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What’s A Guide To Do?

So, you may think the most significant, most rewarding part of being a mountain bike guide is getting paid to ride bikes. While that is pretty awesome, in my opinion, the most fulfilling part of the job by far is helping others enjoy the sport. Guiding is a 24/7, all hands on deck, gig. We’re used to fixing flats, diving headfirst into the cooler to grab pickle juice when someone starts cramping, running after tents through the desert (that may not have been properly staked down) in a windstorm – haven’t you heard, camping can be pretty “in-tents”!! – and coaching folks though challenges faced on the trail from sunup to sundown. At this point, it feels like helping people is something I’m just programmed to do.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, now confined to the living room and backyard, I’m feeling a bit useless. As someone who thrives off of post-ride high fives and putting a tasty meal out on the table for my group to enjoy while chatting about the day on the trail – it’s been tough. Of course, I am very fortunate that my worries seem pretty minor in the broader scope of things.

So, I wanted to share a few bike-related tips, tricks and resources that have helped me get through this difficult time – with the hopes it will make your day just a little bit better!

  1. Build a Manual Machine
    It Will help your riding skills on the trail, and garner style points at the trailhead parking lot, which is arguably more important, all from your backyard!

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    Manual Machine Build video

  2. Chef It Up
    Prepare something that you’ve always wanted to try making at home, but never quite made the time. I finally made homemade pasta for the first time, and it worked! You’ll be hungry after practicing those wheelies – I promise.
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  3. Yoga
    Stretch it out. Yoga is a great tool to build strength, flexibility and balance. All super useful out on there trail, and for injury prevention!
    Pinkbike has a great series, specifically for mountain bikers – Yoga With Abi
  4. Give your bike some love
    Some call it Youtube University… You can find lots of instructional videos out there on the web on all sorts of bike fixes. Buy parts from local shops that remain open, and lots are doing call ahead / curbside service! If you’re like me, and not incredibly naturally mechanically inclined, you may have to hit replay just a couple of times.
  5. Virtual Happy hour
    Host a happy hour on Skype, Zoom, or Facetime. If you’re missing post-ride beverages with your crew, put on your helmet and riding glasses to make it feel like the real deal. (Plant and hand sanitizer, optional but recommended)
  6. Turn your favorite trail view into a puzzle
    Then do it! Shutterfly – Custom Puzzles
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  7. Build A Custom Bike Online
    Put together the custom bike of your dreams on Fanatik’s Custom Bike Builder – no purchase necessary, but it can be tempting!
  8. Plan Your Next Bike Vacation
    Things may be uncertain right now, but one thing is for sure – bikes will always be fun and the trails aren’t going anywhere! Chat with one of our Trip Experts to get the ball rolling for your next Western Spirit bike trip!

One of my favorite and more unexpected perks of my job as a guide is that I have learned A LOT from the awesome folks I have taken on bike rides. As much as I’ve gotten to share with people, it’s all come full circle. So, in that spirit, send us your ideas!

Happy Trails,
Kate Pearce
Western Spirit Guide & Sales Manager

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Comments (11)

  • Your comment about making your own pasta reminded me of this old BBC video from 4/1/1957–a truly GREAT story. It’s good to be able to create your own, for the next Spaghetti Crop failure. I hope to get out to ride with you someday.

  • Thanks, Kate. Enjoyed your suggestions. I believe you guided my group on the Lolo Trail. Great trip.

  • Hi Kate
    Thanks so much for the info.
    Great stuff!
    I had so much fun in Fruita last year with you and Zach
    Great times
    Can’t wait to reschedule for this fall when this is over
    Stay safe and I look forward to seeing the WS crew soon
    Take care
    Rick

  • Hi Kate, thanks for the tips. I hope that you are happy and healthy in the days ahead
    Steve

  • Thanks for this post Kate! Uplifting ideas. I have been doing some of them already along, with riding daily at our local trails and practicing skills. I like the photo with your helmet and glasses. Thanks for the positive message and info.

  • Thanks for the post. We are supposed to go on my wife’s 50 birthday bike ride in June in the Grand Canyon. God I hope we get to do it. So much craziness and we had to stop one other trip. Not complaining loudly, we both have our health and family. Hope to be able to do the trip and maybe meet you.
    Kris

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