LoToJa Classic cyclists cross Wilson Bridge during the annual 203-mile race that stretches from Logan, Utah, to Jackson, Wyoming. LOGAN — Looking back, it’s hard to believe that a race that started as just a crazy idea in the minds of Dave Bern and Jeff Keller in 1983 would later become one of the most popular bike races in the country. With just over 1,500 cyclists and 600 volunteers expected at this year’s edition, enthusiasm for the LoToJa classic is still going strong.
The idea for LoToJa started when Bern and Keller sought to organize a race that resembled the difficulty of a one-day European classic, like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. LoToJa’s first year featured all of seven cyclists racing 192 miles from Logan to a finish line in the town square in Jackson Hole.
“The morning after the first LoToJa, we were all having breakfast together in Jackson Hole, and I asked my friends if they would be willing to do this race again next year,” Bern said. “Without hesitation, everyone said, ‘yes.’”
“Jeff and I just wanted to try and do something that had never been done before, and it turns out, there is an entire community of cyclists who like to think big and do something they never thought they could do,” Bern said. “That’s the draw for LoToJa.”
LoToJa, pronounced “Low-Ta-Juh” is well-known in cycling circles as one of the longest continually running cycling races in the country, covering over 200 miles from Logan to Jackson Hole. […]