Riders from the 2012 Skinny Tire Festival enjoy an easy trek on the Portal route along the Colorado River on State Route 279. [Photo courtesy Skinny Tire Festival]

Road cyclists have four days of world class road cycling routes through Moab’s most spectacular landscapes during the Skinny Tire Festival held March 9 to 12.

This year’s exclusive rides will include a 2500 foot climb from Moab to Dead Horse State Park, social spinning along the Colorado River to Red Cliffs Lodge on day two, a challenging ride with three climbs through Arches National Park on day three and an easy ride on the Portal route with views of petroglyphs and climbers along the way on day 4.

“The Festival quickly became a pilgrimage for cyclists eager to brush off the winter cold and venture into warmer spring temperatures in Moab. This cycling season opener has attracted riders from not only regional states, but throughout the nation and Canada,” said Beth Logan, the event organizer.

Cyclists are inspired to put purpose to their cycling, whether they ride one day or all four.

It is a benefit ride for cancer survivorship programs and research.

“We’ve had cyclists attending this event every year since its inception; we are like family. We’ve shared laughter and tears as we’ve all gone through some kind of cancer experience and put purpose to our cycling,” said Skinny Tire Festival founder Mark Griffith.

Cyclists register and donate locally to the Moab Regional Hospital’s two room cancer treatment and resource center.

In addition to the local cause, cyclists have donated $3.6 million to various cancer research and survivorship programs all over the world over the past thirteen years of the festival.

The Huntsman Hometown Heroes team raises funds for research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

“Recently I heard the words I’d only been wishing for….that I was in full remission,” said Arlo Tejada recipient of last year’s Spirit of Survivorship Award. “I appreciate the research dollars that made the new drug treatment I’m using possible. It has saved my life.”