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Davis Journal

Ride a bike to enjoy more health, sunshine, and joy

May 06, 2021 10:28AM ● By Karmel Harper

Nikola Weeks and her 7-year old son, Luke, spend quality time together riding bikes. Photo by Nikola Weeks.

With so many businesses struggling through 2020, one industry that actually boomed is bicycling. With lockdowns in place, people of all ages embraced every opportunity to go outside and bicycling’s popularity increased dramatically. 

The NPD Group’s Retail Sales Tracking report shows that from April 2019 to April 2020, sales of kids’ bikes increased 100%, fitness bikes went up 125%, and lifestyle bikes shot up a whopping 200%. Numbers from the past 12 months have yet to be released, but industry indicators show the surge has continued.

Davis County cyclists are preparing for this month’s Frontrunner Metric Century on May 8, with details below. It’s the first organized ride since before the pandemic.

“We have loved seeing the growth in our sport over the last year,” said Zach Chatelain, owner of Biker’s Edge in Kaysville. “It’s amazing to see so many happy new faces on bikes.”  

Even indoor cycle/stationary bike sales have surpassed expectations. “North American sales were 116% of plan due to the huge increase in consumer sales during lockdowns,” said Les Wiehe of Park City and Director of North American Sales of Stages Indoor Cycling.  

Bicycling enjoys mass appeal due to the incredible benefits it offers. It is really good for your heart by providing low-impact cardio exercise. Riding your bike as a primary means of transportation saves you money, wear-and-tear on your car, and is good for the environment.  Riding outside increases mood-elevating vitamin D, which is derived from sunlight (be sure to wear your sunblock!). 

Riding can be both a solo and social activity. While riding alone can be a great way to get your workout in or clear your head with much needed “alone time” while still enjoying invigorating endorphins, group rides can be a way to spend time with family and friends while also improving your riding skills. Cycling clubs such as the Bonneville Cycling Club or Wildflower Cycling Club organize group rides that are open to riders of all skill levels and even offer beginner to expert clinics.

Here in Davis County, cyclists can enjoy a ride while avoiding the dangers of vehicular traffic by riding on Legacy Trail on the west side of the county. With very little elevation change, the paved trail rewards you with views of the mountains, pastures, native foliage, and perhaps even a horse or two. 

Nikola Weeks and her 7-year old son, Luke, of Bountiful, ride Legacy often.

“I love that Luke and I can enjoy bicycling together,” Weeks said. “ It gives us quality time while enjoying the outdoors and our beautiful state.” 

If you would like to participate in cycling events and raise money for charity, consider joining a local organized ride like the upcoming 10th annual Frontrunner Century Ride which will take place on May 8, 2021. This event, along with all other major athletic events, was canceled in 2020, so organizers and riders of the Frontrunner Metric Century 2021 Ride are excited to participate in this 100-kilometer (62 miles) ride with 1,300+ of their closest friends.  

The Frontrunner Metric Century raises money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and U.S. Navy and Air Force volunteer groups, who help out at the various aid stations placed every 16 miles of this fully supported ride. While 100 kilometers may be daunting for the beginning cyclist, the route is primarily flat and includes less than 700 feet elevation gain over 62 miles. 

Matt and Robyn Storms, the creators and organizers of the event which started in 2011 with only 220 riders, emphasize that this event is not a race. It is a ride. As it has grown to over 1,300 riders in 10 years, participants range in age, fitness level, and bike style. There are riders with $10,000+ full carbon Italian road bikes as well as riders with second-hand Huffy bikes but the energy and excitement of completing 100 kilometers and receiving a bicycle-chain adorned medal is the same. 

“We just want to have a fun Spring event where all types of riders can participate, enjoy themselves, and feel successful,” Matt Storms said. The route starts at downtown Salt Lake City and ends in Ogden’s historic train depot where riders can board the FrontRunner train and relax as they are transported back to their vehicles while Pride trucking transports their bikes back to downtown SLC. 

A portion of the route is in Kaysville on Smith Lane by Centennial Jr. High and Snow Horse Elementary. So if you’re in the area on Saturday, May 8, be sure to cheer on the hundreds of riders as they roll on by.