Tour de St. George offers scenery, friendship, cycling fun

ST. GEORGE – As temperatures in many parts of the country start to get frigid and the cycling season comes to a close, St. George is just hitting its prime. A combination of temperate climes and unrivaled scenery make Southern Utah a perfect fall cycling destination.

Fall Tour de St. George, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Red Rock Bicycle, St. George News
Fall Tour de St. George, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Red Rock Bicycle, St. George News

Red Rock Bicycle will capitalize on these idyllic cycling conditions Saturday at 8 a.m. as they host the Fall Tour de St. George; a 30-, 75- 0r 100-mile ride around some of the most scenic areas in Washington County.

Established over a decade ago, the Fall Tour de St. George began with a small group of around 150 riders, Red Rock Bicycle owner and ride founder Ryan Gurr said, and has now grown to include almost 1,000 cyclists.

It is those big numbers, Red Rock Bicycle Marketing Director Joey Dye said, that give riders the opportunity to push themselves further than they might normally ride as they feed off the energy of the group.

“I think there is something special about being able to show up with a group of like-minded people,” Dye said, “and just sort of share the energy.”

The event is billed as a ride not a race and caters to many levels of cyclists; although getting to the finish line first isn’t the objective, the ride is chip timed for those looking to set a personal best or measure their progress from one year to the next.

Celebrating cycling is the focus of this ride and Red Rock Bicycles goes all out to make sure it is a safe and fun event for all involved. There are fully stocked aid stations and rest stops along each of the three routes and a catered lunch is served at the end.

The routes have been designed to showcase the best of Southern Utah and it is the stunning vistas that make it a truly unique ride.

“It’s beautiful,” Gurr said.

Fall Tour de St. George, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Red Rock Bicycle, St. George News
Fall Tour de St. George, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Red Rock Bicycle, St. George News

For Gurr, it is the blue of Sand Hollow Reservoir’s waters contrasting against the surrounding red rocks that he marks as his favorite part of the route, while Dye prefers the uniqueness of the Gunlock area. But whether it is red rocks and azure water or almost hidden ancient rock writings spotted along the Santa Clara river’s edge as you cycle through the Gunlock valley, the tour is a stunning ride.

The fall tour also has a spring sister which complements the October event with different routes and scenery.

Online registration for the fall tour is now closed but cyclists wishing to ride can register Friday at Red Rock Bicycle, 446 W. 100 South in St. George from 1-7 p.m.

Prices for the ride are as follows:

  • Citizens Class 35 mile | $50
  • Metric Century 75 mile | $70
  • Full Century 100 mile | $80

The race includes chip timing, on-course support, catered lunch, a unique participation medal and a Fall Tour de St. George beenie.

Race information including route maps and elevation changes can be found online.

“There’s something fun about just riding with 800 people as opposed just maybe the three or four you normally ride with,” Dye said, “it kind of just shakes up your routine.”

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Event details

  • What: Fall Tour de St. George, 35, 75 and 100 mile rides
  • When: Saturday, Oct. 24, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Race information: Fall Tour de St. George
  • Registration and Packet pickup: Friday, 1-7 p.m. at Red Rock Bicycles, 446 W. 100 South, St. George

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