VVCC Member, Evan Puglia, recently caught up with 5 Minutes With via email. 5 Minutes With is too old and slow to catch up to Evan.
How long have you lived in the Verde Valley?
Approaching 3 years here in Sedona.
Where did you move here from?
I was living in Vail, Colorado for 11 years.
What have you been doing since you got here?
Exploring Sedona and different areas of the Southwest. Coming from Colorado, being able to ride 365 days a year was quite enticing. The past two years I've been working for Hermosa Tours running MTB day tours out of Sedona and multi-day trips along the Arizona Trail (AZT). Exploring different segments of the AZT has been an incredible experience for me. Its diverse nature has increased my understanding of Arizona's ecosystems and how they coexist with one another. My other job is working at Over the Edge Bike Shop in West Sedona. I am forever grateful to this shop for welcoming me into their riding community. My experience here in Sedona would not be the same without them. Finally, I had an amazing summer where I spent most of my time in Northern Italy mountain biking and bikepacking through the Italian Alps with my partner Amaryth.
Favorite Trail Network?
Impossible question. I will give you my top 3. So far it's been tough to top Squamish BC, Finale Ligure, Italy, and Sedona, AZ.
Favorite Trail Snack?
Epic bars, bag of mixed nuts. We loved seeing how many croissants we could fit into our frame bags in Europe.
What's new in your life?
The newest adventure in my life is the launch of the Sedona Mountain Bike Academy (SMBA). This is a brand new Sedona business, which is a collection of fun loving local certified mountain bike coaches.
Who's SMBA's customer base and offering?
We're offering effective, unique, and affordable coaching options to both youth and adult mountain bikers. Our Youth Program is called S.H.R.E.D. - Sedona’s Home of Riding Education and Development - which currently has rides and clinics for youngsters ages 7-17. For adults, we have private lessons, group lessons, women's specific offerings, and clinics.
That sounds great, who are your instructors and their qualifications?
This is the part that I am most excited about! We have 4 certified coaches on staff right here in Sedona. Our qualifications include years of experience teaching mountain biking in the industry; Level 1 and 2 teaching certifications from PMBIA, Terra Method, ICP (IMBA) as well as safety certifications such as CPR, Wilderness First Aid, and Wilderness First Responder.
Any special VVCC member offerings?
Absolutely. All VVCC members are offered one initial 2 hour group lesson for $50 per person (2 or more riders) which is 60% off our regular pricing. All private lessons, youth lessons or consecutive group lessons will be 30% off until March 5th (subject to availability). Long term coaching plans and discounts are available to all VVCC members.
When's your next clinics?
Youth Clinics: Monday, February 18, President's Day SHRED Mini Clinic, $35 each (Ages 7-17)
Saturday, March 2, Sedona MTB Festival Mini Clinics, early bird $25 each (Ages 7-17)
Adult Clinics: March 16-17, Women's Clinic, Intermediate to Advanced
Anything else you are excited about this spring?
Yes of course! We are super excited about volunteering for several youth cycling programs. More specifically we will be volunteering for the Verde Valley Bikes4Kids at West Sedona's MTB Club and also the Sedona High School NICA Team. Come out for a ride and watch these kids grow!
How can VVCC members find out more?
Visit our website at www.sedonamtbacademy.com or call us direct with any questions: 1(888) 288-0603