Couch potato biking

By Tony Pizza, Sports Editor

Have you ever driven up one of Utah’s canyons and seen people killing themselves trying to drive up a 12 percent grade on a road bicycle? The merit and the payoff is, what goes up has to come down. The down part is what should be appealing to most folks. There has to be a way to get the cake without spending a bunch of grueling hours mixing the batter.

You and a friend could park one car at the bottom of the canyon, drive the other car and the bikes up to the top and then coast down only to have to drive back up and pick up the left-behind vehicle. Or you could just use the good-old Utah Transit Authority. That’s how you get couch potato cycling and another way to lazily enjoy yourself up one of Salt Lake City’s major canyons.

Two dollars can get you and your bike from the bottom of either Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon to your favorite ski resort. Take Big Cottonwood and head up to Brighton Ski Resort or Solitude Mountain Resort. You can get dropped off at either Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort or Alta Ski Area going up Little Cottonwood. Either way, you’re in for a fast ride, essentially all downhill, that beats any alpine slide or roller coaster Utah has to offer, and you probably don’t have to pedal more than 10 times total.

Admittedly, the ride down isn’t the safest idea in the world. Cars fly down those canyons faster than 40 mph, and there is typically little leeway between the road and a cliff. Helmets are a must. Road rash gear is almost as essential.

Finding a cheap way to go on a legal thrill ride is almost impossible these days. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll actually feel guilty enough to cycle to the top before you come back down. That’s pretty healthy according to doctors.

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