We roll up to the Big Rock Shuttle and we are surprised to be greeted by Santa Claus, Santa Claus Dan, to be exact.
Even though it is summer in Utah, Santa Dan is dressed in red and is as jolly as ever. Leading up to this, we even made sure we had been more nice than naughty knowing he would be the one shuttling us to the single-track.
Kali: Santa Claus Dan, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where you're from, how you got to Utah and how did you end up running shuttles?
Santa Dan: Why, I am Saint Nicholas aka Santa Claus from the North Pole. I make wooden toys for children that I give out at Christmas. I fly into SLC every other day to hone in on my sleigh driving skills with Big Rack Shuttle Service. (Really I'm from Iowa, raised on a farm in the 60's and 70's, I moved here with my wife in 1992 to raise our 5 boys.)
Kali: Do you have any crazy stories about clients on the shuttles?
Santa Dan: Crazy stories about clients, hummm! Well, nothing really comes to mind outside mountain bikers in general seem to be pretty crazy to ride some of these trails. I had a lady all excited about going one morning to find her and her friend on the side of the road wanting a lift back down the canyon. When I stopped to give them a ride she said she had sprained her shoulder possibly on a close turn through the trees and hit her handlebars.
Not that her injury was funny but that when riding up in shuttle she said that she disliked this part of the trail. Karma?
Kali: What is your favorite thing about running shuttles?
Santa Dan: I love to drive, see the beautiful scenery and enjoy meeting different people from all walks of life and being a part of another person's adventure with mountain biking. I'm 61 with bad knees and an ailing back so this type of biking is out for me but listening to those who can endure this activity is heartwarming. I used to ride quite a bit when I was younger. Now I have a nice 7 speed beach cruiser. Still enjoy biking only horizontally.
Kali: What's your least favorite part about running shuttles?
Santa Dan: Least fun part of running shuttles is hitting my shins on the metal rack on top of the van. Ouch. I have the scars to prove it.
Kali: If you weren't running shuttles, what would you be doing and where would you be doing it?
Santa Dan: Well, well! I will be making and wrapping presents for all the children ages one to 92 to deliver on Christmas Eve. Silly question if you ask me. HO, HO, HO! Merry Christmas in July! I personally make wooden toys in my woodworking shop and have for years. I always enjoy the smiles and giggles of those who receive my wares.