The leaves crunch under-tire as the crisp air greets and awakens your senses. Fall in all its colorful splendor is finally here! And, what better way to welcome autumn than with a bike ride in good company?
Slim and Knobby’s Bike Shop has been hosting group road and mountain bike rides for the last few years. On Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings, a group of road bikers makes their way around the valley by riding in a big clockwise loop. Making mostly right turns Thursday evenings, they’ve dubbed their ride; Thursday Night Rights or TNR. For both morning and evening rides they divide into two different skill levels; A group and B group. Ron Yerrick, the manager of Slim and Knobby’s, playfully differentiates between the two as “a fast and furious group and a chill posse.” It really is a group event though, with everyone starting and finishing together, so while the A group gets in some extra sprints and mileage, the B group takes a little shortcut. They occasionally mix it up by riding to Woodland for a visit to The Woodland Biscuit Company or to Kamas for some Chevron donuts. The general schedule, weather permitting, is Tuesday at 6:30 am and Thursday at 6:00 pm, meeting in front of Slim and Knobby’s on Main Street in Heber.
For those who crave the challenge of mountain biking, WOW Wednesdays are in full swing. Slim and Knobby’s provides a shuttle at the Pine Canyon parking lot to take bikers to the top of the Wasatch Over Wasatch trail. The WOW trail works great for hosting a party of riders with each group typically having around 15-20 mountain bikers. It’s not uncommon to have as many as 50 people show up for the beautiful ride through our mountains.
Why join up with the biking crowd? For Bob Emmett, a leader and instigator of the road rides, the social part of it and sense of community are his favorite. He has watched the group slowly grow from 3 people to 30 people in just four years. He says, “If there’s [sic] 30 people there every week [some old, some new], that means I know 50 people because of the ride.” He loves that he has been able to build so many friendships through biking. He shared that he can pretty much walk into any store in Heber, see a shaved pair of legs, and know it is most likely a friend he has made biking the roads of the valley.
If you are considering riding with the gang, but feel a little intimidated as a new biker, Ron Yerrick has some great advice for you: “Just come out and do it. We’re very accepting. The B group is a no-drop group so everybody goes at the same pace as the slowest rider. It’s fun. They’re insightful. You get to learn a lot.”
The group rides generally start up the first of April and go through October, and possibly later in the year if the weather allows. So dust off your old bike or grab your sweet mountain bike and go hit the roads and trails!