Provo has made great strides over the past few years while to make the city more bike-friendly. The effort has not gone unnoticed and some big plans are in the works to make main streets in Provo even more accessible and safer for two-wheeled travelers. What if you aren’t looking to go shopping or to work and want to just go for a ride? This post will help you choose where to go and explains what makes these places special.
1. Lakeview Parkway
West of I-15 there are some incredible spots to bike. One of the newest and most bike-friendly spots is Lakeview Parkway. It’s so new that it is hard to even find on Google Maps. The asphalt is like glass and it is impossible to ride on it and not smile. Plus there is a dedicated bike trail away from the cars. With all the makings of a perfect bike road, the only drawback is that it is a little short. However, choose this route for an evening sunset ride and you won’t be disappointed.
2. Provo River Trail after Bridal Veil Falls
The Provo River Trail is a very popular spot for cyclists, longboarders, hikers, cub scout groups, etc. However the herd thins out after you get more eastward than Bridal Veil Falls. The trail gets significantly smoother, the tree cover is more dense and beautiful and you pass a few really cool ponds. So however you get there, if you’re looking for the best all-around spot in Provo this is it.
3. Slate Canyon Drive
You know that hill as a kid that you would ride up just to go downhill? This is that hill, only way better! It is the perfect ratio of steepness and length. You’ll get going fast but not out-of-control and it’s long enough to enjoy for a couple of minutes. One of the best parts is that the speed limit on the road is 25, so if you are going that fast or faster feel free to take up an entire lane. If not no worries because the bike lane is huge.
At the very top of the hill, there is turn off that goes east, or towards the mountain, and it heads to a mountain bike course. It’s called Slate Canyon Park and it may not be the steepest hill in Provo but with a trusty GPS rating of 18.5% gradient it’s one worthy of any climber or sprint interval.
4. South Fork Road
Talk to any cyclist who lives east of Colorado and their biggest complaint is how flat the terrain is. Having mountains in the backyard is not something to take for granted. This road up Provo Canyon begins at Vivian Park and goes up several miles until you hit the gates of a private ranch. It is a gorgeous ride and it’s not so steep that you will die going up and you won’t lose control coming down. there’s plenty of pretty places to stop along the way and even a bathroom at South Fork Park halfway up.
5. Tour de Parks
One of the best rides to do in Provo is to bike to several parks and see what unique stuff they have to offer. This is an especially great ride for a date. No matter where you live try biking to the park closest to you and then see how many others you can visit. Here’s a list to get you started and some reasons to visit each one.
Joaquin Park– It’s just your quintessential neighborhood park. It’s got swings and plenty of grass to play on. It’s just a good landmark to know since so many things happen on or near it. If you go on Monday nights in the summer they have group rides that start here.
Memorial Park– Definitely a Provo favorite this park has an old anti-aircraft gun that makes for a great Instagram post. There’s a chain around it and a sign that says no climbing… but it’s not very tall and who’s going to know? Some of the best climbing trees in Provo are in this park, one tree even has a hammock at the very top.
Maeser Park– What makes this park especially cool is that it is across the road from a trainyard and the huge mural on the wall.
North Park– This park is home to the Provo Pioneer Village. It’s basically some very old homes and they hold events here to educate people about pioneer times. It’s not open all the time so to get in just throw your frisbee over the fence because you have to go get it right?
Pioneer Park– This park really comes alive in the summer. There is a splash pad so you can cool off and they hold a farmers market every Saturday with some of the best produce you’ll ever eat.
Paul Ream Wilderness Park– This park starts off amazing because you have to cross a cool bridge over Provo River to get to it. There’s lots of space and a pond where you can feed ducks. Pro Tip: ducks love grapes cut in half and bread isn’t that good for them.
6. Bicycle Ghost Tour
One of the best ways to get into biking more is to bike with a purpose and other people. A bicycle ghost tour in Provo called Pedal Provo Ghost Tours does both simultaneously. Besides the bike ride you will also learn about the spooky history of Provo and it makes for a great time. As for the ride, it’s very leisurely and the pace is equivalent to walking pace on foot making it a good fit for anyone, no matter what your resting heart rate is.
7. Squaw Peak
The cycling community in Provo would be very chafed (get it, because cyclists experience chafing) if one of the most iconic climbs in Provo was left out of this list. If you want to push yourself and then be able to brag about it to someone else who bikes in Provo, cycle up Squaw Peak. The best advice for tackling this climb is to start slow and get in a rhythm. It is tempting to go as hard as you can at first, because the first part is steeper than the average of the whole climb, but resist and go slower than usual until your legs can adjust into “climbing mode”. After that it’s all about loving the rush of pushing yourself hard. It’s one of the greatest climbs in Utah and the feeling of satisfaction of reaching the top is incredible, much like the view.
Watch the video below for one of the coolest videos out there of this incredible climb.
Bonus: The Worst Road to Bike on in Provo
Geneva Rd. takes this prize going away and there’s no second place. The road is one lane each way and the shoulder is about as wide as someone’s actual shoulder. A lot of provo cyclists talk about how bad Bulldog Blvd. is and while it is awful at least there are three lanes and plenty of room. With Geneva Road’s tiny shoulder and it’s very high speed limit, biking feels more like an extreme sport. Bike around if you can or prepare to be scared.
Note: The author has ridden on Geneva Rd. several times and never been harmed. Although be prepared to curse under your breath at plenty of pickup trucks.
Where do you ride?
We want to know what your favorite places to bike in Provo are! Let us know in the comments!