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Today's word on journalism

Monday, October 22, 2007

Can’t Scare the Old Gray Lady:

"Good journalism for an intelligent general audience is hard. And we’re really good at it. Taking on The Times is not as easy as waving a credit card and proclaiming yourself 'fair and balanced. . . .' We have every reason to feel confident that we can hold our own if [Rupert] Murdoch decides to build The Journal beyond its business-reader base. In all the Murdoch parlor-gaming, I don’t hear anyone suggesting that he would attempt to match the depth of our coverage in culture, science, education, health, religion, sports, lifestyle, etc., etc. Not to mention business coverage that even devout Journal readers find they can’t afford to miss."

-- Bill Keller, editor, New York Times, on Murdoch’s promised Wall Street Journal challenge to Times national dominance, Oct. 16, 2007

Lotoja winner bikes 206 miles in just over 9 hours

By Lukas Brinkerhoff

September 12, 2007 | Mark Zimbelman, Bountiful Mazda, won the Lotoja Classic, completing the 206-mile race in nine hours and six minutes, beating the other 1,000 participants.

The 25th anniversary of the cycling race took place Saturday. The classic European-style race is the longest one-day classic cycling race in the United States. Cyclists from all over the country come to Logan to participate in this historical ride from Logan to Jackson, Wyo. -- Lotoja.

The Lotoja Classic was conceived by Jeff Keller, owner of Sunrise Cyclery, and David Bern, local cyclists, in 1982. They wanted to provide local cyclists with a race that felt like the great European Classics like the Paris-Roubaix or Tour de Flanders, according to the Lotoja Classic website.

Keller says the first race was very grass-roots with only nine riders heading out. The race had been advertised but most felt it was too long or a ridiculous proposition, Keller said.

"In the beginning, we would go for breakfast the day after as our awards ceremony. There weren't as many egos as there are today," said Keller.

The race grew from those nine riders in 1983 to filling the cap of 1,000 participants in 2004 and every year since. For this year, being the 25th anniversary, the cap was reached within the first few days of opening registration.

Keller says he can't remember exactly how many races he's done but remembers between eight and 12 possible completions.

"The hardest part for me was finding the time to dedicate to training properly," said Keller. "Most of the time I would only be able to do three shorter rides a week. Many participants plan their entire cycling season around this one race, using the shorter races in the area as a way to train for Lotoja."

The Lotoja Classic course leaves Logan, Utah, from 100 East in front of Sunrise Cyclery and heads to Preston, Idaho. From Preston the course climbs for 22 miles up and over Strawberry Pass at 7,424 feet. Riders descend from the pass down into Montpelier, Idaho. The course then climbs again, over Geneva Summit and then climbs the Salt River Pass at 7,630 feet.

Once racers have descended the pass into Star Valley, Wyoming, all the major climbs are behind them. The course continues through the valley to Alpine Junction where it parallels the Snake River to Hoback Junction, finishing in Jackson, Wyo., after 206 miles of riding.

For more information about the Lotoja Classic, visit

The Route: From Logan to Jackson

Strawberry Summit. / Photos by Lukas Brinkerhoff

Geneva Summit.

Entering Wyoming.

The Snake River.


Copyright 1997-2007 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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