Utah has always been known for offering tourists a great variety of recreational activities, and Bicycle Utah, a non-profit organization devoted to increasing bicycling tourism in Utah, is hoping to make Utah the bicycling capital of the United States.

The interest in bicycling has grown tremendously over the past two years, and Utah is one of the favorite spots for bicycling enthusiasts. Bicycle Utah, formed in 1988, recognizes the need to assist the bicycling tourists that are flocking to Utah.Larry Jackstein, director of Bicycle Utah, estimates that 50,000 bikers traveled Moab's Slickrock Bike Trail in 1988 alone, and the number is increasing.

"Bicycling is a real growth area for summer tourism in Utah," said Jay Woolley, director of the Travel Council.

So with the help of the Utah Travel Council, Bicycle Utah has published its first "Bicycle Utah Vacation Guide" - a comprehensive reference source for Utah bicycling.

The 32-page booklet contains articles describing the various biking spots throughout Utah. The guide breaks the state up into nine regions to make reference easier for bikers.

Information on both road and mountain biking can be found in the booklet. It contains route locations, maps, photos, descriptions of scenic features, length of routes and a rating of route difficulty.

The booklet also guides visitors to hotels, restaurants, campgrounds, tour operators and shops that cater to bicyclist. A complete calendar of bicycling events held throughout the state can also be found in the booklet.

Officials from the Utah Travel Council are excited about the booklet. "We're receiving more and more requests from out-of-town visitors for bicycling information," Woolley said. "Utah has the unique terrain and geographic diversity that cyclists look for, as well as some spectacular scenery. It's a natural destination for cyclists."

Free copies of "Bicycle Utah Vacation Guide" are available from the Utah Travel Council, by calling Bicycle Utah at 649-5806 or by writing to P.O. Box 738, Park City, UT 84060.