BY DAVID R. WARD
Spring is coming, and thanks to a few good people, "roadies" have many good tours and rides to look forward to in 1998. Indeed, it is difficult to contain one's excitement in pondering this year's lineup.
The town of West Yellow-stone is putting on the first major touring event April 11-12. The Yellowstone Spring Cycle Tour Ô98 is an event with the potential to be one of the year's best.
A word of caution, though: Come prepared. At this time of year, the weather in the Yellowstone area is anything but predictable. For more on this tour see page 9.
Closer to home, the folks at Bonneville Bicycle Touring Club (BBTC) are once again providing a full slate of riding and touring opportunities. BBTC puts on several major events each year. Thanks to the diligent and volunteer spirit of BBTC's members, these always seem to be organized well so that participants can relax and enjoy the ride.
BBTC's 1998 schedule of major events actually kicks off April 11 with a mountain bike tour, the Antelope Island Buffalo Bike Ride, a benefit ride for the development of mountain biking on Antelope Island. Last year, this was an outstanding event. Blessed with blue skies and a cool, crisp morning, we rode the full 30-mile loop around the island. This year, participants will not be able to do the 30-mile loop due to construction. However, in addition to the 9- and 24-mile option, there will be a 21-mile ride. This will include an interesting and exciting new section of trail, the direct result of the proceeds from last year's event.
BBTC's road calendar kicks off with the Cycle Salt Lake Week. Scheduled for May 9-17, this week long celebration will include, in addition to the racing events, a children's bicycle rodeo, celebrity race (see your favorite disc jockey or news anchor in action), human-powered vehicle event, historical homes tour, and a bike-to-work ride with Salt Lake Mayor DeeDee Corradini (complete with breakfast).
BBTC's big ride during the Cycle Salt Lake Week is the Salt Lake Century Ride on May 16. Formerly known as the AIB Century Ride, it appeared this perennial favorite might drop from the calendar due to American Investment Bank's decision to discontinue its excellent support. Through the efforts of BBTC's president, Jon Smith, the event has been salvaged, and will be back with the same excellent route and support. The ride has 28, 67 and 100 mile options.
The next major event is BBTC's Little Red Riding Hood/Women's Metric Century on June 6. This longstanding annual ride is located in beautiful Cache Valley and is an opportunity to reverse roles, with the men supporting the women as they enjoy the ride.
Two weeks later, June 20, is the little known Summer Solstice 200. Utah's only double century tour has actually been around for two years. Poorly advertised and promoted, BBTC has now taken over the responsibility of getting the word out. Beginning and ending in Park City, this ride has over 12,000 feet of climbing in and around the hills and passes on the east side of the Wasatch range. This is beautiful biking country for those with the stamina to ride this event.
Next up for BBTC is its annual (14th Annual to be exact) favorite, the Utah Lake Century Epic Ride (ULCER) on August 8. Contrary to the challenges of the Summer Solstice 200, this basically flat route around Utah Lake is an opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenery.
BBTC winds up the road schedule with the outstanding Southern Utah National Parks Tour. See related story.
As with the start of the year, BBTC will end the year with a mountain bike event, the White Rim Tour Ô98. Canceled last year because of potential road closure due to the effects of El Nino (what else?), this event is back this year, with assurances from Smith that it will take place. Riding along the Green River and along the rim overlooking the Colorado River, this is an excellent time of year to enjoy the climate and country of Moab, Utah.
BBTC also organizes weekly rides. Want to pick up with some other cyclists on a weekday evening or weekend? Call BBTC's hotline: (801) 534-4451.