Bike Tours Grand Canyon from Sarah Neal on Vimeo.
Company Mission and Philosophy
“Provide visitors the opportunity to experience the natural wonders of Grand Canyon in an active and educational manner while promoting a sense of stewardship that extends beyond the visitors time in the park.” Bright Angel Bicycles is Grand Canyon’s first “in-park” bike rental facility. We are passionate about the Grand Canyon and sharing it with visitors in a manner that is both fun and meaningful. Bicycles provide an environmentally preferable way to explore the park and allow visitors to take an active role in their visit. Bright Angel Bicycles is committed to providing excellence in service and operating an environmentally and socially responsible business.
In 2010, we opened a tiny kiosk as the first family owned and operated small business in Grand Canyon. As river runners for 8 years on the Colorado, we had become passionate ambassadors of Grand Canyon and outdoor living. The Canyon had miles of paved pathways on the South Rim that we felt could accommodate bicycles beautifully and get people out of their cars and onto the trails more. After pitching the idea to the Park and securing a temporary permit to “try” the idea’s viability… we worked as hard as we could to get the story of “Riding the Rim” out to the public. By the end of the first year, ridership had drastically increased and the Park was willing to give us additional time while they explored the idea of a permanent building. By the end of the second year, they were sold. Two river runners living in the low income section of town were now writing a bid to secure a “real concession” against a handful of corporate giants with mammoth resources. We however, had more heart than they had counted on. With the invaluable help of a friend that had insight into the process of government bidding, tons of creativity, a shoestring budget and a whole lot of prayer and faith … we camped out in our home office for 12 hours a day, 6 weeks straight… and completed our proposal. When NPS called us to tell us we had been awarded the contract, they congratulated us on an outstanding proposal… suggesting that rather than keeping up with the bigger players that we had “knocked the ball completely out of the Park”. So, that’s our story in a nutshell. Now the hard work is getting all of you to come to Grand Canyon, rent a bike and feel the wind in your hair! The Canyon has miles of gorgeous paved pathways along the rim. So skip the crowds, and “Ride the Rim”. It’s an epic adventure that suites everyone from children to teenagers, the young to the old. Take a tour, or rent bikes and go at your own pace!
The Guys Behind the Bikes
Wes Neal started Around the Bend Adventures, a day tour and hiking business at Grand Canyon, after eight years as a whitewater rafting guide. As his family grew, Wes found it increasingly difficult to balance life on the river with life at home. Hesitant to sever his ties with Grand Canyon he founded Around the Bend Adventures to continue sharing his knowledge of the area with visitors from around the world. For two years prior to the formation of Bright Angel Bicycles Wes led day trips and hikes at the South Rim of Grand Canyon. This time on the rim allowed Wes to see the groundwork being laid for a bicycle service on the South Rim. It was logical that a bicycle tour service would be well received; it presented a unique, affordable, and environmentally friendly way for people to experience the canyon. Bringing bicycles to Grand Canyon became a driving passion for Wes. Along with his wife Sarah who had a decade of graphic design and branding experience they began the process of proposing the idea to the Park and were successful. If Wes isn’t busy managing the business (or starting a new one), you’ll find him mountain biking, hiking, fishing or just enjoying his relationship with God in church or his love for nature with the kids.
Kyle George joined Wes as a managing partner early in the process. As a fellow river guide, parent, and small business owner Kyle and Wes had often discussed the balance of work and family framed against the landscape of Grand Canyon. Their friendship had given them a deep understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and the partnership was a logical and effective choice. A longtime cyclist, Kyle’s passion and knowledge of bicycles was complemented by his business experience and years of guiding visitors through Grand Canyon. Over Kyle’s dining room table, Wes and he gave shape to the fledgling idea of the bicycle program and set to work. Kyle also continues to pursue his passion of outdoor and lifestyle photography (check out his awesome work!) . He is an avid fly fisherman and back country skier and spends much of his spare time chasing boulders with his incredibly skilled wife Carrie who happens to be a renowned rock climber and physical therapist for athletes. Not be dismissed or forgotten, he is an excellent father and has 5 star restaurant culinary skills. (written by someone other than Kyle who speaks from experience! 🙂