5 Canyons Gaining National Renown
The beauty and serenity of an early morning canyon bike ride is unmatched, and on Utah's Wasatch Front, there is an abundance of beautiful canyons to ride. Many cyclists enjoy a (literally) breath-taking ride up one of these canyons and then call it a day. Some even occasionally string a few canyons together to up the ante, but how many cyclists can say they’ve tackled all five of the major riding canyons surrounding Salt Lake City in one day?
The 5 Canyons Bike Challenge has been attracting cyclists who thirst for challenge (and glory) for four years now. Held ever year on the second odd-numbered Saturday in September, the ride is one of the most daunting—and beautiful—cycling challenges in the country, ascending more than 14,000 feet over 116 miles through all five of Salt Lake City’s picturesque riding canyons before finishing at the Utah Capitol building complex.
Comprising three HC climbs and two Category 2 climbs, the ride has the steepest average gradient and more elevation gain than most other rides in America. It is for this reason that riders from around the country (and even world) are starting to take notice.
The ride starts at the parking lot in front of the Black Bear Diner in Sandy and then proceeds to climb up Little Cottonwood Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Millcreek Canyon, Emigration Canyon, and finally City Creek Canyon. Riders can choose to climb one, two, three, four, or all five canyons. Those who conquer all five canyons will receive a killer finisher’s medal, courtesy of Utah-based DNA Cycling (Drive Marketing).
All riders, regardless of how many mountains they conquer, will enjoy fully stocked aid stations, and will receive a free event drawstring backpack, Specialized water bottle, event t-shirt, $25 credit for the 5 Canyons Silent Auction, discounted lodging, and good karma!
The 5 Canyons ride is a fundraiser for Wheels of Justice, a local nonprofit dedicated to putting an end to child abuse. Wheels of Justice is not only a cycling club but a confederation of cycling clubs, all dedicated to the cause. Wheels of Justice and its members recognize that even the most serious of problems can be addressed in a fun way.
For the past few years, Wheels of Justice’s sister organization, Wings of Justice, has been organizing a challenging ultramarathon on the same day as the bike challenge, so runners as well as cyclists can take part in the fun.
However, you don’t have to be a cyclist or a runner to enjoy 5 Canyons or support the fight. The night before the ride, Wheels of Justice and Wings of Justice put on the 5 Canyons festival in Holladay, with food, exhibitors, and a silent auction for everyone to enjoy. The 5 Canyons Festival will take place on Friday, September 24th at 5:00 PM with the ride starting the following morning at 7:00 AM.