Originally Published: May 31, 2015 12:11 a.m.
Soul music. Soul food. Soul mountain biking? Perhaps not quite in the same vein.
However, finding a soulful connection with anything is determined by the beholder.
Kate Phelan and Cina Mcconaughy, owners of Soul Ride, a mountain biking tour company that opened up about a month ago, believe that connection can be easily found in nature, on the saddle.
"A lot of what drew us to mountain biking was the passionate, freeing feeling you get from it," Phelan said.
Their business, located at 409 W. Goodwin St, offers a number of mountain biking services, such as tours, classes, retreats and apparel.
Mcconaughy, a veteran massage therapist, and Phelan, a psychological therapist, feel the time is ripe to take this city in a new direction and start focusing more on young, outdoor adventure, rather than solely on retirement homes and rehabilitation centers.
"If we can be a catalyst for that kind of energy, that would be great," Mcconaughy said.
Their vision may not be so radical.
With its mild year-round climate and diverse landscape of evergreen mountains, granite cliffs and alpine lakes, Prescott has always been an ideal location for outside recreational activities.
Recently featured as one of the best adventure town's in the U.S. by National Geographic, the city has seen increasing national recognition in that realm, highlighted by events such as The Whiskey Off-Road, which has become well established as one of the largest mountain biking competitions in the country.
With four other mountain biking guides, Mcconaughy and Phelan hope to ride this wave by providing clients of all levels the outdoor experience and knowledge they're looking for.
"Our services are super custom to the individual," Phelan said.
Brand new to mountain biking? Not a problem. "Maybe somebody just wants to learn how to balance appropriately or brake appropriately, all of those little things that we kind of figured out the hard way," Phelan said.
Want to get crazy? They can do that.
"Our guides are super knowledgeable and know all of the good spots," Mcconaughy said.
But, of course, safety is a high priority.
"We want people to feel safe doing it, because it is a dangerous sport," Mcconaughy said.
For a standard class, the price is $60 per person. For a two-hour tour, the price is $85 per person. They also offer a half-day and full-day tour.
Weekend-long women's mountain bike retreats, during which essentially everything-including food-is taken care of, will soon be offered as well.
"One of our amazing guides will take you out for like a 25 mile bike ride and arrive at a destination," Phelan said. "All you have to do is eat and go to sleep. We'll pack it all up for you and we'll meet you at the end."
People can register for one of their services through their website, soulride.bike, but the owners are available by phone for any questions. The number is 928-642-8727.
Follow Max Efrein on Twitter @mefrein.
Reach him at 928-642-7864.