Since the Sunday travel section piece introduced this small local business to the country, Lizard Head Cycling Guides has been inundated with inquiries. As of Tuesday, more than 200 people had emailed Humphries to ask about upcoming trips.
“People have been so inspired” by the article, Humphries says. “This has been a very business-changing experience.”
“Business-changing” indeed. The centerfold feature, “Four Corners, Two Wheels,” by New York-based writer Christopher Solomon, describes the writer’s trip “through some of the most remote and spectacular canyon-country roads in the Four Corners region of Colorado, Utah and Arizona.”
The five-day, 400-mile adventure showcases Lizard Head Cycling Guides’ iconic – and one-of-a-kind – trip itinerary. Riding some of the least-traveled highways in the U.S. and staying at small inns and hotels along the way, the trip starts with a tour through the staggering scenery of the Colorado National Monument, and goes on to explore Unaweep Canyon, Hovenweep National Monument, Natural Bridges National Monument, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, and more.
Bolstered by photographs of some of the route’s tremendous scenery, the article paints a stunning picture of both the ride itself and the rider’s once-in-a-lifetime experience. Solomon is humbled by both the challenging riding (nearly 20,000 vertical feet over 400 miles) as well as the fantastically remote country; but, he simultaneously savors the luxury of being so far removed from his everyday life.
He writes: It takes nearly a day on these trips, John said later, but you always see it: Shoulders drop their tension. Eyes unpinch from their accountant’s squint. With every mile, the in-box and the BlackBerry retreat a little more in the rear-view mirror. People shed their daily worries, until their world reduces to the clean feeling of the right gear underfoot, and the blur of the gray road.
The route’s rugged solitude captivates Solomon and his fellow riders in the story, and it is that promise of gorgeous isolation that has been the magnet for the numerous cyclists across the nation and world who have contacted Lizard Head Cycling Guides since the story ran, Humphries says.
“These trips get people out here, and it simplifies their life. You’re not distracted by the phone, your work, the kids, or the computer. You just spend time together with the people in your group. It really is quality time, too, and it’s those types of experiences that are harder and harder to get as our lives accelerate,” Humphries says.
A longtime local and cyclist, Humphries had worked for Western Spirit cycling guide company for ten years before opening Lizard Head Cycling Guides in 2007.
His intention in opening his own business was to enable him to take two to four incredible trips a year through some spectacular areas, he says. “The way it’s looking now,” (following the New York Times exposure) “it’s going to be more like two to four trips just this fall,” he says.
Although the national press will allow Humphries to expand the number of trips Lizard Head Cycling Guides will offer, he says the essence of what the business does will remain unaltered. Small groups of riders exploring some of the least-explored parts of the country lies at the heart of what Lizard Head Cycling Guides does: “Really, just a bunch of kids getting out and riding their bikes,” he says.
For more information: www.lizardheadcyclingguides.com