OGDEN -- Utah is a one-of-a-kind place to ride a bicycle, but it still isn't very bike friendly.
That was the message Friday at the 2012 Utah Bike Summit, held at Ogden's Union Station.
The annual summit sought to help educate Utah cyclists and bike advocates on how to elevate cycling in the state and make life easier for those who travel on two wheels.
But at the moment, officials said, things are anything but easy.
"We really do have a great place to ride," said Brad Woods, chair of Bike Utah. "But we have a lot of work to do in terms of making (Utah) a more bike- friendly state."
Woods said the state doesn't put enough funding toward cycling, many cycling laws are flawed and out of date, many cities don't think about cycling during planning and the Utah Department of Transportation doesn't place enough emphasis on biking as a meaningful mode of transportation.
"The state just spent $1.1 billion on the I-15 Core project in Utah County," Woods said. "If you can spend that much on a freeway project, you'd think we could find 1 percent of that to go toward cycling. I'd gladly take 1 percent of that number."
Citing statistics from the American League of Bicyclists, Woods said Utah ranks 31st on the list of most bike-friendly states.
Utah received especially poor marks in bike infrastructure, planning, programs and enforcement.
What makes those numbers even more hard to swallow, Woods said, is that just four years ago, Utah was ranked number 11.
"It's a disturbing trend," he said. "I think what is happening is we aren't doing anything and we're getting bypassed."
Woods said the single biggest thing bike enthusiasts can do is organize.
"We have very few real advocates and we aren't very unified," he said. "We have a lack of a voice in the political process right now."
State Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden, said legislation to improve things for cyclists in the state will take some time.
"There is interest in making Utah a more bikeable and walkable community," he said. "But our communities were built around the automobile. When there is that much brick and mortar in place, changes will be very gradual."
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell has been a competitive cyclist for 26 years and said the city is making strides at improving the biking climate.
"It's obviously an issue near and dear to my heart," he said. "In the past, when the city was being built out, cycling wasn't as much of a priority as it is today. So it will take some work to get things where we want them, but we are making strides."
Caldwell said the city has placed bike racks at various locations, painted bike lanes on some city streets, most notably Washington Boulevard, and started to emphasize cycling in long range plans.
For more information, visit bikeutah.org.