Author: Mark Sevenoff

10 Health Benefits of Cycling

In case you haven’t heard, this cycling thing is pretty good for you. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially, spending some good time spinning on two wheels is sure to improve your quality of life. Here’s how:

Fresh Air

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Getting outside is a surefire way to keep your system functioning optimally. Fresh air in your lungs and a little sun on your skin increases levels of vitamin D and invigorates your cardiovascular system.

Weight Management

This might be an obvious one, but cycling burns calories and regulates your energy and appetite. Cycling is especially great for weight management because cycling workouts tend to be longer than others, like running or weight lifting. Working out for a longer period of time at varied levels of intensity helps to keep your body in fat-burning mode for longer, including after your workout.

Stress Management

Stress reduction is a by-product of many of the other benefits on this list—and it’s an important thing to consider in our busy, technology-ridden lives. Any form of exercise is known to reduce stress by balancing brain chemistry and increasing physical well-being.  Cycling in particular is a great stress buster because it is achievable and attainable for people of varying levels of fitness. Cycling provides significantly less physical impact to your body than other sports like running, making it a perfect activity to ease into.

Social Bonding

Cycling is awesome because you can do it alone or with friends. If you need some time to yourself, head out for a quiet ride. Or, if you’re feeling like a more social interaction, plan a trip with friends, or just a morning ride to a favorite restaurant for brunch. Connecting with friends and family in this different context helps to deepen relationships and create meaningful bonds.

Strength Development

Cycling makes you strong! The leg workout might be most obvious, but cycling is actually a pretty comprehensive workout. If you pay attention (and want to improve) you can increase core strength, and even your upper body. It’s great cross training for other sports, like running, swimming, and skiing.

Sense of Accomplishment

There’s nothing like making it to the top of a hill on a bike to make you feel accomplished! The tasks in your life may be a little more complicated to tackle, so why not build a few hill climbs into your days, your weeks, your summer?

Endorphin Boost

It’s no secret that exercise sends feel-good chemicals to your brain. Endorphins released by exercise improve mood, decrease stress, and increase our capacity for connection with others. Once again, these benefits last long after your ride is finished.

Time away

Stepping away from your desk, your phone, your family, and the laundry can all help you return to your tasks with a fresh mind and more balanced perspective. This will make you more effective in all areas of your life, and prevent the accumulation of stress over time. It’s simple, really. Just a little bike break goes a long way.

Mental Agility

Just like crossword puzzles and adult coloring engage different parts of your brain, focusing your mind on physical coordination helps to keep it balanced and healthy as you age. Cycling keeps your brain connections firing on all cylinders.

Perseverance

In case you ever question your ability to grow and improve, to stick with a challenge, or to learn something new, you can always hop on your bike and track your progress. I would venture to say it’s impossible to commit to regular training and not see changes in your experience on and off your bike. These little rewards can keep us going through the challenges in life, and remind us of what we are capable of!

So plan your trip, start your training program, hop on your bike, and get ready to see the ripples through all aspects of your health.

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Here in Utah, in the midst of February’s blustery winter weather, we’ve been daydreaming quite a bit about shorts weather and the activities that come along with it. If you’re also catching yourself daydreaming about beautiful sunny weather and thinking about heading out on a bike trip later this year, we’ve compiled ten good reasons why you definitely don’t need to hire a bike guide.

  1. You’re excited to cook your own dinner after an 8 hour day in the saddle.

It was a longer day than you expected, with a few wrong turns that led to a lot of extra miles. You had an early lunch and have been eagerly anticipating your freeze dried dinner. You roll into camp, 3 hours later than expected, lightheaded and stomach growling. You think about sitting back and relaxing but instead, you remember you have the pleasure of cooking dinner yourself as a perfect cap to the long, long day. 

  1. You’ll have the opportunity to troubleshoot a new mechanical problem, right as the sun starts to set. 

You’re always up for a mechanical challenge! The past few days have been going great, no major issues, no flats, no hiccups, and thus you convince yourself to push the extra 10 miles to camp. After all, luck has definitely been on your side this trip. Around 7:30pm you’re a few short miles to camp and it’s an all downhill technical trail from here. Suddenly your dropper post is stuck in the highest position and won’t go down. What a fun opportunity!

  1. You can make up your own stories and unique facts about the landscape.

You’re a storyteller. You always have an answer to share at weekly trivia (whether it’s right or not). Therefore, even though you haven’t been to the area you’re biking through, you can convince almost anyone about the history of the land with elaborate details made up by yours truly. Who needs to know the actual factual history of the land anyway? 

  1. You’ll get to ride the road or trails most traveled since that’s where the Outside Online article told you to go. 

The article was “The Next Great Undiscovered Adventure Hubs” and it showed up as the lead story that went out to Outside’s 350,000 Dispatch newsletter subscribers. The narrative and descriptive language brought this destination to the top of your bucket list. You show up a few months later prepared for a real adventure, only to find yourself standing next to dozens of like-minded, like-looking adventure seekers ready to take on this adventure, which will include following one another turn after turn and flip flopping for days. 

  1. You get to weight-train by carrying your own gear, beer, and food for your multi-day trip. 

Your pack might weigh more than your suitcase when you went on a month-long trip to Europe a few years ago, but that doesn’t bother you – you’re looking forward to the extra workout. Halfway through your trip after your tenth technical ascent, you start giving away cans of beer to anyone you run into, in the hope that dropping those ounces might get you up the next big climb with a bit more ease.

  1. You enjoy putting yourself in stressful, uncomfortable situations way over your comfort level.

Walking your bike is part of the fun, right? It doesn’t bother you to walk your bike 4+ miles on trails that are way over your ability and comfort level. That’s what mountain biking is all about, right?

  1. You took a first aid class 10 years ago.

You are prepared. You have vague memories from a first aid class you took back in college that will definitely come back if you get yourself into a tricky situation. You’ll absolutely remember what to do if your partner falls and you have to stop excessive bleeding from their knee and elbow. You got this, saving their life is all part of the adventure.

  1. You enjoy being glued to your phone to follow the GPS directions and trail maps.

Your partner often jokes that you’re “addicted to your phone” which you always just laugh off. For your upcoming trip, you are glad, however, that your eyes won’t have to take a screen time break since you’ll be required to have your phone with you to check your map and gps signal to make sure you aren’t getting lost. It’s not that you couldn’t leave your phone behind (remember: not addicted), it’s that you need it too much for your safety. 

  1. You enjoy spending half the day in your car setting up a shuttle. 

Half the fun of a bike adventure is the part where we squeeze too many bikes and people into one car to leave the shuttle vehicle. We all get to drive to the end location and then double back to the start, spending half the day getting car sick on windy roads so that we can enjoy the epic ride.

  1. You love making online reservations through Recreation.gov

Who wouldn’t enjoy sitting in front of their computers waiting to compete with thousands of other adventurers for those prized White Rim campsites. Never mind those conspiracy theories of bots grabbing the best sites milliseconds after they come available. After all we used to score Bon Jovi tickets on Ticketmaster no problem! And if we strike out, surely they’ll be some scalpers just outside the park boundaries when we get there for my wife’s 40th birthday trip. She’ll understand if we just end up doing some Ahab laps with the crew.

And there you have it, 10 reasons you definitely don’t need to hire a bike guide for your upcoming trip. If for some crazy reason after reading this you think, “wait, maybe a guide sounds nice” then head over to WesternSpirit.com and inquire today about one of their many customized, fully supported trips that are available for all levels of riders and in some of the country’s top (lesser known) riding locations.

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100% and Western Spirit Cycling Join Forces

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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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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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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Kicking off the New Year at Western Spirit Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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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Outdoor Summer Vacation Ideas for the Family

Looking for something a little different to do with your family this summer? How about investing some time and energy into developing a skill that you can all enjoy together? Learning and having adventures together are guaranteed to make meaningful memories with your loved ones—and there are usually plenty of laughs along the way. Here are a few of our favorite activities that make for great family vacations, and some even include a pastime that you can enjoy together all year round!

Mountain Biking

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It might be obvious, but this is our favorite activity. Intimidating to some, but loved by many, mountain biking is the perfect way to bring your family together and keep everyone happy and healthy for a lifetime! Kids and adults of all ages get a thrill out of cycling through deserts, canyons, forests, and mountains. Beginners and experienced cyclists can find a great summer adventure with Western Spirit, and if you’ve got a group of mixed abilities, we can accommodate that as well. Our family trips provide lots of additional activities along the way, including fishing, hiking, and swimming. A trip together can ignite or deepen your connection to mountain biking, which will continue to bring challenge and adventure to you and your family for years to come.

River Trips

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River trips are another great way to get your family together outside this summer. If you’ve got some experience on the water, but could use some help getting your gear and provisions together, check out an outfitter like Ceiba Adventures. They operate out of Flagstaff, AZ and can set you up with the whole shebang—everything you need to take your family through the Grand Canyon.

If you’re looking for a more intense and guided river trip, Canyon Voyages Adventure Co takes groups on awesome guided day trips. They’re based in Moab and they join us on our river kayak and mountain bike combo trip. From the Green River to the White Rim, this trip is the best way to see the canyons from every angle. This trip isn’t specifically designed for families with young kids so if you’re looking to get your little ones on the river, try one of Canyon Voyages’ day trips from Moab.

Rock Climbing and Mountaineering

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Immerse yourself in natural history and geology, while using your mind and strength to defy gravity. Sounds like a great way to bring the family together, right? Everybody brings something different to their first rock climbing experiences. Asking for more than brute strength, families are often surprised at how naturally their kids take to scrambling up sandstone. For adults, with or without prior rock climbing experience, guided trips provide all the support, equipment, and education you need to have fun, rewarding, and safe climbing experiences. Moab Cliffs and Canyons has unique trips centered around “Rockaneering,” which combines their favorite aspects of rock climbing, canyoneering, and mountaineering into family friendly excursions.

So get outside this summer! Let nature be the backdrop for your photos and memories together. Contact our team with questions here.

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Six Fun Things to do at the Grand Canyon

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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Are you tired of planning family vacations? Are you the one in charge of all the meal planning, lodging, rentals, activities, and transportation? Isn’t vacation about getting away from all of this? 

We think so! 

Join us on a fun-filled, all-inclusive, family vacation without all the planning. All you need to do is show up, jump on a bike, and pedal away with us into the sunset. We have it all covered at Western Spirit, saving you from the dreaded reservation and travel websites you’ve been scrolling through the past few months.

Whether you are just getting into biking, or you’ve been ripping for years, Western Spirit has a trip for you. We guide rides all across the country, including 11 national parks, ranging in difficulty from introductory to advanced. We also offer fantastic accommodations for all of our trips, so the only thing you’ll be thinking about is the ride ahead! 

What really is included with an all-inclusive biking experience with Western Spirit? 

Every trip we offer comes with that coveted ‘all inclusive’ experience you’ve been looking for. No need to pack meals, drinks, or sunscreen – we got you covered! Our experienced guides have your best interests in mind, helping to make the experience one you’ll always remember. That means all campsites, shuttles, National Parks Passes, and food is covered – even cowboy coffee when you wake up! The only thing you have to bring is the beer, the right clothes, and a great big smile. At the end of a long day of riding, there are few things better than a cold drink, a sweet snack, and a fully cooked meal. The Western Spirit famous backcountry brownies are also included!

A truly underrated feature that is included in a trip like this is planning and organization. If you have ever planned a backcountry trip of any kind, you know what it takes to make everything come together seamlessly. Our guides have it all covered, from meals, to packing, and cooking to camping reservations and breaking down tents. A Western Spirit trip is about riding in incredible locations with those you love, like these folks!

Another underestimated aspect of Western Spirit trips is the escape from reality. On our trips, your guides are able to create an atmosphere that lets guests truly ‘sign off’ from their everyday lives. While the cell service is spotty (yay!), groups always have a great time and enjoy the break from reality with daily doses of breathtaking views, morning coffee chats, and many miles ridden.  Past guests often talk about how WS trips offer a spiritual recharge and a perfect escape from the everyday hustle. 

Can the kids come? 

Yes, bring the kids! We offer awesome trips for your youngsters and teens that are tailored to their age and riding abilities. One of our favorites is the White Rim teens trip, action-packed with trail rides, slot canyon hikes, afternoon swim breaks in the Colorado River, and some of the best views Canyonlands has to offer. In total there are 50+ trips to choose from – why not explore them all!

Who makes it all happen? 

Our incredible guides are like swiss army knives of bike trips. They do it all! Our guides will be your backcountry:

  • Bike mechanic
  • Adventure locator
  • Gourmet chef
  • BFF
  • Doctor
  • Photographer 
  • Travel assistant
  • Trail leader
  • Encyclopedia
  • Hot springs locator 
  • Side adventure guru
  • Storyteller (if you’re lucky)

These folks have spent more time on two wheels than most people spend on four, making them the perfect people for all things biking. 

If you’re ready to ditch the headache of trip planning, and are past the days of dirtbag vacations, and are prepared to experience a trip like no other, come join us on one of our super fun and unique adventures. Make 2021 the year that you find a vacation that lets you be active, have fun outside, and  let the whole family enjoy riding beautiful trails! 

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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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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

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

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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Starting in mid-March, just in time for the Western Spirit season to kick off, we introduced our Ask a Guide Facebook Series. The goal of this series is to answer the questions YOU have about what a Western Spirit Guided Cycling trip entails. Each episode features a different topic with different Western Spirit staff and guides answering questions, giving you an opportunity to also get to know the people behind the scenes. To-date we’ve recorded four of these Ask a Guide episodes and if you missed them, check them out in detail below. 

Tune in every other Thursday to learn more about our guided bike trips and if there’s a topic you’re curious about, feel free to drop it in the comments and we’ll be sure to add it to the show lineup.

Episode 1: What IS a bike trip?

In this episode, Mark Sevenoff, co-founder of Western Spirit Cycling and Sean Hayes, a longtime Western Spirit guide from Harleysville, PA and member of the sales team talk about “What IS a bike trip?” They answer questions such as, “What’s included?”, “What’s the food like?”, “How do I choose the right trip?” and maybe the most important question of all, “Where do I go to the bathroom?” During the live video, other audience questions included:

  1. Q: What is the best sales pitch to have my wife buy into your trip? A: Maybe tell her about the Backcountry Hot Springs Bike Trip in Ketchum, ID? During this intermediate and fully supported mountain bike trip you’ll get to enjoy clear natural hot springs at every camp! We begin our trip in Ketchum, Idaho and bike to the edge of the Sawtooth Wilderness Area. Imagine riding a mountain bike over a mountain pass surrounded by wildflowers and then cruising into the valley below to spend the evening in a clear steaming natural hot spring. Just when you think it can’t get any better, we arrive at the tiny town of Atlanta, Idaho below the dramatic shadow of Mount Greylock. During our layover day in Atlanta you can choose to hike into the Sawtooth Wilderness, ride the singletrack to Grouse Lakes, or simply soak in one of the three hot springs for the whole day. The riding on this mountain bike trip is primarily on dirt roads. Climbing to the top of each pass is a good workout, but the descents on the other side make it all worthwhile. 
  2. Q: Can I ride with my own clips? A: Yes! You can bring your own pedals and shoes and the guides will happily put them on for you

Looking for more general info about bike trips? Check out our FAQ page which is sure to answer any and all additional questions you may have. 

Episode 2: New Riders & Bike Vacations

In episode number two of our Facebook Live Ask a Guide” Series, Sean Hayes returns with second year guide Britney Charme to talk about new riders and bike vacations.

Questions like, “Who should I go with?,” “What do I need to bring?,” and “Will I have to fix my own bike?” are all answered in this episode. If you’re new to riding, check out our full list of introductory trips available this summer. One question that came out of the live video:

  1. Q: What is the average MPH on these intro rides anyway? A: Mark replied with, 7.77 mph is just about perfect.

Are you more of a checklist person and looking for more of a written rundown of what’s included in a Western Spirit trip? Check out our What’s Included page to get the full overview.

Episode 3: Family Trips

In this episode of our Ask a Guide series, Adam Rosenfeld and Mark Sevenoff talk all about Western Spirit family trips. They answer some of the most popular questions regarding these types of trips such as, “How young can we start them?” and “Are s’mores offered every night  – or just the last one?” One question and response that came out of the video was:

  1. Q: What’s the best part of a family trip? A: As a mom, the best thing about going on a family trip is getting to enjoy your kids while the guides do all the cooking and cleaning and organizing and even most of the kid wrangling!

Check out all of our Family Trip options available this summer – either our trips for Younger Kids or our trips for Teens!

Episode 4: Advanced Singletrack Trips

In our most recent episode, senior guides Weston Shirey from Park City, Utah and Justina Liss from Back River, MI talked about our advanced singletrack tours. They’re both expert riders that guide a variety of our tours but really shine on the more challenging ones. In this video they discussed what to expect from this type of trip and answered a few audience questions.

  1. Q: I am wondering about tours that include hikes. Do people bring their hiking shoes or ride with them? A: On any trips that include hikes most people keep their walking shoes in the truck until the hike. But some folks use the same shoes as they ride in.
  2. Q: Does the Prescott Singletrack trip use groovers or established campgrounds? A: 3 nights are at established Forest Service campgrounds and one night is spent at a dispersed site with a groover.

We’ll continue to update this blog post with future episodes to hopefully answer all of the questions you have about our guided bike trips! If you have any immediate questions, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll get back to you shortly. If you want to hear more about our trips from outside sources, check out our customer reviews. Follow along with the Western Spirit season on Instagram at @western_spirit, Facebook at Western Spirit Cycling Adventures and Twitter at @western_spirit.

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