That physical exercise leads to better health is an expected result.
That those performing the exercise are interested in helping those less fortunate and less healthy, then, is also a natural direction. And in Utah the opportunity to help through exercise is at its high point.
For cyclists, in particular, there are multiple chances to get out and roll for a good cause.
Charity rides in the next few weeks include:
BIKE FOR KIDS: May 31, 7 a.m., Murray. Professional cyclist Dave Zabriskie has lent his support to this organization, which donates 1,000 new bicycles, helmets and locks to disadvantaged children along the Wasatch Front. In addition to a silent auction and dinner, cyclists will gather at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray to ride a metric century to support the cause. Bikesforkidsutah.org.
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: June 7, 8 a.m., Wellsville. This women's-only ride will take more than 2,000 cyclists through Cache Valley for as many as 104 miles with full-service rest stops scattered along the way. It will also serve as a fundraiser for the Bonneville Cycling Club, with proceeds earmarked for breast cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. BBTC.net
TOUR DE CURE: June 14, 7:30 a.m., Brigham City. Benefiting the American Diabetes Association, the Tour de Cure begins at Box Elder High School and takes cyclists on a journey through Golden Spike country and the Bear River Wildlife Refuge before turning around at Promontory. Ride options range from 100 miles to 25 miles with well-stocked rest areas along the route. Tour.diabetes.org
BIKE FOR THE CURE: June 21, 7:30 a.m., Spring City. Like its more well-known running and walking events, the Susan G. Komen Foundation is sponsoring this ride with distances ranging from 28 to 100 miles through scenic Sanpete County. Proceeds from the ride will fund breast cancer treatment and research. Sanpete.com/events
HARMON'S BEST DAM BIKE TOUR: June 28 and 29, 7 a.m., Logan. One of the most popular and longest running rides in the state, the MS 150 ride covers as many as 150 miles over two days with proceeds going to the fight against multiple sclerosis. Cyclists will cover the back roads and canyons of Cache Valley with rest stops, food and help along the way. Fightmsutah.org
SQUAW PEAK 50: More than 300 brave trail runners registered for June 7's Squaw Peak 50-mile run, and 250 will test themselves like few others do. The event, which begins at 5 a.m. at Provo Canyon's Vivian Park, takes runners up and over some of Utah's most rugged mountain passes with more than 10,000 feet of climbing and descending.
Kevin Schilling won the race last year, covering the course in an incredible 7:59:30 for a margin of victory of nearly 21 minutes. Birgitta Johnson was the fastest woman in the field a year ago, crossing the finish line at 10:08:36.
Both are listed among the entrants for this year's race and must be considered favorites to defend their titles.
TRIATHLON SEASON HEATING UP: There will be no shortage of events on the calendar for triathletes. Beginning with Saturday's Shark Attack triathlon at Crystal Hot Springs near Tremonton and the Boise Half Ironman on June 1, those who swim, bike and run in succession can compete nearly every weekend.The Salem Spring Tri is June 7, and the Battle at Midway, the Pleasant Grove Tri and the Utah Summer Games Tri will all be held June 14. Many local triathletes, though, will be headed to Idaho for either the Vikingman on June 7 near Burley on Ironman Coeur d'Alene on June 22.