Earlier this month, the Biden Administration launched the America the Beautiful Initiative, a ten-year, locally led, voluntary effort to restore and conserve America’s lands, waters, and wildlife. This program was inspired by the goal of preserving 30% of America’s lands and oceans by 2030, dubbed the “30×30” initiative.
The goal is to make real progress on the climate crisis by protecting ecosystems and keeping more land in its natural state. By doing this, we can capture more metric tons of CO2, while simultaneously protecting wildlife habitat and providing more places for people to recreate. America the Beautiful is a nationwide project that incorporates existing efforts to protect and conserve land, while also encouraging new ones.
This effort focuses on both the quantity of land preserved – by adding some level of protection to federal, state, county, or private undeveloped land – and the quality of protections for the land; for example, bills that upgrade federally-owned BLM land to a National Recreation Area, or, if the acres qualify, to a designated Wilderness area. While the America the Beautiful initiative does include many such proposals, these areas have been examined by the bike community and no existing bike trails would be closed.
In fact, the America the Beautiful initiative is much more likely to provide additional acreage of all types where new bike trails can be built. Much of the emphasis is on providing access to natural places to more people, and this means more trails near more cities. With a nationwide push to preserve open space, we can protect the trails we already have and gain land to build new ones, and everyone in the biking community will benefit.
Tags: #AmericaTheBeautiful, #mountainbiking, #OutdoorRecreation, #PublicLands, #WSC, #WSCGuide
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:
- 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.
- 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:
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Tags: #familycamping, #itsbetterwithaguide, #moab, #mountainbiking, #westernspirit, #WSCGuide