There’s a lot of benefit to exercising in a group and Nebo Cycling can help fill that need.
Nebo Cycling is a bicycle club based in southern Utah County and northern Juab County that offers regular rides as well as participates in competitive events. Club member Randy Chipman, a Spanish Fork resident, said there isn’t much structure to the club.
There is no board of directors or club president but riders within the club connect through social media and Strava, a fitness tracking app. The best part, Chipman said, is the club is open to riders of all skill levels.
“Some people are pretty serious about racing and doing some of the organized races and competing at the local level,” he said. “Others are really just in it for some fun weekend exercise and stuff like that.
“We have a pretty good group of all of the above and everywhere in between.”
The group started in 2008 when Richard Anderson of Nephi was looking for an activity that was easier on his body than softball. He had two coworkers – Brain Whiple and Steve Brown – who suggested cycling and they formed the informal club.
It wasn’t until a few years later that this group merged with south Utah County riders. The group was meeting at an old bike shop in Springville and decided to make the change. Whipple was a brother-in-law to those riders, so the change went smoothly, Anderson said.
“Cycling is a lot of things for me,” Anderson said in an emailed response to questions.
“Riding with the group, collectively trying to accomplish something very difficult. Seeing our state and surrounding states on a bike offers a much different perspective than riding in a car.”
While the group does partake in many casual rides, it also finds itself amid big rides, such as the Salt to Saint Solo. This race covered 430 miles as riders traversed significant elevation gains as they raced from Salt Lake City to St. George.
Another long ride includes LoToJa, which is a one-day ride that takes cyclists over 200 miles from Logan to the Tetons of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming. Riders traverse the terrain of Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.
Anderson finished first in that event in the Masters 45B class, which included riders over 45 racing at a high level. Other Nebo Cycling members finished in various spots.
Anderson said he saw LoToJa as a culmination of work he undertook over the season. It also provided a chance to show he had overcome a significant crash from several months earlier.
“The race was tight,” he said. “I wasn’t sure if I had won or not. I thought I did but I didn’t dare celebrate. Satisfaction is probably the most prevalent feeling after winning.”
Chipman first heard about the group when visiting a bike shop in Spanish Fork. He met some of the members of the club and further connected with them via online platforms.
Those interactions have formed lasting friendships for Chipman as well as yielded a host of benefits.
Chipman said one of the best parts of riding with a group is it can push you to reach your goals, especially if the rider is faster than you.
Furthermore, Anderson said he sees cycling as a team sport even though those tactics manifest themselves differently than other sports or even competitive teams.
Anderson said cycling has taken him to a host of different places across the state, which has made the group and activity satisfying for him.
“The serenity of a mountain pass after a sustained effort with only you, your bike and your breath; nothing beats it,” he said.
Other benefits Chipman said he’s seen include solid camaraderie among the men and women who ride, making the activity a lot more fun.
“We certainly come from all walks of life so it’s pretty fun to meet different people who you probably wouldn’t otherwise associate with,” he said. “So cycling is that common denominator that brings people from all industries and areas and walks and ways of life. It certainly gets you out of your comfort zone a bit.”
Chipman emphasized the group is open to all riders so he invited all riders to reach out and connect with the group via social media or Strava.
“The thing about cycling is that everyone starts from the same spot,” he said. “We’re all brand new at some point. We’re all learning and developed the skill at our own pace.
“So just reach out and connect with us. Just keep showing up, join us and have a great time.”