Holme and Maggie Wilson got a half-season head start on Magpie
Adventures last year, and after running tours for others
since the early 1990s, they look forward to being owner-operators
of their own bicycle touring company.
Magpie Adventures is the pair’s creation from the
purchase of part of Nichols Expeditions last year. Their
vision is to stay small, and offer unique and personalized
tours for cyclists of all skill levels.
“We ran half a dozen tours last year and everybody seemed very happy,” Maggie
said of their first season as owner-operators. “Most of our clients were
Mike adds that while each is experienced in bicycle touring – where
to go when, and why – the business aspect is the challenging side
“It seemed the next natural step in keeping guiding exciting for us,” Mike
said. “We’ve both grown into the owner-operator role.”
adds that he has grown “up” with it as well.
“My whole life I’ve been riding my bike,” he said. “My
bike, and the bicycle culture, has driven where I’ve lived and what I’ve
Originally from Minnesota, Mike came to Moab via Colorado (Denver) and
because of the bicycle racing and mechanic culture. He loves Moab, and
has worked for Rim Tours for 10 years.
“The cycling community is eclectic, entertaining and always exciting,” he
said. “There’s never a dull moment.
“I’ve been here 10 years now and I can always call somebody and go
for a ride. Bicycles have never let me down,” he says.
Maggie hails from Southern California. She came to Moab as a biologist
for the Park Service.
“For me it’s the scenery, the colors and the terrain that make it
special,” Maggie said.
has guided for Kaibab, Rim Tours and Western Spirit. Currently Maggie
and Mike meet with their clients at the Poison Spider Bike Shop at 497
N. Main St. They operate the administrative end of the business out of
Together Mike and Maggie describe their cycling experience
as expansive – from
Alaska to Hawaii, to Copper Canyon, Mexico.
“That’s our range,” Mike says.
Magpie Adventures will be offering several 80-mile, one-day White Rim
tours that will require a fitness level to be confirmed in advance, Maggie
says. Magpie is the first touring company to get a permit for a one-day
White Rim tour, but Maggie says people have been doing it on their own
for 15 years.
“This makes it more accessible,” Maggie said. “As long as someone
has the fitness and skill level. There will be a screening process on the phone.”
Mike adds that White Rim offers an extreme environment and demands extreme
“We can do it safely and smartly,” Maggie said.
“A lot of people bite off more than they can chew,” Mike added.
On the other extreme, Maggie and Mike are able – and happy — to
offer beginner lessons from the bottom up.
“We can teach someone the basics on the grass at the park,” Mike
said. “A lot of what we do is confidence building — that’s
a big part of what we do. Bicycling is a growth-oriented sport.”
Magpie Adventures is permitted to take up to 13 riders on tour. The company
can take spillover from other tours that are filled up, or offer personalized
service on a small tour of their own. Mike and Maggie plan to work each
of the tours together as guides, keeping it small and keeping it simple.
“We’re going to have as much fun as we possibly can and bring as
many people with us as we can,” Mike said.
Trails through Canyonlands National Park will be the focus of Magpie
Adventures, and details about the tours can be found at their web site.
Both said they look forward to a very colorful spring due to the wet
weather this winter.
“The wildflowers are going to be amazing,” Mike said.
“We’re small, we’re personalized and all the services are provided
by the owners,” Maggie said. “All of the bike touring companies in
Moab are great – we’ve worked for them and we’re all friends
in the community…”
“But ultimately we all find our niche in the industry,” Mike concluded.
To reach Magpie Adventures, call 435-259-4464, (toll free 800-546-4245),
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to mention you read about it in Moab Happenings!