Ten Compelling Bike Rides – Discover Yours!


The 2017 biking season is in full swing.  Listed below are some of  RIU’s favorite rides and races remaining for the calendar year.  These are well supported, soul-filling, scenic and often support a great cause!  It’s not too late to get registered and either start training or step it up for a record breaking season.

Ten Compelling Bike Rides - Discover Yours!

Whether you are a die-hard cyclist or are thinking about getting into this fantastic sport, read on and find a race or ride then click the links and get signed up!
Many of these have short distances perfect for the beginner, along with much longer distances designed for more hard-core cycling.  A good example of a great short distance event is “Ride the Gap”.  We love taking new riders to this course because the 30 and 55 mile options are relatively flat.  It’s coming right up on June 3rd so get registered today!
RIU Crew’s Top Road Rides – 2017
Date Event City/Location Event Organizer
June 3 Ride The Gap Parowan, UT Ride Southern Utah
July 7 Antelope Island by Moonlight Antelope Island State Park, UT Davis County Economic Development
July 8 Cache Gran Fondo Logan, UT Headspin Events
July 15 Desperado Duel Panguitch, UT Ride Southern Utah
Aug. 12 Heart of Idaho Century Ride Idaho Falls, ID Art Museum of Eastern Idaho
Sept. 9 To the Moon and Back Tabiona, UT To the Moon and Back/Karen Redden
Sept. 22/23 Salt to Saint Relay SLC to Saint George, UT Salt to Saint Relay
Sept. 23 Moab Century Tour Moab, UT Skinny Tire Events
Sept 23,24,25 Revival at 3 Peaks (Mtn. Bike) Cedar City, UT Ride Southern Utah
Oct. 21 Fall Tour de St. George St. George, UT Ride Southern Utah


Now that you’ve found your rides and races, see how many of these 17 good-to-know bicycling terms you you’re familiar with.  Whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned veteran, some might surprise you!  *

 1. AERO

Short for aerodynamic, this term is used to describe everything from bike frames and wheels to helmets and other gear that have been designed for minimal wind resistance. While you probably won’t hear the average cyclist use this term often, it’s a top priority for riders who race in time trials or triathlons.Ten Compelling Bike Rides - Discover Yours!


This word is another way of saying you’re too pooped to keep going. When your body’s glycogen stores are depleted (glycogen is stored in the muscles and gives them energy to fire on demand), you’ll hit the proverbial wall — and it’s more likely to happen if you haven’t fueled yourself properly by drinking enough water and eating enough food before and during your ride. You’ll know you’ve bonked if you start to feel lethargic or light-headed, your muscles start cramping and you need to get off your bike. The solution? Rest, lots of water and high-carb eats.


A fancy word for rotational speed or the rate at which you’re pedaling. While experts agree there’s no ideal cadence, finding the right number of pedal strokes per minute (aka rpm, which we’ll explain in a bit) can help you get into a groove on your bike.


The arm that connects your pedals to the chainrings.

Ten Compelling Bike Rides - Discover Yours!5. CHAINRINGS

These are the circular metal discs with spiky “teeth” next to the pedals and connected to the cranks on your bike. Bikes have one, two or three chainrings; they’re responsible for transmitting the energy you create by pedaling to the rear wheel, via the chain.


This crucial bike part isn’t just fun to say (de-rail-ee-er), it’s also the mechanism that moves your bike’s chain from gear to gear whenever you shift. The majority of road bikes have one derailleur for the chainrings in the front, and another one in the rear for the cassette. (Read: the pyramid-shaped set of gears on the rear wheel that the chain moves up and down, depending on what gear you’re in.)


When a group of cyclists ride in a line, one behind another, they’re drafting — a technique used to reduce wind resistance and help riders expend less energy as a result. (In fact, even the leader enjoys a little less wind resistance than he or she would if riding solo thanks to a low-pressure air bubble between riders, which pushes the leader forward.)

Ten Compelling Bike Rides - Discover Yours!8. DROPS

You know the curved part of the handlebars on a road bike, which you probably only see really serious riders using when you’re on the road? Those are the drops, and they’ll make you less comfortable and more aerodynamic. Even if you’re not out to race, you’ll want to use the drops when you’re descending a hill, as it’ll lower your center of gravity and give you more control of your bike at higher speeds.


Slang for a fixed-gear bike, which is a single-speed that has no brakes. Before you hop on a fixie with your favorite hipster (fixed-gear bikes are popular among that crowd), know this: A fixie can’t coast, which means that whenever the bike is moving, your legs need to be moving, too.


The third, smallest chainring, called the “granny gear” because it’s an extremely low gear that’ll help you move your pedals (Read: keep riding, rather than hopping off your bike to walk like your grandma would) when you’re riding up steep climbs.

11. KIT

Fancy term for your cycling outfit. A kit typically includes shorts or bibs (special bike shorts held up by suspenders rather than an elastic waistband, to cut back on chafing and pain when you’re spending time hunched forward in the riding position), a jersey (cycling shirt), shoes, socks and even a little cap worn under your helmet.


Before you fill your tires with air, you should know if you have a Presta or Schrader valve. If you ride a road bike, odds are you’ve got a Presta, which are often found on the kind of high-pressure tubes used on road bikes. You’ll know it’s a Presta if air is released when you press on it. Keep in mind Prestas can be a little tricky to use, and can break at the rim or bend if handled roughly. Schrader valves are easier to use: Simply remove the cap, apply the pump and pump your tire full of air. You probably won’t find a Schrader on a road bike, but you will see them on some mountain bikes and beach cruisers.


A pack of cyclists in a bike race. The cyclists ride as an integrated unit — similar to birds flying in formation — to reduce drag and increase their speed.

14. PULL

When you’re riding in a pack, the cyclist at the front works the hardest to ride against the wind, and everyone behind benefits from a draft. When you’re the rider at the front of a paceline or peloton (a group of riders), you’re “taking a pull.” When it’s the next rider’s turn to take a pull, simply drift to the side of the pack and start pedaling again when you’re at the back so you can draft until it’s your turn to pull again.

Ten Compelling Bike Rides - Discover Yours!15. ROAD RASH

If you crash and hit pavement, there’s a good chance you’ll have some scrapes, cuts and brush burns. Collectively, these are called “road rash,” and having it means you’ll probably spend some time picking gravel out of multiple layers of skin.

16. RPM

Your revolutions per minute or the number of pedal strokes you take every minute you ride. If you’ve got a computer on your bike, it’ll give you your rpm. If not, you can calculate your rpm on your own by setting a timer and counting the number of times your right foot reaches the bottom of your pedal stroke for one minute.

Ten Compelling Bike Rides - Discover Yours!17. SPD

This acronym stands for Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, which is a design of clipless bike pedals where a small two-hole cleat on the bike fits into a recess in the sole of the bike shoe.

* Source:  Map My Run Blog – author: Meghan Rabbitt


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