Pedal to Pow

An endless snake of brake lights inches forward along Wasatch Boulevard any winter morning. The inhabitants of each automobile daydreaming of first tracks down Great Scott or setting the booter up Superior. This sect of Utah’s population also contains many passionate people fighting to protect what is left of a waning snowpack. Kind of ironic, right?

I myself am a part of the problem. Each light cycle at the 7200 s. & Wasatch Boulevard turn lane (you know the one, right by the 7-11) resets my thoughts to the hypocrisy I’m taking part in. I can’t be the only one in this line of gas guzzling 4-wheel drives looking for a way to fix this problem and ease my guilt, can I?

Non-profits, resort owners, and lawmakers are throwing around ideas of underground trains, canyon tolls, and lift access into other canyons as complex answers to a complex problem.

Meanwhile, we see videos and articles of our favorite pro skiers biking to far off mountain ranges, skis en-tow for a weeklong “sufferfest”(I tried it once myself). This begs me to ask, with premier lines in our backyard, why aren’t more people bringing this concept local? This last week, on the day of the International Climate Strike, I gave it a go.

Things I learned:

  1. It takes the same time to bike up a less-travelled canyon at 8am as it normally does to drive up the heavily-trafficked canyons on a weekend. I’m a novice cyclist and I was from my house to the trailhead in about 90 minutes.
  2. It’s a great way to tally up that vert! In a day-and-age where most ski tours end in a .GPX file, this one will automatically bump your daily vertical gain up 1,700 feet.
  3. The funny looks, trailhead conversations, and honk’n waves make up for the extra time it takes to pack your skis and gear on your bike.
  4. You can never have too many Voile straps.

Maybe this will become commonplace, maybe it will remain an activity of a few multi-sport kooks. If this video encourages at least 1 person to give it a try, I’ve done my job. Even if that 1 person is just me doing it again.

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