Does beer compliment mountain biking?

Is an apre ride beer an essential part of mountain biking in Moab? I think it is a great end to an awesome ride. We cannot include beer on our tours since we do not have a liquor license. We tell our guests when they book that they might want to bring some beer with them on the tour and we’ll supply the cooler… a happy ending to an exciting day on the trail. I thought this photo of my friend, Dave Harlan and me says just that!

A guest’s band visits Moab

We get some very interesting guests at Solfun… Roger Bolt is one of them.  He rode with us a few years ago and has kept in touch.  We encouraged him to come back with his band and play in Moab at Frankie D’s.  We know Moab would go nuts over Roger and his band.

The type of person who would spend the money to travel all the way to Moab is usually a very live wire.  We meet a lot of people who are just fascinating and so much fun to ride with on our tours.  A mountain biker is a special breed of cat, not unlike athletes in other sports, but unique to mountain biking in it’s own way.  A lot of mountain bikers are skiers and snowboarders… adrenaline junkies?

Enjoy Roger’s video of his band.  Is he not one very cool dude?

Bad Girl’s Groove

Skiing and Snowboarding

Pat and I got out of town to ski and snowboard in Big Sky, Montana, Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Park City and The Canyons in Utah.  It dawned on us that it would be loads of fun to ski with some of our past guests, which we did a bit of last year at Park City.   We’re gonna take notes on guests who ski and invite them to join us next year.

It’s really fun skiing and riding with people we have mountain biked with; cementing a long term relationship.  (We are still friends with our first Solfun guests, Brad and Keith.)  We might develop a package we could offer to include mountain biking in Moab and skiing in Telluride…2-1/2 hours of very scenic driving.   We do get some bookings in March from guests coming here from a ski destination.  Skiing the west and mountain biking Moab on the same trip is about as good as life can get.

We have some friends coming here this month from Steamboat to thaw out.  That is just what we did when we lived in Steamboat… April 15th and we were heading’ to Moab to play on that slickrock!  That champagne powder in The Boat is amazing and they had a pretty good year as far as snow goes.  We got there right after a big dump… perfect.

Cold, cold winter in Moab

It’s probably the coldest winter in Moab in a long time, we hear from the old timers. We’ve been riding up until late December, but we are getting some snow this year and the temps are definitely low… woke up this morning to 5 below. We’ve been hiking quite a bit to get some exercise, but it’s a little slippery for mountain biking. Those Surly fat tire (Really fat!) bikes are fun in the snow. No land speed records, but a nice change of pace. We’re getting desperate for some “real” heart thumping exercise and have promised ourselves to join the South Side Gym.. tomorrow.

One winter tour this year… we had a very interesting and charming couple from Australia (Sydney) call us about mountain biking a couple days on January 2nd and 3rd. They had flown to New York and were working their way across the country. I suggested they fly to Tucson instead of Moab so they would have suitable weather. They said, no, that they have wanted to see Moab for years. They are avid mountain bikers and would be happy just to see the place.

We ended up taking them on a driving and hiking tour around the Parks (Of course!) and up to Fisher Tower off of River Road. They were blown away by the scenery and we did break a sweat in some speed walking on Intrepid Mountain Bike Trail at Dead Horse State Park. The good news… they will be back in June to do our Desert Survival Course! We look forward to seeing them again and giving the mountain bike experience justice!

Las Vegas

Pat and I went to Vegas for a week because we had a cheap place to stay and we heard the biking there was pretty good… it was.  Yes, we did a few “Vegas Things” like a show and a couple of outrageous meals on the strip.  The rest of the time we played daytime tourist at places like Lake Mead and Valley of Fire… beautiful.  Hoover Dam was impressive.  Anyhow, what about the photo above?  Well, we had a mountain bike guide at Cottonwood Canyon outside about 20 miles outside of town.  It was very pretty and more desert-like with the flaura and fauna found over there.

I have to tell you, it was wonderful having a guide.  The dude in the photo is Merrick and we ran into him at a local bike shop when we went in to ask directions.  He said, “Dudes, I came to Las Vegas to ride bikes!  C’mon, I’ll ride with ya!”  Well, his was the nicest guy and boy, could he ride a bike.  I’ve seen riders that good before, but they are far and few between.  It was such a pleasure to not have to search for the trailhead and all the other details that frustrated us on this trip when we were self-guided.  What a pleasure!  Need I say with our very strong bias… it’s better with a guide for so many reasons and it’s worth the money!

Solfun goes Hollywood!

monitor and merrimac

Last night five Solfun guides and I went out to catch the “magic moment” light to shoot some very cool mountain bike action shots with photographer, Bret Edge.  (Bret’s studio is in Moab and he is an awesome photographer.)  He needs some good mountain biking shots for his portfolio and we need some better photos for our new (soon to be revealed) web site.

We got some unbelievably awesome shots!  I’m going to learn from what I saw Bret do and adopt some of his technique into my own photography.  I can pass some of this onto our guests when we do photo tours.  Can hardly wait to get them onto the new site which will go live in about a week or two.  Rock on!


Biking & Hiking the Northwest & British Columbia

Harbor at Newport, Oregon where we devoured clam chowder and beer apres ride.

Pat and I just returned from a four week vacation of mountain biking and hiking in the Northwest and British Columbia.  It was great to ride in so many places we have heard about for years.  Yep, we got to Whistler and rode some of the beginner and intermediate downhill including some bridges on cross country trails.  Ya know, I thought intermediate level bridges would be safe enough (It was.), but being about four feet above the ground, fraught with big boulders, was scary enough for us.  That’s a big drop, even by Moab standards!

We ran into some fellow mountain bikers who showed us around Whistler and we had fun eating and partying with them at night.  We could not get over how beautiful BC is and need to go back and stay longer/ride more.  On the way up we missed a turn and ended up driving through downtown Vancouver… big and beautiful city.  Thinking next time we can get away like that we might spend the whole trip in BC.

We ate about 70 pounds of seafood along the Oregon Coast.  What a treat that was!  We stayed in Newport, Oregon for a few days and did all the tourist stuff.  Did some beach/cliff hiking.  We heard about the riding at Bend, Oregon for many years and made it there.  Very fun single track is what we rode mostly and, of course, we did the “tour” of some of Bend’s microbrews…. I think they have about six of them and they were at least as much fun as the Moab Brewery!  The beer at the Deschutes Brewery was the best.

As we drove back to Moab, I started getting excited about sleeping in my own bed… and riding some slickrock.  Every time we go away to ride we love the change of pace, and… I’m reminded of why we are in Moab.  I just love the mystical scenery and the smooth, flowing slickrock!  Rock ‘n roll!