Sometimes a change of scenery is all it takes to reinvent a family dynamic. For Graham Lindenbach, a lifelong dirt biker from Campbell River, B.C., that moment of clarity came on a trip to Utah with his wife and four children.
In 2006, Lindenbach decided to take his family to Utah to explore Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks and the Anasazi cliff dwellings during spring break. As the family travelled through Utah, Lindenbach decided to spend a couple of days in Moab.
“There were lots of outdoor activities like hiking, rafting, rock climbing and 4x4ing—it was right up my alley,” he said. “As we drove along the main drag, it was clear that Moab specialized in off-road vehicles of all types. There were motorbikes, quads and Jeeps for rent and Hummer tours, but what caught my eye was Yamaha’s brand new Rhino. The concept of having a two-seater side-by-side was something new. We had to pull over to take a look.”
Lindenbach rented two rhinos, fitting two kids and one adult in each, and headed to a nearby camping/riding area.
Graham Lindenbach has passed on his love of motorbikes and ATVs to his children. (L to R) Talise, Robyn, Graham, Jeffrey and Marita Lindenbach. — Photo courtesy Graham Lindenbach
“That night we explored a sand wash near the camping area,” he said. “As it twisted and turned back into the hills, I was hooked.”
Seizing the opportunity and the 24-hour rental period, Lindenbach was determined to do as much exploring as possible with his family. The family set out before the sun broke the horizon. With the early morning temperature being frigid, they topped out on a mesa, looking for some rays of sunshine to warm themselves.
Next, they followed a trail down into a narrow canyon and came across a section of slick rock. Following dots painted on rocks, bordered by the marks of numerous tires that had gone before, they crawled up the sandstone, keeping clear of places that were dangerously off camber. The trail took the Lindenbachs up ridges, around mesas, through sand washes and into numerous narrow canyons.
“We were putting these little machines through their paces,” said Lindenbach. “We all had a blast!”
Robyn Lindenbach shows off the extreme angles her side-by-side is capable of traversing. — Photo courtesy Graham Lindenbach
Lindenbach’s best day ever ended up being the catalyst for many more eventful outings with his family. When he returned home to Campbell River, Lindenbach purchased a Rhino from a local dealership. The additional vehicle helped seal a firm bond within the Lindenbach home that continues today.
“My wife no longer had a dirt bike and my oldest daughter didn’t ride, so this was a perfect way to keep all six of us riding and exploring as a family,” Lindenbach said. “What a great way to get us all out together and have a means to carry extra fuel and food and go on extended rides. I was cooking up all sorts of overnight adventures that have now become possible. It was the start of a new era of riding, and we’ve never looked back.”