Contender's Favorite Destressor Rides

Contender's Favorite Destressor Rides

Written by Contender Bicycles, on March 03, 2021

Stress affects everyone but fortunately for us, cycling is one of the best things we can do, both for our mental health and physical wellbeing. Our staff knows this as well as anyone, and so we've collected some of our favorite destressor rides, or a ride that allows us to push out our worries and preoccupations for a while and think about turning the pedals. Feel free to ride their routes responsibly, maybe these might just become your favorite destressors too.

Peter - Wasatch Boulevard

We are lucky enough to have access to beautiful canyons that can make for a fun ride, at least in theory. In my experience, however, I find them to be busy; filled with cars, hikers, and other cyclists. Nothing wrong with that, but if I want to distress I don’t want to worry about cars trying to pass me within a ten-foot gap. That’s why I like riding Wasatch Boulevard. I get the elevated views of the valley, enough variation in riding to make it interesting, and importantly, the road has plenty of room to ride my bike without worry.

Joseph - Millcreek Canyon

Located just off Wasatch Boulevard, Millcreek is one of my favorite climbs for hot summer days. Climbing about 2,500 ft over its nine-mile length this climb is not your average road climb. The narrow top section can be a fun and challenging descent, before opening a little bit, but still being just as twisty. The unrelenting gradient is a great place to get in a workout, and to get out of the summer heat. 

Cody - Towers (or Antennas) 

Simply put, this might just be my favorite ride in Salt Lake City. The main climb is tough enough that it pushes out anything else you’re thinking about, though because it is doubletracked there it is one of the easiest ways to gain a lot of elevation quickly on the bike in Salt Lake City. Once up by the towers there is a great view of the Great Salt Lake; I’ve lived here more or less my entire left but I definitely forget about it, and this is a great reminder. Once up there, you can select a whole network of trails in the area, with my preference being Lost Lad back down to the bottom. It is a bit of isolated bliss in the heart of SLC.


It's challenging enough on my bike (a Cervelo ZFS-5) to be different every time I ride it. There are a bunch of different ways to get up to the trailhead which makes it fun. And once you’re at the trailhead, there are tons of different options as you take the trail, from steep berms to drops and jumps over rusted-out cars. All in all, it's a whole bunch of speed in a location that is more or less in the heart of Salt Lake City.

Matt - Emigration Canyon

Emigration Canyon Road, maybe more than any other road in the Salt Lake City area, is more cyclist-oriented than anything else. It helps that compared to most other canyons around Salt Lake City, there are no destinations outside of cycling, meaning fewer hikers and drivers alike. Further, the sheer number of cyclists who use the canyon every day means that drivers are conditioned to consider those on bikes, making this one of the most cycling-centric areas of the city.

That said, what makes this a destressor for me is the climb before the actual canyon: it is plenty steep and forces me to think only about the climb in front of me. At that point, the only stress going through me is the blood pumping as I climb to the start.

Emigration Canyon, UT

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