Eight temples, 330 miles, and one group of young men traveling via bicycle—it takes the meaning of a youth activity to a whole new level.
According to Deseret News, “Tour de Temples 2” was inspired from a youth activity held two years ago in the Eaglecrest 3rd Ward when a group of young men rode their bikes from Lehi to Logan to Bear Lake. They stopped at each temple along the way to perform proxy baptisms for deceased ancestors.
This time around, the young men wanted to see more temples in Utah by riding south. Three members of the group had participated in the previous bike tour, but most were new to the challenge. They began training for the event in January on indoor stationary bikes before they could do outdoor rides, where they worked on building up the distances they covered.
On day one of this trip, the young men started in Lehi, Utah, and traveled a total of 120 miles, stopping at the Mount Timpanogos temple, the Provo temple, the Provo City Center temple, the Payson temple, and the Manti temple. The following day they covered a distance of 180 miles from Manti to Cedar City, riding Ragnar style and breaking up the distance by riding 20–30 miles three times.
The last portion of their trip went from Cedar City to St. George, which included the Cedar City temple, the St. George temple, and the Red Cliffs temple site. A support staff also traveled with the boys to ensure their safety, give encouragement, and provide medical treatment as needed.
This time, the boys weren’t able to do proxy baptisms at the temples along the way, but stopping at the temples still brought a spiritual focus to the activity. Bishop Ryan Kirby shared with Deseret News some of the lessons learned from this experience.
“It’s really changed our high adventure from just being something fun that we do to something meaningful,” Kirby said. “It has really provided a purpose for our high adventures and made the temple a center point for what we are doing. . . . There’s a sense of accomplishment for the ride, but there’s also a spirit that accompanies when we were able to go from temple to temple.”
Read more about the young men’s ride and where the idea to bike long distances originally came from at Deseret News.