Off season adventures are a staple of Telluride culture. Disuaded by the mud and slush hanging on our mountain slopes, many opt for the sun baked rocks and vast landscapes of the desert just a few hours to the West of our box canyon. Never one to be left out of the fun, TASP has quickly adopted the same culture and introduced adaptive athletes to the almost martian world of undulating slick rock, jagged canyon rims, and endless adventure.
This May, TASP hosted 3 back to back programs in the Moab region, featuring everything from tandem mountain biking to splash battles rafting on rushing rivers.
The first Moab adventure of the month was a partnership with Wounded Warrior Project. Our wounded servicemen challenged their limits mountain biking along the canyon rim of Dead Horse State Park. The next day found them rekindling comradery with their brothers in arms as they joined forces to paddle rafts through rapids and eddies of the Colorado River. Interspersed throughout the adventures were opportunities for these warriors to reflect, heal, and connect in the vastness of the desert and the companionship of fellow wounded soldiers.
Just as this camp finished, TASP staff began prepping for the Moab Reunion, an off road handcycle camp that jump starts each riders’ season with challenging terrain and exotic riding. The handcyclists were clearly excited for the grand kick off to their riding season and and took on the high-mileage, technical terrain with gusto. Some old favorite rides were revisited with a few twists to make sure the athletes were getting the challenge they craved, and despite the early season, the riders were exceptionally strong and well prepared for the dynamic style of riding that Moab provides.
As the cyclists of the Moab Reunion finished their final rides of the trip, participants from Veteran Adaptive Sports began to trickle in from the Southeastern corner of the country to test their mettle in the challenging terrain Moab poses. Many of the athletes with VAS had experience cycling, most of them being accomplished road riders. Few had off road experience however, and this final camp of May provided an exciting introduction to the complexities that biking along off camber slickrock, scattered ledges, and stomach twisting drops demand. The fleet included various handcycles, a recumbent off road cycle, and even a tandem mountain bike. VAS athletes persevered through steep, technical climbs, high temperatures, and a few cactus filled hands to find the excitement and joy that mountain biking provides.
As temperatures in Moab rise, TASP staff return to the home base of our box canyon where more opportunities appear every day as snowmelt and runoff continue to expose the trails and rock faces we so love. This week, TASP hosts a WWP Project Odyssey locally in Telluride, and shortly thereafter Team Semper Fi joins with TASP to zip across canyons, do headstands on paddle boards, and bike one of Telluride’s most historic trails. Stay tuned for more summer adventures!