We used to put up many of our tours at Camelot Lodge which, sadly, no longer is in biz. They were located on the far side of Hurrah Pass on the Colorado River. Took a spirt of adventure just to get there! We rode our bikes all over that end of the Moab Desert and then some. Included in each tour was a camel ride. The guy in this photo is Brad who was one of our first guests. He has been here many times and we still stay in touch. He’s a very cool guy and if you look carefully he’s wearing bike clothes…he’s not the hairy one. Not as much fun as sand boarding, but a real change of pace from mountain biking.
We got a call from my team mate, Scott Anfang, who taught with me at snowboard school in Steamboat Springs. Scott ended up heading up the snowboard school and is also a long time member of the US Snowboard Demo Team. He wanted to know if I had an old beater board I would loan to one of his mates from the Demo Team. This hot dog wanted to ride down the steep sand dune north of Moab across from Arches National Park. (You drive past it anytime you come to Moab.)
As you can see from he video, it works. Gotta say I’ve wanted to try the same thing for years. Maybe more wax on the board next time! Guess we can add another cool sport to the Moab adventure. Have you tried the new Zip Line?
Picture flying down a badass Moab trail with some nasties and very colorful distractions. Whoa! What is that flower? I tell you, Moab has some of the most beautiful flowers and they contrast vividly with the earth tones all around us. When I stop and run to take a quick photo with my iPhone, I see more of them and try to figure out which ones make the best shot. It’s hard to get good focus when there is a breeze, which is all the time… almost. It’s so beautiful here, especially with all the rain we have been getting. I swear the sage brush by our house grew a foot yesterday after a big gusher.
Pat and I have operated Solfun for 12 years now and we have many friends who we first met as Solfun guests. We share vacations with them as they return to Moab and we often meet up during the winter to ski or snowboard together. Chris and Tiffany from Denver were Solfun guests about five years ago. It was their first on a mountain bike and later that winter I taught them basic snowboarding. They are both competitive mountain bikers now and Chris just had his first win… he’s the guy in the green hat on the podium!
We just love spending time on the trails with our guests as they catch the mountain biking bug. We bask in the day’s adrenaline and a beer after the ride or going to dinner together at the end of the day. We like the Mexican at Miguel’s… I order The Whole Enchilada.
This photo is Tom Stengel at Desert Iron in Moab adding extra support to our custom bike rack. Why? The approach “roads” around Moab work a rack hard due to all the rocks and ledges… kinda like The Whole Enchilada for a van or our Cruiser.
The terrain we bike on is, of course, even more challenging and downright abusive on our bikes. Lesser bikes will not cut it; not for the whole season. We buy these upgraded, high-end bikes because Solfun visitors to Moab are looking for an ultimate experience. That includes the beefier, higher tech mountain bikes we enjoy. The eye candy aspect is there too.
Experienced riders come to us with good single track skills. I’ve asked them what works for them and I agree with all they expound. I’d love to hear from you regarding what works for staying on track, especially when it’s tight and essential. What I hear the most is balance and where you keep your eyes. Keeping your focus ahead about 20 yards or more helps you anticipate obstacles and you get less front wheel wobble. Staying balanced over your bike always help you ride better and on track.
A few years ago I was following my son, Mark, on a narrow single track ride. I asked him to pick up his pace as I was about to fall over. He did, but told me I needed to work on my balance. Me? I’ve played a game for years where I focus on my balance with center axis right oner the bike left to right and front to back. When I’m winning the game, I can ride over and through all kinds of nasties and look like it’s easy… it feels sooooo good!
The “eyes out” part I learned as a Freestyle Skiing (moguls) competitor more than a few years ago. My coach would holler at me as I came out of the gate, “Up, up, up, up, up!” I was watching what was happening at the front of my ski’s, not anticipating what was a few turns ahead on my line. When I keep my eyes out on the mountain bike trails, I anticipate my moves and ride better and safer. My “computer” already knows wuz up in the nasties out front. Watching up close is sorta like driving your car while watching the hood ornament. Up, up, up, up!
The woman in the photo has her eyes out front and has her center axis right over the bike. If she were standing on both pedals she would have even better balance. Give me your ideas on balance and focus, would you? Any other mountain biking skills would be appreciated.
I found this photo of Pat, my lovely bride, on the same ride as the photo above. Notice how balanced she is as she stands on both level pedals, eye’s out… committed to greatness! (There’s a topic….commitment.)
I’ve wanted to snowboard down this huge drift across from the entrance to Arches National Park for years. If you’ve been to Moab, you’ve seen it! You can do it in a plastic sled or other imaginative mode. My friend Scott Anfang is a member of the US Snowboarding Demo Team as is this rider…. see his acumen on the sand.… another sport we can add to the Solfun lineup!?
Ever wonder who designs Solfun’s logo, web site, printed material, signage…everything? Why would I work with someone who resolutely refuses to ride a mountain bike? He’s John Boak. I sold high-quality color printing to John for his annual reports and other tasty projects, for about 25 years. It was a natural to ask him to design for Solfun as I was already spoiled by the Boaks I have hanging in our home and office. I love the biker dude logo he created…. I was the model!
To the left is one of John’s recent creations. Pat says, “No more art, Allan!” If you have a moment check out John’s web site. I think he is so very clever and imaginative. It’s really fun to see his mind at work.