SALT LAKE CITY — Jared Eborn has been riding a bike "forever and ever."
But about five years ago he "got into cycling."
"I'm completely hooked," he admits. "Now I do it for the competition, the training … just the ability to get fit, to exercise, and the feeling of being on the road, pedaling away, it's a feeling of freedom in many ways."
And like many cyclists, Eborn wants to share that experience with others. He and friend Matt Storms are business partners and offer some unique cycling experiences to local riders.
Their first endeavor is The FrontRunner (Metric) Century bicycle ride on April 9, which will begin at Salt Lake City's Intermodal Hub and end at Ogden's Intermodal Hub. Once in Ogden, riders' bikes will be packed up and transported back to Salt Lake City while they enjoy a relaxing trip on the FrontRunner Train. Jason's Deli is offering $6 lunches to participants — a choice between pasta and barbecue beef.
"It's not a race," he stresses. "It's not competitive. It's more of a camaraderie thing, chatting with friends. You can take your time at rest zones. We thought with a group, casual ride, we could cater to more people."
Eborn and Storms see the purpose of the ride, which is about 62 miles, as anything riders want it to be. While everyone gets a finisher's medal, T-shirt and racing hat, their purpose for making the trek might vary greatly.
"We'll get a lot of people who want to use it as a training ride," he said. "Not everybody wants to get out and race though. A lot of people want to go out and ride bikes for fun."
Eborn said many riders have been forced inside for the winter, confined to trainers and stationary cycles. They hope this is a good warm-up to what will be an eventful cycling and triathlon season.
Storms is from California where there is a ride like this with Amtrak. When the two men contacted UTA officials, they were very supportive and excited about supporting the race and exposing more people to the commuter train.
The course and more information are online at www.frontrunnercentury.com. Riders will leave Salt Lake and head to the Legacy Parkway Trail. There are two rest stops — at 20 miles and 40 miles — and support along the course.