Shasta Glide 'n Ride's tour guides time their running commentary, broadcast through headsets, to the whir of Segway wheels propelling patrons through scenic stretches of the paved Sacramento River Trail. First, riders hone Segway skills during a brief session that includes hands-on training, an instructional video, and tips on how to garner the best mechanical performance by impersonating a mother robot. With new Segway knowledge in hand, tours embark from the parking lot at Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Roadsters obediently bend to their riders’ whims as they zoom across the nearby Sundial Bridge and through sunning flocks of wildlife to the tune of tales about the Gold Rush and Old West. Available cooling vests enable comfortable treks, even on days with 100-degree temperatures or hot-cocoa downpours, and modern technology allows Segways to slice through fog or light rain. Patrons can also design their own tours atop rental bikes and pedal through local flora and fauna for hours at a time.
Longtime riders Megan and Kristin Grove have a wealth of experience in dressage, vaulting, and three-day events, and they draw from this broad base of knowledge as they teach students at Equestrians in Harmony. Clients of all ages and skill levels can learn from the stables' well-rounded curriculum, which teaches them not only to ride but also to care for horses correctly. Lessons build riders' strength and coordination and improve horse-and-rider bonds, helping them work together as a team while competing at horse shows or fighting crime at night.
There's not a white T-shirt in sight at Mud Blast's finish line, though you might see a pink tutu. Messy terrain dominates the forests, fields, and river lands that line the race's five kilometers and the path to victory winds through tunnels, tires, hay-bale climbs, and other obstacles. Pits might lurk around any turn, threatening to cover runners in liquified dirt from head to toe to that marsupial pouch they didn't know they had. Mud blankets everyone who crosses the finish line: adults, teens, and even kids, who race through their own Mini Mud Blast course. Post-race celebrations add to the messy fun with awards for top finishers and best costumes.
The Mud Run's blend of competition and celebration occurs along the banks of both the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. These locations aren't arbitrary; proceeds from each run go towards the conservation of these river lands, thanks to the efforts of the Mud Blast's parent company, River Partners. The organization owns Willow Bend and is actively working to restore its more than 160 acres to riparian habitat as well as Dos Rios Ranch and its 1,600 acres of woodlands, flood plains, and working agricultural fields.