BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
NORTH SALT LAKE — They start out in a pack, but very quickly the riders thin out as each tackles the climb at his or her own pace.
Riders in the Three Kings Event, North Salt Lake’s annual biking challenge, take on 2,778 feet of altitude over 12.4 miles.
“It’s pretty brutal,” said Jodi Parr, who mastered the three hills for the second year. “It gets steeper every time I ride it.”
“It’s hard,” said Breen Lowman, after finishing the three hills for the first time.
Lowman was setting the pace at the bottom for a group from Intermountain Live Well Team sponsored by Threshold Sports. “I didn’t know where to push it,” he said.
The ride to the top of each hill is timed, but the downhill part is not.
Winners of each segment and an overall winner were presented awards.
Organizer Matt Jensen, a North Salt Lake city councilman, said riders can do one or all of the rides.
“The first king is rewarding in and of itself,” said Jensen of the 2.7 miles up Eagle Ridge and Parkway Drive, a climb of 950 feet at a 14 percent grade.
The grade on the second hill reaches 20 percent, and the third maxes out at 15 percent in spots.
“I ride these hills quite a lot but it’s always tough,” said Julie Semans, who has taken on the challenge in each of the four years it’s been run. “I look forward to this race Р it’s the only race I do every year.”
The ride showcases the city’s east-side neighborhoods, said Jensen. More spectators in the neighborhoods came out this year to cheer the cyclists as they worked their way up the hills, he said.
“It’s important for cities to have events such as this one and the 5K next week,” said Jensen. “It helps make us more invested in our communities.”