by Troy Oldham, race director, Cache Gran Fondo
Why do you see so many cyclists around Cache Valley? The answer is Cache Valley is one of the best places to ride in the west. The better question is what attracts cyclists here? The answer: wide-open roadways, light traffic, clean mountain air, miles of flat and rolling county roads and multiple canyons for climbing. Cool morning temperatures, followed by long sunny days, stunning scenery in 360-degree views and broad-scale community support all add to the attraction. While many of the best cycling locations in the world can boast about some of these important elements, Cache Valley and the surrounding area, have all of these elements rolled into one. Cache Valley is home to widely recognized events like LOTOJA (Logan to Jackson), MS150, Little Red Riding Hood and the Cache Gran Fondo.
Over the past 35 years, competitive and recreational cycling has grown significantly in the United States, mainly as a transplanted sport from Europe. Likewise, early cycling pioneers in Cache Valley have banded together in small groups of riders, many doing the work required to build competitive cycling events, create rider clubs and introduce outside cyclists to our near-perfect cycling environment.
The Logan Race Club is an example of a group of local cyclists who support the sport, create competitive and training opportunities and provide service to the community. “We host multiple rides every week and cater to different levels of riders, from racers to new novice riders,” said Jeff Shephard of the Logan Race Club. “It’s not uncommon to see our distinctive team kits showcasing a variety of outstanding sponsors in nearly every event in northern Utah.”
Cycling is also an economic engine for the local community. Cyclists come into the valley from all points on the compass and they stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, buy our fuel and shop in our stores. When cycling and running events are hosted here, it naturally supports our local businesses .
Cycling also helps many local people stay active and live healthier lifestyles. More than 60 percent of Gran Fondo riders are from within the Cache Valley area, and most train 100-200 miles a week getting ready for the events.