Sedona Mountain Bike Academy is now a Certified Sustainable Business at the Innovator/Silver level

evan-puglia-amaryth-gassMountain biking in Sedona has some special challenges: steep drop-offs, boulders, and prickly pear cactus to name a few. Sedona Mountain Bike Academy was created as a platform for certified mountain bike instructors to offer lessons, clinics, and adventure among the unique red rock terrain for visitors and locals alike.

It all started when Amaryth Gass and Evan Puglia wanted to offer an inclusive, effective, and personalized platform for riders to advance their skills. While SMBA gives clinics and other special events, most of their work is private instruction for individuals or groups looking to strengthen specific aspects of their riding technique. Many of these students are visitors, so the classes also help build sustainable tourism.evan-puglia-amaryth-gass

Gass wanted to get certified because “Sustainability is morally, politically, and professionally my top priority.” Gass works out of her home office when she’s not on the trail teaching. They buy green power from APS and all their cleaners are what Gass refers to as the “green version,” like Seventh Generation. They recycle all they can through Sedona Recycles and are beginning to use TerraCycle’s free energy bar wrapper recycling during lessons and clinics.

Maintaining the trails is core to their business. The staff participates in National Forest Service trail work days and Gass actively raises money for Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund (Trail Keepers and Trail Bucks programs).evan-puglia

This is a lifestyle business; instructors are “very part time,” often conducting business over team dinners or after a staff ride. There are no limits on vacation or personal scheduling. Professional development is also important. “We’re working on an add-on certification for instructors to teach youth and would love to certify the whole staff with additional qualifications in the future,” Gass explains. Instructors attend each other’s clinics to stay current and learn from one another. See who else is certified.joanna-yates-amaryth-gass

Darcy Hitchcock, Sustainability Alliance, 928-554-5171