The first thing you notice about Simon Bosman, 59, when you come upon him on the trails around Sedona is absolutely nothing.
He doesn’t take this personally. As a matter of fact he’s grown pretty accustomed to this, as he is almost always accompanied on the trail by his trusty trail dog, Po and Po gets all the attention.
But truth be known Po just might be the most aloof, dare we say unfriendly trail dog, in all the land. He doesn’t give a shit about being petted, talked to or even making eye contact. He only has eyes for Simon and he makes it very clear he has no interest in standing around and chewing the fat. He’s here to rip the gnar.
Aside from Po’s complete lack of social etiquette, he is an amazing riding partner. Po hangs at the back of the pack, keeping a close watch on the entire group and then he moves up one rider at a time until he finds himself once again tucked in on Simon’s wheel.
And Simon’s wheel is a great place to be. He’s wicked fast, whippy smooth with a story and filled to the brim with local knowledge assuring if you ride with Simon you will find yourself on some “special” local trails, taking in amzazing vistas and pounding through some quality Sedona chunk.
Where are you from?
I was born in Durban, South Africa in 1961. In 1968 my family and I left and moved to Zimbabwe where we lived until 1979 when we made our way back to South Africa. After all the moving I went to Phoenix, Arizona in the early 80s and found Sedona where I currently live. Back in Africa me, my brother, mom and dad used to live in tents while constructing our brick house on a reservation. We had no power tools for this job, just some help from local natives. All of our furniture was handmade. We cooked in our wood fire stove and grew our own vegetable garden.
When did you start riding?
I’ve been riding my whole life, I’ve always been active. My first time riding single track was when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I used to ride my friend’s bikes and never got a bike of my own until I was 16. I love all terrain and the gnarly parts of the ride extra. I used to race XC in the late 80s and did my first downhill race in 1990. As time went on I raced nationals and got sponsored. I’ve also raced dirt bikes and street bikes. I am excited by anything you can do on wheels.
How often do you ride?
As often as I can! It is calming. I always have to be active. My love for physical activity even reflects on my job. I hated working an office job and I currently work in landscaping. When I’m mountain biking doing a big line I take it on staying in control bit by bit. Just like in my life. When you take on things in small mouthfuls you can achieve a lot. Riding has helped me overcome ADHD and anxiety. I can’t imagine overcoming those things without my bike. After all these years I’m still learning new tricks and techniques.
Are there any destinations you want to ride at when there’s less travel restrictions?
I am so lucky to have nearby places to ride like Prescott, but there’s lots I would like to explore in British Columbia, Canada.
How did your dog “Po” become so good on trails?
I have always liked having a trained dog on the trails with me. I’ve always had animals but not your typical house pets. A few of my previous pets when I lived on the reservation were; monkeys, leopards, pythons and a bunch of different kinds of birds.
Tell us about a crazy experience you had while riding your bike.
One time I was riding with Bike Magazine on Mingus Mountain. We were doing the Black Canyon trail. This is a trail I rode a bunch of times but there’s one section that is on the edge of a 90 foot cliff. One of my friends wheelied across it but when I went across this section my back wheel caught a rock hidden in the dewy grass on the trail. This sent me backwards off the cliff. After about 15 feet of falling I caught and hung onto a bush and was pulled up by a human chain to safety.
What does the future hold for you and Po?
Making a daily list of things that I’d like to accomplish. Starting with the things you want to do least but are important. I think we all have way more time each day to accomplish things than we think we have. Making a list is key to positioning yourself appropriately to succeed at whatever we want.