By Andrew Thompson Landerghini
With temperatures in the 70s, September and October scream bicycling season. Last year, Steven Macey from the student club Dirt Rider Society let us in on the seven best mountain bike rides in the vicinity of campus. This year, Sam Beattie with the University of Utah Cycling Club rounds up the best road bike rides in and around Salt Lake Valley. Since not everyone is ready, or willing, to embark on a 100-mile bike ride every weekend, Sam lists his favorites by length, starting with 30-milers and graduating to that century mark.
“Big Mountain summit. This is one of my favorite rides in the area for sure. You get two scenic peaks, a reservoir and some real alpine scenery at the very top. The round trip is about 38 miles from Presidents Circle and includes ~3500 feet of climbing.”
“This is a really tough choice so here are a few options.
• Lambs Canyon: Go up Emigration Canyon, descend to Little Dell Reservoir, descend to Parley’s Canyon, ride up Parley’s until you see the turnoff for Lambs Canyon.
• East Canyon Reservoir: Descend the backside of Big Mountain. Alpine and high desert scenery with two reservoirs.
• NON-CANYON OPTION: Head South on Wasatch Blvd. to Adobe Headquarters in Lehi, return through Dimple Dell and back to Salt Lake.
“The best triple digit ride I’ve done is definitely wherever you want to start near SLC to Traverse Mountain to Alpine to the Alpine Loop past Sundance to Midway up to Guardsman Pass via Heber and then down Big Cottonwood Canyon and home. Bring lots of Power Bars and water.
A much easier ride would be the loop around Utah Lake.
The above rides imagine Salt Lake as a starting point. If you have all day or a car, my favorite rides include these roads:
• Powder Mountain Road from Henefer (In my opinion, the most difficult climb in Utah…except maybe Empire+Guardsman pass)
The University of Utah Cycling Club was founded in 2010 and is a part of the Intermountain Collegiate Cycling Conference, where currently 14 members can compete in collegiate cycling competitions. They typically have scheduled rides Wednesdays through Sundays. They can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and, of course, the world wide web.