Cycling Northern Utah from Logan

Hats off to those who have paved the way for my future rides, giving me advice about gear, routes, and specifics of various locations. Hats off to me if I complete this list by the end of the semester, and even better if pursue long trips throughout the summer. We'll see. I aim to start with short day trips to some of our local hot spots, moving on to weekend trips with camping, and up to longer tours in other parts of the state. The amount of time spent away from my bike is ridiculous as I did not cycle through the winter like planned, and I need to develop a rigorous training schedule if I'm going to do any multi-day tours soon. Keep in mind that I'm new to touring, and relatively new to serious cycling, so what seems like a long ride to me might be easy for others, and what seems mild to me might seem hard to others. It's all relative.

Troubles I foresee include the cost of purchasing needed gear (panniers-- bags that attach to my rack-- and padded shorts are crucial, and a lightweight packing tent would be nice although I can get by camping without one), finding willing and able partners to ride with (alone is okay, small groups are better), and for trips that don't start out in Logan I will need a bike rack for my car.

Lists seem to hit a special spot, trigger an innate need for completion. Documentation, proof really, that this is something important to me that must be done. So here is my up and coming bicycle ride/touring list.

  • Porcupine Reservoir
Roughly 40 miles round trip, this a good day ride with potential for a rewarding swim in icy water and a relaxed picnic under the trees. For more fun, I could recruit friends to join and we could camp overnight as well. I did this ride a couple summers ago and really enjoyed myself. The only major issue I encountered was my ability to find drinking water to refill my bottles. For future reference on all trips, pack more water and/or take my filtration system, and ration my intake. Oh, and it's probably best to avoid riding smack dab in the middle of a summer day. Woops.


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If I went straight to the hot springs and back, I'd be looking at about 50 miles round trip, of course it makes much more sense to head west and after soaking at the springs I've known since I was young, ride out to my parents' house for a good dinner and comfortable bed overnight. A mix-up in the morning could take me out past Cutler Dam, through Newton and Benson, and past more waterways that lend themselves to wildlife sightings and bird watching if I feel so inclined (plus great picnic stops!). Roughly 70 miles round trip.


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  • Lotola (Logan to La Tienda)
A knock off joke and beginner's ride compared to Lotoja (Logan to Jackson, the longest single-day ride sanctioned, 206 miles), Lotola is the drinkers idea of a good ride. Most people know La Tienda as the closest place to buy beer on Sundays if you live in Logan, but it's also the closest place to buy "Idaho" beer, that is beer with higher percentage of alcohol by volume than Utah's beverages. Take a ride, save some gas, and put in about 40 miles round trip. Be prepared to add extra weight to your bike on the return trip.


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  • Bear Lake/Garden City
80 miles round trip and elevation gains and losses while cycling through Logan canyon will make this a good workout. The rewards? Raspberry shakes, breathtaking views and one of my favorite summer destinations. Be weary of traffic, and especially be cautious on the narrow shoulders through parts of the winding canyon.


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One of my favorite getaways, these natural hot springs are powered by solar panels and privately owned. If a bed sounds more appealing than camping, the detroiter is available for overnight rent, and with 100 miles round trip, an overnight stay and good soak will make for a relaxing trip rather than a body buster.


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Eventually it would be nice to push outward, expanding to Antelope Island (160 miles round trip), Pocatello (240 miles round trip and a stop at Lava Hot Springs), and various other locations in Northern Utah, Southern Idaho, etc. I'll add to this list later.

For now, I need and want a sponsor that would like to pay for the costs of my needed gear in exchange for pure gratification in knowing this young lady will be happy, healthy, and active. :)

Shout out to Aggie Blue Bikes, an AmeriCorps sponsored program at USU that teaches community members to work on their own bikes and provides the space and tools needed for free, promotes cycling as a viable alternative to commuting by car, and even checks out (loans) bikes. They do not sell parts for bicycles (but they do carry a few helmets) and so I'll link you to my regular and preferred bike shop in town, Sunrise Cyclery, for your other needs.


** Please note that I chose the most direct routes, avoiding interstates, with google maps. Routes include highways with speed limits up to 65 mph and potential for cars and trucks traveling much faster, so if you come across this blog while searching for your own trips, please be advised of such conditions. There are better roads to take to many of these destinations and I simply used these maps to illustrate locations and routes. Search out back roads, they have character. And as always, please cycle safely and obey traffic laws.

Comments

  1. You are so motivated!!! I love reading your blog you are always so creative and yearning for something great!
    Have fun with bike trips it sounds like fun!

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  2. Go you!! You are a tough girl and I know you could do it. I am going to try the 10k again. You inspire me!

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  3. so fun! i've been thinking about regional bike rides lately. i think my next one will be out to ann arbor :-)

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