GUIDES AND STAFF

STAFF MEMBERS BIO

Brian Hayden
Support Staff, Office Staff, Ride Director, Driver
I moved to Duluth in the early 1980's to pursue a graduate degree in Geology. I became infatuated with Lake Superior and the availability of outdoor recreation along its shoreline. I bought a first-generation Gary Fisher (I wish I still owned it) and rode it on Duluth's earliest "mountain bike” trails, a mix of grassy ski, snowmobile, and motocross trails. I've been riding and racing ever since. My favorite races are the MDH 100 and the DK 200. I love a long day on the bike. In 2013, at the urging of my two energetic sons, who are now Sacred Rides guides with me, I founded and continue as the head coach for Duluth's NICA-affiliated Duluth Composite Team. It's an exceptional experience to see 80 high school kids love to ride their bikes on Duluth's trails. I’m inspired by teaching them a life sport that builds a strong mind, body, and character. My Sacred Ride: anywhere along the Duluth Traverse with a panoramic view of Lake Superior. I'm a Level 3 NICA coach and PMBIA instructor.

Samuel Hayden
Ride Director, Driver
I am a junior at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, studying exercise science and psychology. I also ride omnium, a mix of cross-country, short track, dual slalom, downhill, and enduro for the Fort Lewis cycling team. Mountain biking for me is about escaping the stress of daily life by immersing myself in the outdoors where I can be alone with my thoughts as my bike and I float like a butterfly over rough and rugged terrain. The harder my bike and I dance, the more time itself seems to slow down. I love how Duluth has a trail for whatever mood I am in— some are epic flow trails where I can ride fast through massive berms and push the limits, some are old-fashioned, rooty, narrow mountain bike trails, and some downhills have scary rock faces. Duluth riding is not only amazing for its terrain, it’s also cool because I can stop to eat at restaurants with locally grown food, which is ultra-important for me as a competitive cyclist. When I’m not on my bike I’m at the gym lifting or outside climbing, hiking, kayaking or working in the vegetable garden. When I give my body a break, I usually cook recovery food and read, which makes me fall asleep on the couch. My proudest moment on a bike: I was the Minnesota mountain biking state champion of 2014. My sacred ride: All of Duluth’s trails.

Levi Hayden
Ride Director, Driver
I started riding my bike in Duluth when I was about six. My dad used to pull us in a Burley. I don’t remember much from those days, but we also had a tandem Tag Along. I would be in the back all of the time behind my brother and my dad and I wouldn’t be able to shift gears, so it would be my dad’s fault if we crashed. But we never did. I started mountain biking competitively in seventh grade. My first race was the “Dirtspanker” and I came in second place. I decided I really liked racing when I started high school. In ninth grade I won the junior varsity overall championship for the Minnesota High School League. My sophomore year I got third place overall for varsity. I’m excited to guide trips, I enjoy riding and I love showing people the trails in Duluth. My Favorite Sacred Ride: Sedona. But my favorite trail in Duluth is Hawk’s Ridge. I love the view of the lake.

Stephanie Pearson
Office Staff, Ride Director
I grew up in Duluth and started my guiding career while in college, leading high school kids through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Despite a few close calls with lightning and many long portages, we all survived and I learned that good humor, great food, and warm clothes are essential to having fun outside. After earning my master's degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and worked as an editor at Outside magazine. Now a contributing editor and writer, I've moved back to my roots and am so excited about the new mountain biking opportunities in Duluth that I want to share them with others.