25 years of Cycling Utah

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By Bob Truelsen — I enjoyed reading Dave Ward’s recollections of the early years of Cycling Utah (in the March 2018 issue). Once we had a hard copy of our ideas in hand to show the cycling community, the magazine gained traction and we were in business.

But getting the idea of Cycling Utah to an actual printed edition entailed many details. What would be our format? What type faces would we use? What would be our advertising rate? How would we distribute the product? Where will it be printed? Just to name a few. We spent months discussing all the details.

Cycling Utah’s first issue was published in March of 1993. David Ward and Bob Truelsen started the paper. It has thrived for 23 years as the voice of cycling in Utah and the Intermountain West.

As with any printed media, overhead can be high. Relying upon my nearly 20 years of newspaper experience we were able to do our own design and production “in house.” Desktop publishing was still in its infancy but we were able to do it all on my Mac Classic. The day we went from paste-up to digital was cause for celebration, at least for me. Thank you Quark Express, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Along the way we received much help and advice from our friends at the Tooele Transcript. We couldn’t have progressed without their valuable support.

Speaking of support, we would be remiss not to thank those advertisers who took a chance to spend some of their hard-earned dollars on our fledgling publication.

I went to my friends Robin and Bill Groff at Rim Cyclery (and probably bought them a six-pack for their shop refrigerator) asking for their support, which they enthusiastically provided. Dave and I had worked closely with the owners of Fishers Cyclery while we served as presidents of Utah Premier racing team and they too came on board.

Rod Golson must have felt sorry for breaking our legs during our years of racing against him and advertised with us from the start. As did Joel Bingham up in Sunset. I only remember seeing Joel at the starting line at races. More friends — Chuck Collins, Al Kolendo and John Pos — came forward with support from the Bicycle Racing Association of Utah. Sugarhouse fixture, Bicycle Center, came in on the ground floor as did Kaibab Mountain/Desert Bike Tour company. Del Brown, USCF District Rep at the time, was the first event advertiser for the Tour of St. George stage race.

Last but not least were those businesses listed in our Bicycle Shop Directory. We always thought this directory was a great source of information for consumers and an inexpensive way for shops to advertise. Thanks to all for the years of support.

Since retiring from Cycling Utah and the Deseret News and moving to sunny St. George, I haven’t kept up with the racing scene. But I do cherish the memories of all the different bicycling events that we covered.

Much of it is a blur now but for me there are a few highlights to bring into focus.

Top of the heap was our interview of Greg LeMond in March 1996. He came to Salt Lake City for the grand opening of Bruegger’s Bagels in Bountiful of which he was an investor. After signing autographs and shaking hands with fans, we followed him into the kitchen to talk while he had a bagel sandwich and soup. You’d have never known he was three-time Tour de France winner and twice World Champion as we talked at the table. He was just one of the guys that day. What a great memory. (Available online here: https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=785907#contents)

Utah is a pretty small cycling market as compared to California or Colorado, but a Utahn has competed in the Tour de France. Marty Jemison plunged into European bicycle racing by moving to France to get noticed. He was rewarded with a pro contract with WordPerfect. He later joined US Postal Service. Marty was also named to the 1993 US National team. He invited me into his home on two occasions for very insightful interviews.

In our second issue I interviewed another national and world champion, Jeff Osguthorpe. Jeff would wear the world champion jersey for the 1993 mountain bike racing season while riding for Specialized. The World Championships were held in Bromont, Quebec in 1992. Pretty heady stuff for a 16-year-old junior. Jeff later required heart surgery to repair a valve.

One of my favorite articles was about friend and teammate Jeff Rogers, owner of Rogue Custom Bicycles. I enjoyed spending time in his basement workshop taking photos of him brazing a steel frame. He was beginning to work with titanium before he suddenly passed away in 2003 while riding his bicycle in South Dakota. His cover photo hangs in my workshop as a reminder of his passion and creativity for the sport we love. Rest in peace Jeff. You are remembered.

Finally, I attended a fun evening at Wild Rose to hear master frame builder Albert Eisentraut speak about the bike building biz. A true artist in steel, Eisentraut jokingly said “I built bikes for people 25 years ago and they’re still riding them. They don’t buy new ones. It’s bad for business.” Well, Albert, I bought one of those 25-year-old bikes and don’t plan to sell it anytime soon. Job well done.

And one last thank you to Dave Iltis for keeping the flame burning at Cycling Utah. Dave has brought the magazine into the 21st century by way of the internet. Happy trails.

Bob Truelsen was one of the two founders of Cycling Utah, along with David Ward, and editor from 1993 to 2000.

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