The Utah Pandemic Bicycle Boom Will Not Burst • Salt Lake Magazine

The breeze blowing through the slots in my helmet reminds me that in those decidedly unhappy days of the pandemic past, all was not bad. Much was of course terrible, but not the regained feeling of freedom. Amid a constant cycle of takeaway meals, questionable hygiene, and missing puzzle pieces, the amazement I found as I rolled outside on two wheels was remarkable. I wasn’t alone.

Perhaps not since Karl von Drais invented the “velocipede” or “hobby horse” in 1817, the bicycle has experienced such enthusiasm. The record year of cycling was visible everywhere, from sparse shelves in bike shops with no inventory to jam-packed trailheads to the countless bike racks that adorn every Outback and Tacoma within sight. Already a hotbed for cycling activity, Utah is riding the cycling wave this summer, welcoming riders with open roads and twisted bands of dirt. Rise.

Rubber hits the road

Antelope Island: The drive is so scenic that it is often used as the venue for the Tour of Utah; Photo by Jonathan Devich /

Lots of us grabbed those new bikes and raced the streets exploring our neighborhoods like these kids in Stranger Things. Getting to know every nook and cranny of the sidewalk was great fun, but it’s time to take a few miles through the dramatic landscapes of Utah on some of our favorite road trips. Regardless of fitness level or preferred geological location, there is something for everyone.

Start with a classic ride on Antelope Island near SLC. Leave the car Century Park in Syracuse and take the Causeway to State Park. The 47-mile round-trip route offers a consistently flat incline and impeccable pavement quality, from which drivers can enjoy great views of the Great Salt Lake and game viewing of bison, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep.

If the weather heats up during Dog Days, head northeast to Flaming canyon for some cooler temperatures in higher elevations. This 68 mile round-trip journey begins at another Centennial Park, this one in the small town of Manila at 200 West. Travel south on SR 44 through the breathtaking scenery in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area before joining US 191 at mile 28 and Flaming Gorge Dam at mile 34. Reverse the route and finish with a drink at Flaming Gorge Brewing Company. You have earned it.

For a short, sweet, and scenic south cruise, roll up to Capitol Reef National Park. From the visitor center, cyclists can enter the park for as little as $ 3 and drive through the park on the eight-mile scenic drive. Cool off in the shade at Fruita, the historic community founded by Mormon settlers in the 19th century, and admire the unique 240-million-year-old Moenkopi rock formations. At just 25 kilometers, this round trip is short enough to go early in the morning or late in the evening in (relatively) cooler temperatures.


Mountain bikers in Deer ValleyDeer valley; Courtesy Deer Valley

Enough with the annoying, calorie-burning road trips. A ski-like culture of list-based, gravity-powered mountain biking has emerged across Utah. Gravity Cycling is ingrained in history here, from the elite NORBA National Downhill races in Deer Valley to the groundbreaking Red Bull Rampage competition near Virgin, but now you don’t have to be a pro-level daredevil to get it to enjoy.

Resorts across the state spin like January in July, some with standout bike parks with expert-level downhill trails and beginner-friendly flow trails. Deer valley (2250 Deer Valley Dr., Park City, 435-649-1000) has the famous rugged racetracks of yore like NCS along with smooth, berm-filled trails like Holy Roller. Woodward Park City (Woodward Park City: 3863 Kilby Rd., Park City, 435-658-2648) has trails and features that range from entertaining benign on Easy Rider to quite gigantic on Spiral Jetty. Both resorts also offer progressive directions. Elevator access starts at around $ 60 for a full day.

If you’re looking for a bucket-list mountain biking experience, consider a helicopter flight into the highlands Whisper Ridge (4776 E. 2600 Nord, Eden, 801-876-4664). Starting at US $ 200 per person, riders are taken in a Whirlybird over 3,000 vertical meters to the top of Whisper Ridge’s private mountain bike trails. With so few people walking on the premises, drivers can expect pristine conditions with sticky dirt with no blown corners and bumpy braking. The helicopter flight alone is worth the price of admission. To shred the high mountain area above Eden with the only heli-bike operation in the lower 48 is the icing on the cake.

Local rigs for local rides

Whether you’re auditioning for a spot on the Tour of Utah next year or an aspiring gravity fan, the Lindon-based bike company Fezzari (520 N. Geneva Rd., Lindon, 801-471-0440) has your next ride. An online sales model directly to consumers means big savings for you, while the 23-point custom setup ensures an out-of-the-box choice.

Empire racing bike from Fezzari

Mile Müncher


Named after the epic road trip up the Empire Canyon, the Empire is a lightning-fast racing bike that is trimmed for comfort, kilometer after kilometer. From $ 1,800.

La Sal peak from Fezzari

Rowdy Rig

La Sal summit

With 150 mm of real travel, a 170 mm fork, 29-inch wheels and progressive geometry, the La Sal Peak has its back on the fastest and roughest descents you can find. From $ 3,600.

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