The Tour of Utah 2015
- Posted On
- Apr 15, 2016
For the past two years, The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has held many of its stages in the redrock splendor of Southern Utah. The host city venues of Cedar City, Panguitch, Torrey and Richfield welcomed the Tour with open arms. Excited visitors and residents lined the routes. Images of the iconic section of Scenic Hwy 12 in Red Canyon with the peloton riding through the massive rock tunnels are memorable to all who witnessed. The thrilling sprints past the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, over the razor-thin Hogsback in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and overlooks of the dramatic Waterpocket Fold in Capitol Reef will not soon be forgotten.
Now three stages of the Tour takes on yet another, but altogether different scenic environment of Utah – lush Cache Valley/Logan, the rolling hills near Tremonton down through the orchards of Fruit Way, into vibrant Ogden, on to the rugged landscape of Antelope Island State Park, up Ogden Canyon to Pineview Reservoir and over Trappers Loop to Morgan County and back through the lovely Davis County communities of Farmington, Centerville and Bountiful. Stages one, two and three, all in Northern Utah.
Stage One, Logan to Logan
For the first time in its history, the Tour of Utah will start and finish in Logan on Monday, August 3rd. Beautiful in any season and nestled deep in the lush Cache Valley, Logan sits at the foot of the Bear River Range rising to nearly 10,000 feet. The drive through the towering granite cliffs of Logan Canyon to the turquoise waters of Bear Lake provides spectacular scenery and access to a variety of fantastic outdoor experiences.
Logan’s history includes the footprints of Native Americans and a long list of trappers, traders, pioneers and hard-scrabble farmers who created beauty and abundance. Dairy farmers and cheese makers spawned a vibrant agricultural community, giving rise to one of the nation’s premiere agricultural colleges. Today, Utah State University is a world-class research university, producing a highly-trained and highly-educated workforce. Forty-seven percent of the residents in the metropolitan area hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Boasting one of the lowest crime rates in the nation and a quiet, laid-back approach to living, Logan today is a community of exploration, culture, and wonder; a unique blend of heritage and harmony; passion with the peaceful. While the lifestyle and beauty of its landscapes beckons visitors, what truly characterizes Logan are its people. The DNA of trappers and traders still flows in their veins and it’s still a crossroads of discovery, commerce and coming together.
The local cyclists know, and visitors soon discover, the many scenic cycling rides through Cache Valley's small towns and farming communities through wide open space on little-used roadways. Mountain biking is very popular in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest where the scenery includes rivers and lakes, forested canopies, and meadows of wildflowers. But this is skinny tire country and events and races rule the roost here. The MS 150 Bike Tour, Little Red Riding Hood and LOTOJA bike races are all held in the Logan area.
MS 150 BIKE TOUR in July is organized by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is Utah's largest organized cycling event. It attracts more than 2,500 cyclists and 300 volunteers. Participants pedal 75 miles each day along the back roads of Cache Valley's scenic countryside. An optional, shorter route of 40 miles per day is also offered. This annual bike tour is designed to be a challenging ride for both the experienced biker and the energetic novice.
The Bonneville Cycling Club (BCC) will stage the 28th Anniversary Little Red Riding Hood event to raise money to fight cancer in women. BCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and riding opportunities for both novice recreational riders and advanced cyclists training for centuries. Little Red Riding Hood is a fully supported, non-competitive, women only cycling event with 27, 36, 50, 70 and 100 mile distances.
Every September since 1983, Cache Valley has warmly welcomed thousands of LOTOJA (Logan to Jackson) Classic cyclists. Its 206-mile course is incredibly scenic, especially grueling, and stands as the longest one-day USCF-sanctioned bicycle race in the country. Participants travel from all over the United States and many foreign countries to test their physical and mental stamina on a course that climbs three mountain passes and nearly 10,000 feet. LOTOJA begins in Logan, weaves its way through southeastern Idaho and finishes in the shadows of the Teton Mountain Range at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
In addition to great cycling opportunities, Logan is truly Utah's heart of the arts. Summertime boasts internationally renowned Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre performances, concerts and workshops, Old Lyric Repertory shows and free concerts at the Tabernacle.
Stage One of The Tour of Utah will have its start and finish in downtown Logan. The race will have a neutral lap and head up Logan Canyon and around Bear Lake into Idaho, the first time in Utah’s neighbor to the north. The race will then proceed back down canyon and will conclude downtown with two laps to the finish. At approximately 131 miles, this will be the longest stage of the 2015 Tour of Utah.
Stage Two – Tremonton to Ogden
Another first time host city in the north, Stage two will start in Tremonton City located in the Bear River Valley in northeastern Box Elder County. Located near the junction of Interstate 15 and Interstate 84, Tremonton is a popular stop for travelers heading north to Yellowstone or returning to Salt Lake City. Tremonton is exploring efforts to revitalize the downtown area and the Tour of Utah will help showcase this important beautification project.
The Tremonton area was largely uninhabited until just before 1900, when land agents started promoting the Bear River Valley as a place for Midwestern farmers to relocate. Mostly of German descent, the new Protestant settlers were referred to as the “German colony” and named the town “Tremont”, which was later renamed Tremonton.
Tremonton City has all the advantages of a rural life style and yet its residents can take advantage of all the amenities of the surrounding metropolitan areas. It is a full-service city that takes pride in keeping taxes low while striving to keep city services at the highest possible standards.
Although not as well-known as other cycling venues in Utah, Tremonton has some excellent road routes.
The Golden Spike Challenge is a 57.7-mile ride combining a 42-mile loop with a 16-mile out-and-back segment. The origin and destination are the city of Tremonton and the Golden Spike National Historic Site, respectively. In between, the route skirts the perimeter of the ATK Thiokol facility and attacks the Blue Spring Hills. Significant climbs are featured in the latter, and on the road to Golden Spike. The elevation ranges from 4,291 feet just west of Tremonton to 5,420 feet at the crest of the Blue Spring Hills. The ride starts at Tremonton City Meadow Park.
Local Tremonton riders often take a spin on a 39+ mile loop with a 560 foot climb. The route is south of town and begins and ends in Tremonton. For a short half-hour spin before or after the workday, there’s a sweet 4½ mile loop east of I-15 near the town of Garland.
Starting in Tremonton the Tour of Utah race will continue south traveling through Box Elder County. The stage will cruise down a stretch of U.S. 89 from Brigham City to Willard that has become known as "Fruit Way" because of the many seasonal produce stands that line the road. Baskets full of peaches in several varieties stock their tables along with pears, onions, squash, peppers and even ruby-red popcorn kernels. Throughout the fall, visitors to Fruit Way will find peaches, pears, apples, pumpkins and more.
There are many beautiful stretches of historic Highway 89 in Utah, but the 10 miles from Perry south to Willard is perhaps the sweetest. Along the “Fruit Way,” more than 10 established multigenerational farmers’ fruit stands—along with many growers selling out of flatbed trucks and trailers—sell in-season fruit from the area. The quaint village of Fruit Heights has the conveniences of urban living with a quiet, rural charm. Brigham City Peach Days in early September is an ideal time to enjoy the fruits of the harvest.
After hosting a stage start for the past two years, Stage 2 will finish in historic downtown Ogden. Ogden City in Weber County is nestled against the Wasatch Mountains with fantastic views of the mountain range to the east and the Great Salt Lake to the west. Two major rivers, the Ogden and the Weber, flow through the city on their way to the Great Salt Lake. Ogden has its roots in the railroad industry as the Junction City of the Transcontinental Railroad, which was completed at the historic Golden Spike location at Promontory Summit in 1869.
In 2002, the world’s eyes were on Ogden as it hosted alpine skiing and curling events for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Capitalizing on its newfound recognition and pristine natural environment, Ogden has since grown to be a recreation metropolis, with its sights set on becoming the high adventure recreation capital of the world.
Ogden is a great place to live with all the benefits of urban life, along with incredible access to the outdoors. On top of that, Weber County residents enjoy a very high quality of life and low cost of living—the benefits of both a city and a mountain town.
The cycling scene is Weber County is in excellent hands thanks to Weber Pathways, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to plan, promote, construct, and protect non-motorized trails and related open space in the county.
The organization is committed to the idea that non-motorized network of public pathways significantly contribute to our community’s economic vitality and quality of life. Weber Pathways has several ambitious in the works. One is a 12-mile non-motorized trail along the Weber River that will extend upstream from the confluence of the Weber and Ogden rivers to the Fisherman’s Trailhead in South Weber and eventually to the mouth of Weber Canyon. This trail is part of the Centennial Trail, a planned 27-mile loop around Ogden that also includes the Ogden River Parkway and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
Arriving in Ogden, Tour of Utah racers will travel through the city, up Ogden Canyon into Eden Valley and then up North Ogden Divide and back down to complete 3 circuits in Downtown Ogden and finish on Historic 25th Street. Exciting Stage two is approximately 99 miles with some serious elevation gains riding up canyon.
Stage Three – Antelope Island to Bountiful
The Tour of Utah visits Davis County for the first time with a Stage 3 start at Antelope Island State Park and a finish in Bountiful. Davis is Utah’s smallest county in land area (two thirds of which is Great Salt Lake) but is the third largest in population. Davis County is one of the first areas settled by early pioneers who arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847. The lush lake-wetlands, fertile soils of the bench lands, and streams flowing out of the high Wasatch Mountains on the east attracted early settlers who established small farms and close-knit communities.
Davis County enjoys a wide mix of people and has moved from a traditional agricultural dependency to an interlocking network of suburban communities around a core of original pioneer towns. Its citizens are part of an economic and social patter that reaches far beyond the County’s geographical limits.
Rich in scenic beauty and natural features, Antelope Island State Park is the perfect place to view the Great Salt Lake. Driving across the 7.2 mile causeway connecting the mainland to the island gives you time to leave the bustle of the Wasatch Front for the natural setting of a protected state park and beautiful vistas. It is the largest of the Great Salt Lake’s nine islands and from the mainland the island appears barren and deserted but it is home to an astonishing variety of flora and fauna native to the Great Basin. It is also a great place to view wildlife including antelope (its namesake), American Bison, deer, bobcats, coyotes, many varieties of birds and waterfowl. Antelope Island State Park is also famous for gorgeous sunsets that seem to melt into the Great Salt Lake.
Antelope Island State Park also offers a variety of recreational activities with white-sand beaches for sunbathers and picnickers. The Great Salt Lake is several times more salty than the ocean. Because of this the water is extra buoyant and people float easily on its surface. Hiking, biking and horseback trails lead to scenic points all over the island. A marina serves sailboats, powerboats and kayakers.
Located only ten minutes north of downtown Salt Lake City is Bountiful—fittingly referred to as the city of “beautiful homes and gardens.” Originally settled in 1847, the city retains much of its small town appeal while being a sought-after community in which to work and live. The authentic charm of Bountiful’s Historic Main Street offers visitors a unique shopping and dining experience. Historic Main Street is also known for its annual parades and cultural events like the famous Summerfest International Festival which brings together multi-cultures and dancers from around the world each August. With its rich heritage, small town charm, and spectacular views of lakes, mountains, and valleys, Bountiful has all you need to experience life at its best.
The cycling scene is Bountiful is well organized, thanks to the Bountiful Mazda Cycling Club that provides social, training, and competitive riding for bicyclists in Davis County and the surrounding areas. The club offers group training and social rides for cyclists of all abilities, organized events throughout the year, and participates in several regional rides and races, culminating with LOTOJA every fall. The Club also has close ties with the Bountiful Mazda Racing Team, offering a way for members to explore the Utah racing scene and get involved in UCA events. The club has several weekly rides of various lengths and for all abilities.
On very popular route in Davis County is The Legacy Parkway, a level, paved bike and jogging trail that follows the Legacy Highway from the Frontrunner Station in Farmington ending in North Salt Lake. Legacy is approximately 12.5 miles one way and since there is no cross-traffic, it makes for a nice uninterrupted ride.
Stage three of The Tour of Utah begins with a fast paced lap around the north loop on Antelope Island. The race will then head over the 7.2 mile causeway and up the west side of Davis County into Weber County and again head toward North Ogden Divide for the first grueling climb of the day. The race will continue along Pineview Reservoir and up/over Trappers Loop into Morgan County. Next the racers will head onto I-84 for a short time and head up US-89 south. The course then follows along Main Street through Farmington, Centerville, to Bountiful. The route will then turn west on 400 North in Bountiful to do the first of two trips around a 9 mile circuit of the Bountiful Bench that includes the brutal climb up to the Bountiful LDS Temple. Stage three finishes in Downtown Bountiful after approximately 107 miles.