiques, world-class restaurants, and spas provide plenty of activities for your days off from the trails.

While our trips around here are more on the difficult side, we recommend checking out the town and then working your way up with some of our easier trips first! Give us a call if we can help you make your plan.

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When to Start Planning a Biking Trip

People always ask us how far in advance they should plan their biking trip. Here’s some insight from our years of experience to help you decide.

When You Get Back From a Great Ride

After a good, hard training ride, we recommend a little cool-down stretch. Maybe you’ve got a whole post-ride ritual with water, snacks, or a logbook. Or maybe your rides aren’t as frequent as you’d like, but each time you get out there it reminds you of how much you love to spin those wheels. Whatever the case may be, channel your post-ride energy and inspiration into a little trip planning. Making plans now means you won’t have to later. Once you select your Western Spirit trip, our guides make all of the decisions, and all the food!

When You Need Something to Look Forward To

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If you’re feeling a little weighed-down by your everyday responsibilities, planning something exciting for the future can make a big difference! Check out our mountainroad, and family cycling adventures and then put one on the calendar! You can even use one of those handy countdown apps to keep you posted on how many days are left until your trip!

When You Want to Experience a New Place

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is no better way to see a new place than from the saddle of a bicycle. The perfect pace between walking and driving—cycling is slow enough to take in your surroundings and fast enough to cover some real distance. We love riding in the desert, the mountains, and on the coast. Lots of our rides even take you through very contrasting scenery. Nothing beats it.

When You Want to Get Together With Friends in a Unique Way

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Got a great group of friends who are sick of just sitting around eating and drinking together? Why not ride some bikes, and then eat and drink together? If you don’t see a trip in our catalog that looks perfect, give us a call and we can create one just for your crew. We’ve been doing this for years and would love to set up an experience that provides attainable challenge and maximum memory-making for everyone you invite.

Right Now!

There’s no time like the present! Give us a call at 435-383-1821 to start planning today. Whether you’re riding solo, with family, with friends, or with coworkers—if you’re looking to sight-see, push your physical limits, or just try something new, we’ve got the perfect trip for you.

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Why Telluride is The New Aspen

Aspen is a legendary, Rocky Mountain town, famous for its skiing, hiking, art, and distinct culture. But have you heard about Telluride, it’s slightly more secluded, just as epic cousin? Here are a few reasons why we think Telluride is the new Aspen.

Similar History

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The two cities have similar origins. Both were first inhabited by the Ute tribe, who hunted the land every summer. White settlers made their way into the valleys around 1870, in search of silver. The towns grew over the next twenty years or so, until the price of silver fell and populations dwindled into the early twentieth century. The terrain surrounding both towns makes it easy to imagine yourself venturing over mountain passages in search of wild game, and old mining structures keep memories of the silver age alive. These remnants of the past make significant contributions to the old-west feel of both Aspen and Telluride.

Ski Town Revival

After the boom and bust years of mining, it was “white gold” (snow) that finally started to bring people back into the two towns. In both cases, enterprising businessmen established ski resorts on some epic terrain, bringing adventure seekers back into town. It’s pretty safe to say that if someone lives in Telluride or Aspen, someone in their recent lineage was into doing challenging and fun things outside. This makes for an adrenaline-fed culture with plenty of outdoor adventure companions. When the snow melts, of course, many skiers take to their bikes, and ski trails often make for great mountain bike rides.

Smaller, Well-Kept Secret

Aspen Skiing Corporation was founded in 1946, and soon after became recognized as a premier international ski resort. Along with skiing came people from all over the world, which prompted the growth of businesses, restaurants, and boutiques, all with a very unique “wild west” appeal. The ski bums of the 60s and 70s stuck around to become the entrepreneurs of the 80s and 90s, and now Aspen is a full-on resort town. The natural beauty remains, but it’s not such a secret anymore. What used to be an escape from the bustle of everyday life has grown into somewhat of a mountain metropolis. There are still some great gems to discover, a bit out of town, and in the off-season. But personally, we’re a little more excited about Telluride these days.

The Telluride Ski Resort got started about 25 years after Aspen, so it hasn’t had as much time to be discovered. Today, Telluride’s population is still only about 2,000 residents (compared to Aspen’s 6,500 or so). But with similar geography, the culture of the place is similar to the culture that made Aspen famous. In addition to its fantastic outdoor appeal, Telluride is well-known for its Film FestivalJazz FestivalBlues & BrewsBluegrass Festival, and lots of newer festivals centered around things like wine and yoga. It’s an amazing destination with plenty of old western charm.

Check out Telluride the Western Spirit way—through the surrounding San Juan mountains on a journey to Durango, or out into Utah to our home in Moab. Call us today to start planning your trip!

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Four Active Family Vacation Ideas

As you get the kids ready for school and catch up on laundry from summer adventures, it’s a great time to start planning next summer’s activities! If your family is anything like mine, you have the best time when you’re active together. Vacations scheduled around physical activities can be challenging to plan and execute, but we’ve got some ideas to help you get your family outside next summer, or even before.

River Trips

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Time on the river is one of the best ways to unplug and enjoy the company of those around you. What you may not know is that there are a lot of different ways to enjoy the river—under the guidance of experienced adventurers. Whether your vessel of choice is a canoe, a kayak, or a raft, there is an outfitter that will make sure you have everything you need. Lots of them will join you for the journey and even take care of the cooking for you. Others have the option to rent all the gear you need and head out on your own. Try canoeing Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, kayaking the Colorado River, or rafting Westwater Canyon.

Surfing

If you want to let the water toss you around a bit more and get in a little beach time, try a surfing trip for your family! Living in Utah we love rivers and lakes, but some ocean time with the family is always amazing. Surfing is physically and mentally challenging, and fun for all ages. Our friends at WildMex offer surf and stay trips in Sayulita and Punta Mita, Mexico. We had a blast with them in Sayulita last year.

Hiking

Hiking is a great way to get the family together outdoors. You can set your own pace and keep things from getting too technical, or if you want a challenge, you can push it a little harder. If you’re up for rustic accommodations (tents) and minimal amenities (no showers!), multi-day backpacking trips are awesome. But if you’re just breaking into the art of family adventures, there are great places to visit, stay in town, and take day hikes. Of course we love Moab. In addition to hiking and admiring the breathtaking natural rock formations and canyons, you can dabble in world class biking and rock climbing. Telluride and Crested Butte, CO are two other fantastic natural playgrounds worth exploring.

Cycling

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Well, I have to admit, this is our favorite. And the reason we created Western Spirit Cycling Adventures. We want to help you and your family get out and enjoy the outdoors on two wheels. We have seen countless families make memories as they roll down picturesque descents and cheer each other on up challenging climbs. We have trips throughout the West, from Oregon to Idaho, through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. We offer a variety of trips for all skill levels, and if you don’t see one that looks perfect for your family, we can build a custom trip to fit your needs and occasion. Give us a call any time and we can start planning your adventure.

Whichever direction you choose, it’s never too early to set aside the time and start researching your trip.  Enjoy the rest of your summer, and prepare for another school year to fly by!

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The Grand Canyon is inarguably one of the most overwhelmingly beautiful places in the United States. Its magnitude, color palate, wildlife, and history have fascinated countless visitors for hundreds of years.

Rainbow Rim

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The North Rim of the canyon is a higher elevation than the South Rim, and provides our favorite views. The Rainbow Trail is surely a North Rim highlight not to be missed. It is 18 miles long and was designed and flagged by Ranger John Kneeling, of the North Kaibab Ranger District. He spent three months flagging the route to make sure the trail never rose or fell by more than nine degrees. This makes for attainable climbs and fun descents. The Rainbow Rim is a beautiful ride that’s doable for cyclists of varying levels of experience, and it’s one of my favorite parts of our Grand Canyon Mountain Bike Trip.

Arizona Trail Singletrack

The Arizona Trail runs along the east side of the canyon and provides dramatic views of its upper sedimentary rock layers. Millions of years of erosion have exposed these layers of Kaibab and Toroweap limestones, Coconino Sandstone, Hermit Shale, the Supai Group and Redwall limestone. The singletrack on the Arizona trail also winds through Ponderosa pine forests as it makes its way across the state, covering 800 miles of terrain.

River Trip

Seeing the canyon from above is one thing, but it is also pretty awesome to see the geological masterpiece from the perspective of the water. You need a permit to get on the river, so it’s best to find a guided outfitter to lead your trip. Ceiba Adventures is one of our favorite crews in the canyon, running custom trips that include whatever your group needs. They’ve been taking groups into the canyon for 30 years, so they know the ins and outs of the adventure.

North Rim Lodge

Every time we visit, my wife Ashley sits quietly for as long as she can on the porch of the North Rim Lodge. Don’t get me wrong, she is a force on the singletrack—but after a long day of riding or hiking, the view from the Lodge can’t be beat. If you’ve never seen it, it might sound cliché, but the sunset over the canyon is absolutely amazing to behold.

Hike the Bright Angel Trail

If you’re anything like me, you’ll see the canyon and want to hike down into it. I’ll caution you to remember that what goes down must come back up. Canyon hiking is interesting this way! The Bright Angel Trail was one of the first trails down into the canyon and an awesome way to get down into it. Just bring plenty of water, and expect the way up to be much more challenging than the way down. There are great views all along the way, so you can turn around at any point and still have a great hike. The National Parks Service issues stern warnings not to attempt to hike from the rim to the river and back in one day.

Visit Phantom Ranch

If you take the Bright Angel Trail all the way down to the bottom of the canyon, you’ll find the Bright Angel Campground and Phantom Ranch. If you want to hike from the rim to the river, you’ll want to camp at the bottom before hiking back out. Space at the ranch is very limited, and reservations are required. You’ll need to book about a year ahead of time. But it’s well worth it to sleep in a rustic cabin on the banks of the Colorado River, at the bottom of a geological masterpiece. Keep in mind that the hike out is not for the faint of heart!

The Grand Canyon deserves a spot on every bucket list, and these are just a few of my favorite ways to enjoy it. The National Parks Service and GrandCanyon.com are great resources for more information about the park. And of course, we’d love to take you there on a Western Spirit Adventure.

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All About Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater rafting is a thrilling, fun, and unique way to get outside and connect with friends and loved ones. When we think of rafting, I think most of us picture big rapids and major adrenaline rushes. While there are plenty of ways to up-level your rafting experience, there are also plenty of opportunities for guided beginner rafting experiences. Whether you’re looking for an idea for a week-long family vacation, a shorter retreat for coworkers, or a reunion for old friends, rafting is a great safe and team-oriented way to bring your group together.

Where to Go

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Rafting outfitters take trips all over the country. The Grand Canyon is probably the most popular rafting destination in the United States, but there are great rivers to run in Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, West Virginia, Maine, North Carolina, and lots of other places in between.

When to Raft

Rafting season is generally in the summer. Rocky Mountain rafting outfits typically operate from about May to September, but conditions definitely vary based upon how much snow fell over the winter. Particularly snowy winters result in higher water levels in the rivers, meaning the water flows faster and can require varying skill levels to navigate.

How Do I Know How Difficult a Trip Will Be?

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For your first handful of trips I definitely recommend choosing an experienced rafting outfitter. Our favorite Moab outfit is Canyon Voyages Adventure Co. These experienced guides can help you select the perfect trip for your group. Rapids are rated on a Roman numeral system, ranging from Class I to Class VI. Class I rapids are mellow and easy, with clear passages and small waves. Class VI rapids are turbulent waterfalls that even experienced rafters should stay away from. As you get a couple of trips under your belt, you’ll get a feel for what Class I—Class III rapids are like.

Guides provide all the instruction you need to get started. Once you’re in the boat, your whole group will work together to maneuver and steer the boat down the river. It’s a great way to practice clear communication and teamwork, and any reputable guiding company will take care of all the safety concerns. So decide where, when, and who, and then connect with an outfit in your area to start planning your adventure. Have fun! And if you plan to come to Moab, be sure to stop by our office and say hi!

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