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Moab Skinny Tire Festival

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

For Mark Griffith, gently riding a bike along roads shadowed by giant red cliffs or atop deep canyons is a religious experience of sorts. The consistent pumping of heart and legs combined with the grandeur of nature gives Mark a profound sense of purpose. That's why for the past three years Mark has been inviting cyclists from all over to participate in the Moab Skinny Tire Festival and hopefully feel the same sensation as they ride to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

As a local entrepreneur, Mark distributes nutritional sports products and runs a real-estate project with his sister. His involvement with the tire festival started several years ago after Mark lost his older brother to cancer. The event left Mark and members of his family with feelings of frustration and desires to make a difference in the fight against cancer. Rather than simply write a check to an organization, Mark chose to become actively involved in the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a group founded by world-renowned cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong.

Mark joined the foundation as a Peloton Project Member. A Peloton in the world of cycling describes the lead group of riders in a race. Much the same way Peloton members in a race feed off of one another's drafts, Peloton Project Members in the Lance Armstrong Foundation work together to raise money for cancer research, support groups and survivor education programs.

When Mark first founded the Moab Skinny Tire Festival only 12 riders participated. The second year over a 100 took part. This year Mark and his team of volunteers are expecting over 200 riders of all skill levels. The festival starts on March 7 and lasts four days. Each day the cyclists start in Moab and ride asphalt roads to a different scenic location. To enter, riders must raise a minimum of $150 prior to the race. Amenities of the festival include multiple aid stations complete with food, roaming bicyclist mechanics, a sag wagon for tired riders, and prizes. Those interested in joining Mark can visit the Festival's Web site at

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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