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Cottonwood Heights a community of biker enthusiasts hoping for more

Jul 31, 2018 01:23PM ● Published by Josh Wood

Supply meets demand in Cottonwood Heights’s bike shops. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

By Joshua Wood | joshw@mycityjournals.com

The cycling scene in Cottonwood Heights has just about everything. The community is filled with eager riders ready to hit the trails or roads. Visitors can rent bikes and take in the great outdoors that make Utah famous. One key to the community’s cycling culture is the bike shops that equip cyclists with the gear they need and service their bikes to help keep them running. 

“It’s a great biking community,” said Alan Greenberg of Cottonwood Cyclery. “We have tons of people who ride. Most of my business comes from neighborhood people. The neighborhood is what supports us.” Greenberg replaced the chain on a mountain bike while talking about the community he serves. The service room sits just behind the counter of his shop on Bengal Boulevard. As he works, he is surrounded by dozens of bikes waiting their turn to be serviced. All of the bikes, Greenberg said, come from people in the surrounding neighborhood. 

In addition to locally owned and operated bike shops, Cottonwood Heights also attracts companies from outside the state seeking to serve the city’s cycling community. “Those beautiful mountains are the reason we came out here,” said Ryan Boughton, manager of Trek Bicycle in Cottonwood Heights. Trek started in Wisconsin, and the store here sells bikes manufactured by the company itself.

“We have a fantastic array of customers so far,” Boughton said of the company’s first five months in the community. “We have everything from great family bikes, neighborhood riding bikes, those great aggressive full-suspension mountain bikes, as well as super lightweight road bikes. One of our biggest growing categories is actually electric bikes, which is brilliant. I think it’s definitely the future.” 

Bike shops in Cottonwood Heights also cater to people visiting town in need of a bike. Rooms in Wasatch Powder House’s Cottonwood Heights location that are filled with ski equipment during the winter make room for bikes each spring. Rental shops can provide mountain, road or cruising bikes to suit the needs of tourists. “The hotels keep us fairly busy,” said Ken Faulkner of Wasatch Powder House, which rents bikes from spring through September. Faulkner, a lifelong cycling enthusiast who still owns every bike he has ever had, paused a tour of the service shop to check in a bike that spent the day on the trails of Solitude. 

“People stay at the hotels nearby, and they might hit Mill Creek, Corner Canyon or go up to Park City,” Faulkner said. 

Greenberg mentioned the same biking destinations as he finished repairing another bike in his shop. He pointed to the fact that Cottonwood Heights was not on that list. It is a neighborhood of cyclists, but if there is something missing in the community’s cycling scene, it would be the infrastructure for biking within Cottonwood Heights itself. 

“They are trying to do some things, but there is more that could be done,” said Greenberg. “We could put a pump track in, we could have amenities that would bring people into our city to ride versus sending people out of our city to ride. If we had something that brought revenue into the neighborhood.” 

The city has made trails one of the priorities for its ongoing initiative for open spaces in the community, which could make the area more of a destination for biking. The same passion shared by bike shop owners and customers extends to the surrounding community and a desire for even more opportunities to bike right here at home.

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