Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 10, 2018
200 cyclists ride 76 miles of gravel roads around Cedar Mountains

Around 200 cyclists descended onto Delle in Skull Valley Saturday to compete in the fourth annual Wild Horse Gran Fondo. Riding either mountain or gravel bikes, the cyclists rode on County B gravel roads over and around the Cedar Mountain Wilderness Area. They had the choice of riding a 31-mile or 76-mile course. 

The 31-mile course, called the Little Wild Horse, included a climb over Hastings Pass, while the longer course featured both Hastings and Rydalch pass’s — for 5,000 vertical feet of climbing. Feed zones with water and food were on both courses for the riders.

The top male and female winners on the 76-mile course were Mark Currie of Ogden with a time of 4:18:15 and Breanne Nalder of Salt Lake City in 5:00:55. For the 31-mile course, Aaron Phillips won in 1:53:34 and Jennifer Cherland in 2:09:34.

According to the event’s founder and director, Chris Magerl of Salt Lake City, one of the inspirations behind the Wild Horse Gran Fondo is his love of historical trails. Hastings Pass was the route the ill-fated Donner-Reed Party took in 1846 to get over the Cedar Mountains before nearly perishing while crossing the Great Salt Lake Desert and Bonneville Salt Flats. 

“To look west from the top of Hastings Pass and see where the wagon wheel ruts went toward Pilot Peak is just amazing to me,” he said.

Magerl said about 90 percent of the cyclists finished. Those who didn’t were mostly because of mechanical breakdowns that couldn’t be fixed on course. He said only a few didn’t finish because of fatigue. He noted one of the highlights of the event for many of the cyclists is the opportunity to ride somewhere new and different. He said many after the finish commented on the area’s open beauty, with sweeping views of Skull Valley and the West Desert.

The term gran fondo is Italian and loosely translates into “Big Challenge.”

David Bern

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
David Bern is editor of the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin. The 54-year-old journalist began his career with the Transcript-Bulletin as an intern reporter from Utah State University in 1983. He joined the newsroom full time that same year after completing his internship and graduating from USU with a degree in journalism. In 1989 he became editor and served in that capacity for six years. Under his leadership, he guided the newspaper to numerous awards for journalism excellence. After briefly stepping away from the newspaper in 1995, he returned in 1996 to start Transcript Bulletin Publishing’s Corporate and Custom Publishing Division. In that capacity he served as a writer, photographer and editor for 17 years. During that time he created a variety of print and digital communication materials, including brochures, magazines, books and websites. Bern returned to serve as editor of the newspaper in January 2013.

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