Though longtime local and two-time Tour de France finisher Marty Jemison spends most of his saddle time these days leading tours in Europe and southern Utah (jemisontours.com), Summit County’s wide open country roads are still among his favorite places to spin his chain ring, including this 70-mile loop north of Park City. “This is a great out-the-door ride for general fitness and one I used to train for racing when I wasn’t in Europe,” he says.
Jemison typically starts the ride with a little caffeine from Park City Coffee Roaster (1680 W Ute Blvd, 435.647.9097, pcroaster.com) and then makes his way from Kimball Junction to Highway 224, heading east to Browns Canyon. At Highway 32, he turns left, spinning through Wanship. At Hoytsville Road, he bears right, eventually crossing to the east side of Interstate 80. The route meanders through Coalville, and to Echo Dam Road, which goes around the east side of Echo Reservoir. He eventually turns left after crossing under I-80 to head into Henefer. “I really like the warm-up through the country roads. After that, you have a long gradual climb up East Canyon before the hardest part, grunting up the backside of Big Mountain Pass,” he says.
Though it’s only one mile from the Big Mountain summit, Jemison always stops at a freshwater spring on the left-hand side of the road. “It’s delicious, and I always fill up my bottles there, whether I need to or not.” He then descends Big Mountain, passing Little Dell Reservoir and Mountain Dell Golf Course before hitting I-80.
Here he gets on the highway for the climb up Parley’s Canyon and back to Kimball Junction, which Jemison says is safe and legal (because there is no alternative route). “Though until you get used to
it, riding on the freeway can be a little unnerving,” he says.
Jemison ends most days in the saddle at another locals’ secret spot: Anaya’s Market (1490 Munchkin Rd, 435.615.8454), where he “recovers” with a carne asada burrito. “You can feed a small family—or a very hungry cyclist—for well under 20 bucks at Anaya’s. They are the greatest, and nobody knows about them,” Jemison says.