Life Upgrade Unlocked, Utah-Style
Sandwiched in between living in Africa as a kid and spending the last four years in the heat of Arizona are the 40 years, I spent in California working in the bike industry working as a sales rep for various brands. With California being one of the many bike hubs, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that mountain bikers often refer to California as the “Gold Coast”. With the amount of riding between San Luis Obispo across to the southern Sierras, Mt. Pinos, and the Santa Monica Mountains, you can always stay busy and trail satisfied.
I eventually made the move with my family to Arizona, working remotely, and traveling the country for four years as Kali’s tech trainer, POP installer, and general schmoozer. Arizona was good to us but not great. While there were some good rides, they weren’t nearby, and the desert is quite inhospitable. I broke my shoulder, collar bone and many ribs within my first few months in Arizona which made for a not-so-great introduction to my new home state.
Fast forward a few years and suddenly my wife, Nancy, is laid off after 10 years with the same company. Seeing this as an opportunity to change things up, my extremely motivated, highly employable, wife and mother to my children made the mistake of asking me where I want to move to next. Without even thinking about it I said Utah. As a lover of all things mountain bike and snowboard, Utah is the mecca. She got a great offer, made it happen and before we knew it, we were packing our family up and making the big move.
I have only been here for two weeks and have already ridden so much goodness at Sundance, Deer Valley, as well as a handful of runs on the Wasatch Crest Trail. Big Rack Shuttle really makes it easy and hard to pass up. For $15, Santa Dan picks me up 10 minutes from my house, loads my bike on the van and takes me to Guardsman Pass at 10,000 feet. This 22-mile descent winds right back to my car. I do the ride and can get back to my desk, ready to work just in time for the Kali Protectives office in Morgan Hill to open. Even the easy weekday ride here in Utah is more epic than most enthusiasts are lucky enough to experience.
Nancy is adjusting well and hitting it off with her new work peeps. My kids, the Tornado Twins or Tsunami Sisters, are loving their camp that offers ice skating and swimming. You also can’t go wrong with neighbors that do a “house crawl” by cracking beers and sampling whiskey on a Sunday afternoon. I think it’s safe to say my neighbors are rad.
There is so much to do, see and ride and I have barely scratched the surface. We are 20-25 minutes from four major ski resorts and with the trails so close, I hope to experience a new one on dirt or snow every week of 2022. Keep an eye out for that story next.