Fitness
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Biking, something for everyone.

Utah not only offers beautiful terrain, but also lots of variety when it comes to riding. Riding is not only for professional athletes because anyone can get out and enjoy the benefits. Here are a few things to consider before heading out on a ride; terrain, bike, and physical ability.  

What are you interested in riding? Dirt, single track, slick rock, downhill, cross country or pavement? The type of terrain you choose is important because it will dictate where you go and what bike to ride. The beauty of living in Utah is that the options are endless. You can mountain bike on the Ridge Trail in American Fork Canyon, Corner Canyon in Draper, Mid Mountain in Park City, Foothills up Provo Canyon, or the endless trails in Moab. If mountain biking is not your thing, grab a road bike and hit the pavement. Some of the best road rides can be accessed from your front door; the Provo Parkway Trail, Murdock Trail, Alpine Loop, South Fork, Squaw Peak, and the Sun Crest. If you just want to get out and ride a cruiser bike with your family or dog, jump on the Murdock trail or Provo Parkway trail. For ideas on terrain and where to ride visit these websites:  

www.utahmountainbiking.com 

www.mtbproject.com 

www.utah.com/road-biking 

www.matadornetwork.com 

www.sundanceresort.com 

Once you have decided where you want to ride, it’s time to choose the right bike.  If you have never been biking, it is a good idea to rent a bike to find out what you prefer and how your body feels. It is important to visit a bike shop or rental shop that has experience in outfitting customers. If you decide to purchase a bike, it is worth the extra money to get a bike fit. This will pay for itself in comfort and recovery. Do your research and remember that you get what you pay for. Do not purchase a bike on-line that you have not taken out for a ride. The right bike doesn’t need to be expensive, unless you are racing and concerned with weight and speed, but a cheap bike may not last long and be uncomfortable. Here are some options for renting or buying bikes: 

UVU Outdoor Adventure Center www.uvu.edu/oac 

Mad Dog Cycles www.maddogcycles.com 

BYU Outdoors Unlimited www.outdoors.byu.edu  

Bingham Cyclery www.binghamcyclery.com 

You have an idea of where you want to ride and the right bike to use; now you need to consider your physical ability. Don’t set out on a new bike to ride Squaw Peak if you have never been on a bike, or it has been a long time. Start out with mellow terrain and build up to climbing hills.  The Provo River trail and Murdock trail are paved and are relatively flat, both great trails to start with. If you are interested in getting into mountain biking, Sundance resort offers lift service to get up to the top and various levels of difficulty. Also, don’t forget the importance of hydration and nutrition while riding. You need to fuel your body just like you fuel your car. Running on empty is no fun, hurts, and can shorten your day in the mountains or on the road. Here are some great resources for nutrition and hydration while riding: 

 Skratchlabs.com 

Bicycling.com 

Feed Zone Portables: A Cookbook of On-the Go Food for Athletes 

The first, and hardest, step is getting out and starting a new activity. Biking is a great way to spend time with friends and family, build strength, and is non-weight bearing which means it is less jarring on the joints. Start your biking journey today, once you gain experience and increase your physical ability things really get rolling and the fun begins. If you are interested in recording your miles and time, check out these fun bike apps: 

Strava 

Map My Ride 

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Happy riding! 

 

 

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Written by Kimberly Reynolds

Kimberly Reynolds is the Program Manager for the Utah Valley University OUtdoor Adventure Center

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