New path keeps Skinny Tire Festival riders off main road

There’s a new route this year for road cyclists in the annual Skinny Tire Festival.

Cyclists will experience the new Moab Canyon Pathway during the annual cancer survivorship benefit ride March 12-15. Money raised during the ride benefits the San Juan Cancer Center in Montrose. The Skinny Tire Festival has raised more than $2 million in support of cancer survivorship programs. The ride is capped at 400 cyclists.

The Moab Canyon Pathway is a paved, nonmotorized route connecting Moab to Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.

It begins at the pedestrian/bike bridge that crosses the Colorado River on Highway 128 north of Moab and continues to the entrance of Arches National Park. The path goes for another eight miles past Arches and crosses under Highway 191 to the beginning of Highway 313. Cyclists can return or continue riding on Highway 313 to Dead Horse Point State Park or a 35-mile ride to Grand View Point in Canyonlands National Park.

The pathway allows cyclists to avoid Highway 191 and have access to the back roads to the state and national parks.

Moab has more than 100 paved miles of nonmotorized cycling routes with more in the works, according to a press release.

The first day ride, one week from Saturday, begins at 8:30 a.m. at Aarchway Inn and goes to Dead Horse Point State Park and has an option to go to Canyonlands National Park before the return to Moab.  The ride is 46 miles to Dead Horse Point State Park and back or 64 miles with the trip to Canyonlands National Park. Lunch is provided at the turnaround point at Dead Horse Point State Park.

The second day is a 36- or 50-mile ride at 9 a.m. and goes along the Colorado River Corridor. Lunch will be served at Red Cliffs Ranch and support is available until 4 p.m.

Day 3 of the festival is a 47-mile ride to Arches National Park beginning at 8 a.m. and includes a 1,200-foot elevation gain. Lunch is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the turnaround point inside the park.

The final day features a 37-mile ride along the river portal route on Highway 279. Support is available until 1 p.m.

The festival includes vendors, massages and a Saturday afternoon Festival Social with live music.

Cyclists can register at http://skinnytireevents.com or by calling (435) 259-3193.


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