This is either the best idea I have ever had, or a completely idiotic, impossible fantasy. Maybe it has elements of both. I’ll let you decide.
First, though, the backstory.
I used to subscribe to pretty much every bike magazine out there (sometime soon, I should go into why I don’t anymore, but not right now). In particular, I looked forward to reading Mike Ferrentino, Zapata Espinoza and Captain Dondo’s descriptions of their biking adventures.
Then, as I rode my local trails, it occurred to me that if one of those high-falutin’ bike adventure journalists ever bothered to show up in my backyard, I could show them trails every bit as awesome as the exotic locations they traveled to. In my mind, I started putting together what I considered the ultimate five-day biking trip to Utah.
It would make for a spectacular five-day biking trip, I promise you.
Evolution of an Idea
As I’ve become less and less starstruck by biking journalists and more interested in just having fun with people I like, the idea of the Ultimate Five-Day Bike Trip in Utah has morphed. I’d still like to put together such a vacation, but it occurs to me now: there are other people in the world who love biking just like I do, and know their local trails and roads just as well as I know mine, and would enjoy showing them off to a few people just as much as I would.
And that’s where the idea of the Ultimate Cyclist Vacation Club (UCVC) came from. And here’s how it would work
Practically anybody at all could join the UCVC. The only prerequisites would be that you’d have to be a cyclist, and you’d have to be willing to be a host at some point (I’ll explain what the host does in a moment).
Being a member of the UVCV doesn’t mean anything, though, until you’ve joined a clique. UVCV members surf around the lounge area of the virtual club, joining conversations, talking about what kind of riding you do, what kind of people you like to ride with, and what your very favorite local trails are.
Eventually, you’ll find a group of people who love the same kind of biking as you. They invite you to join their biking clique.
A clique can have no more than seven people in it. This rule is as absolute as it is arbitrary.
Like-Minded Cyclists + Local Knowledge = Dream Vacation
From here, the UVCV is pretty simple. Each clique would determine for themselves how often they have these vacations, and how many days those vacations last. Each clique member takes turns being a host: putting together an awesome biking vacation for their clique in your home area. When you’re host, you’re responsible for choosing what trails people will ride, where people will stay, picking them up at the airport, arranging with a bike shop to take care of any gear needs travelers will have, where to eat…pretty much everything. You’re Mr. Rork, and your hometown is Fantasy Island.
And, naturally, when it’s someone else’s turn to be the host, you should expect them to put together every bit as nice of a vacation for you as you did for them.
And Then You Ride
Once everyone arrives, you get to show off your hometown trails and/or roads. Show them the absolute cream of your crop — the stuff only locals know about. The stuff that makes you absolutely positively certain that your hometown is the best place in the world to ride. Your mission is make your clique seriously consider moving to where you live, just on the strength of the quality of your trails.
My UVCV Ad
So, what would I look for in a UVCV clique, and what would I be able to offer as a host? Here’s what I’m thinking:
- Type of rider: I like riding road and mountain. On a vacation, I think I’d rather weight my riding toward more mountain, but maybe that’s just because I’ve never been on the ultimate road ride. I like rides that last all day. and I like technical riding, but not so technical that I need to be a trials phenom.
- Rider personality: I like cheerful people. I do not like complainers, unless things are obviously going really badly, in which case I do not like cheerful people. I like sarcastic people, unless sarcasm is the only arrow you’ve got in your comedy quiver. I do not like bossy people, but expect people to appreciate my innate leadership qualities. I do not like it when people make fun of how I always get lost.
- Where I’d like to ride: I’d like other members of my clique to represent places that are mostly close by — at this time in my life, a trip to Italy or Australia just isn’t likely. So, I’d be looking for AZ, NM, CO, WY, and ID riders for my clique. From what I hear, there’s tons of great riding in each of these states, and I could get to them easily.
- What I’d have to offer as host: I would show off Tibble Fork (the Best Place in the World, which includes incredible views, difficult climbing, and two kinds of exquisite descents), Hog’s Hollow (ending in a natural waterslide), the Gauntlet (an epic 80-mile road ride with 9000 feet of climbing), then off to Southern Utah for Gooseberry and Little Creek Mesa. There are innumerable great burrito / fish taco places in the area. And the Marriott here costs about as little as a Super 8 in most metro cities. This week would wipe you (and me) out, but you’d love every single ride.
I Have No Idea Whether I’m Serious About This
Is this a good idea? Or is it completely stupid and/or impossible for some reason that hasn’t occurred to me? If it is a good idea, what would your UVCV ad look like?
PS: Enough out-of-United-States-ers have said they want to be in the Dave Nice Raffle that I’m going to try to include them. So, here’s how things will work if you’re out of the U.S. and win a prize that has to be shipped. When you get notification that you won, you can do any of the following:
- Have me give it to some other random raffle ticket holder.
- Have me send it to someone in the U.S. you know.
- Have me send it to you, but you pay the shipping.
PPS: A huge “thanks” to all the companies that have put up prizes and to everyone who has donated. So far, we’ve raised $940 for Dave. That’s pretty awesome. I’m sure all you non-US-ers are now going to sign up for the raffle so we can break $1000, right?
PPPS: This Monday, watch for a very special edition of this blog, where I either tearfully accept my Bloggie Award, or make a snarky concession speech, depending on whether I win.