Steve Zavestoski

Guide

At The Cycling House Since: 2022 Hometown: El Cerrito, California Trips Working:

Guide

Steve Zavestoski

I grew up in the golden age of triathlon. As a 12-year old, I was inspired as I rode my Mongoose BMX bike alongside athletes like Paula Newby Fraser and Scott Tinley during the run leg of the 1983 U.S. Triathlon Championships in Santa Monica, California. But it would be another decade before I gave up triathlon and then running to pursue my true passion of cycling. For another decade or more I spent my time trying to get faster, whether on competitive group rides or racing cyclocross. As I gravitated in the last 10 years to dirt and mixed terrain touring (what are now called gravel and bikepacking), I rediscovered the joy, exhilaration, and sense of discovery that had been the hallmarks of my experience riding a bike as a kid.
My bike is now a vehicle for adventure rather than a speed machine. I’ve been fortunate enough in my first career as a Professor of Environmental Studies to be able to carve out time for adventures ranging from classic Pacific Coast tours to bikepacking the Oregon Timber Trail and climbing the famous passes of the Tour de France and Giro d’italia to tours through Death Valley, southwestern Utah, and the Lost Coast.
I love experiencing the world and its people through cycling adventures and look forward to sharing this passion as a guide with The Cycling House.

What is the best thing about working at The Cycling House?

That's easy, it's The Cycling House culture. There's such a supportive atmosphere and an authentic desire for everyone to get exactly what they want out of a ride. That might be a physical challenge, a geology lesson, a social connection, or solitude. Being around people with different goals and different ways of experiencing joy on the bike expands my own ideas of the role bikes can play in our lives.

Do you have a favorite ride?

I generally avoid things that are overhyped, whether that's an Oscar-nominated movie, a new local restaurant, or a bike ride. So on my first trip with The Cycling House, I was skeptical about all the build-up for the Mt. Lemmon day. Owen Gue had probably ridden Mt. Lemmon 200 times and yet there he was riding circles in the driveway and brimming with excitement for the day. My skepticism was short-lived. Every twist and turn and every meter of elevation gained introduces you to another perspective of the mountain. It's a ride that will never get old.

What is the most memorable day you’ve ever had on the bike?

Too many to choose from! One that stands out was Day 3 on the Utah Cliffs Loop. I camped at 8,400' on the Markagunt Plateau and woke up with my contact lenses frozen in their case. But things warmed up fast on the gravel descent along Zion's north rim. The next leg continued descending along the red pavement of the Zion-Mt. Carmel Hwy. At the bottom of the descent, I turned onto the car-free Zion Canyon Scenic Dr. Great days on the bike aren't just about beauty but also adversity. After pushing my bike up portions of Smithsonian Butte, and running low on water, I got jostled for several miles across the worst washboard road I'd ever ridden. Great days on the bike are also about the rhythm of the ups and downs. This day ended with an emotional up on a desolate dirt road between Hurricane and St. George as an extraordinary sunset turned the surrounding cliffs into unreal shades of red and orange.