‘Tour’ a cycling success
Riley Siddoway might be classified as an atypical Coalville resident, but he doesn’t mind. It seems that standing apart is what has made him successful. It’s what drove him to leave his corporate job to pursue his passions for biking and mountaineering. And it’s what pushed him to put together the FELT Tour de Park City race held on Saturday.
The United States Cycling Federation-sanctioned event included a little something for everyone. For the most serious of road cyclists there was a 170-mile timed race event. The next step down was a 170-mile non-timed tour event. For the less intense, there was a 108-mile century ride and a 52-mile half century. It’s this kind of variety that Siddoway is trying to build his business on.
With his company, Maintain Raceworks, Siddoway is looking to redesign and redefine bike racing in Park City. To that end, he has run the Tour de Park City for two years and this summer, began the Wednesday evening Mountain Bike Race Series at various Park City resorts.
With four different competitors in the Tour de Park City, Siddoway said he was hoping to offer a little something for everyone, but also allow people to both compete and then be spectators later in the day.
"It enhances the event from the perspective of racer and a spectator," he said.
Riley said that he builds events based on his love of the sport.
"I just want to keep perpetuating the sport as much as I can," I said.
He feels like cycling has been getting a bad rap as of late with doping scandals and other issues. He tries to promote the fitness, camaraderie and environmental friendliness that comes with the sport. Siddoway loves how cycling can bring people with diverse backgrounds together. He created the Tour because he wanted to add more road races to the Park City schedule.
"Park City has some of the most fantastic riding," Siddoway said.
He also likes running events in Park city because of the bike-friendly infrastructure and the scenic roads and trails. Saturday’s ride took cyclists on a course that rose as high as 10,000 feet in elevation and all over Summit County. All of the rides began and ended at the Basin Recreation Field House and allowed riders to take in plenty of local scenery. He had originally wanted to run the race from the heart of Park City, but the Kimball Arts Festival kept them in the County. Siddoway later decided that was a blessing in disguise as heavy traffic filled Park City for most of the weekend.
Before Siddoway was a front man cycling events, he was a businessman. After growing up on the east side of Summit County he left to work for Smartwool in Steamboat Springs, Colo. in the logistics department. But eventually, cycling started to pull Siddoway away. At that point he moved back home and started to figure out a way to pursue his passion professionally while still using his logistics skills.
"I saw the opportunity to be involved in both events and competing," he said.
Now, he spends his summers running race events and takes people on mountaineering adventures in Mexico and South America in the winter. In the other months, he acts as a personal trainer and an endurance coach.
Siddoway has been cycling most of his life. He says that he grew up working and playing in Park City because his interests were similar to those of Parkites.
"It’s an extension of home for me," he said.
He laughs when he thinks about how much being a cyclist made him stand out in the small farming town of Coalville.
It has also helped him in many other ways. He gets plenty of comments as the only guy in town with shaved legs and has had his share of black smoke blown in his face by tractors and farming equipment while riding his bike, but he loves his hometown. And this dichotomy has only made him more vigilant. He wants to educate both his hometown and other cyclists who ride the scenic byways of Coalville about how to share the road and find value in one another. He explains to Coalville residents that cyclists who ride regularly in the area contribute to the economy and it behooves them to respect the riders.
"I have a unique background because I know both sides," Siddoway said.
This need to bridge the gap also brought him to the Yield to Life non-profit organization. Yield to Life was created by Olympics-bound Salt Lake cyclist Dave Zabriskie, who wanted to help motorists and cyclists learn how to better respect one another.
"The goal of Yield to Life is to bring harmony with cyclists and motorists and keep them safe," said Yield to Life ambassador Nate Morgan.
A portion of the race fees and some other money generated by the Tour event will be donated to Yield to Life this week.
Siddoway brought people from all the western United States for the event. He said that there were riders from Las Vegas, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and California in attendance, as well as a handful from the East Coast. He also found that a lot of the riders were using the event as a training ride for the upcoming 250-mile LOTOJA ride later this month. Siddoway said that the number of LOTOJA riders increases each year. He said this year he will be watching the finish times in that race closely to see if the Tour de Park City helped them improve.
But the race attracted more than out-of-towners and hard-core endurance riders. In fact, between the in-state and out-of state-riders, a whopping 1,000 people competed on Saturday.
"This turned into a huge event," said race announcer Tony Urbick of Steamboat Springs.
Siddoway had been expecting a more manageable 600, which made for a few adjustments on the day of the race.
"The event didn’t go perfectly. I’ll admit that," he said. "We acknowledge all of the glitches and we’ll try and make it better."
Still, if popularity is Siddoway’s biggest problem, then he feels like the event was pretty successful.
For more information about the Wednesday Night Race Series or any of Mountain Raceworks’ programs, visit http://www.mountainraceworks.com.
For complete results from the Tour de Park City, see B-4.
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