Wild Rides and Wildflowers (Paperback)

Philosophy and Botany with Bikes

By Scott H. Abbott, Sam Rushforth

Torrey House Press, 9781937226237, 364pp.

Publication Date: March 25, 2014

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Two university professors set out to repeatedly bike the Great Western Trail, observing and writing about its variations with every season. The accounts of their adventures, however, refuse to be limited to flora and fauna. In Wild Rides and Wildflowers, Abbott and Rushforth share their deeply personal explorations of the male psyche, true friendship, biking, and botany.

"Abbott and Rushforth have a knack for entertaining readers."

" Wild Rides] becomes about more than riding bikes and admiring nature throughout the four seasons. It also provides an intimate glimpse into the minds and hearts of two men, and the outcome is both surprising and refreshing."

"A highly versatile, smart, entertaining, incredibly informative book for readers of all ages and interests... Abbott and Rushforth's] literary counterpoint and harmonizing are as humorously engaging as they are elucidating."

"Ride along with Sam and Scott through spectacular landscape and share their vast knowledge of its many plants and creatures and the way their lives--and ours--turn with each new season."
--Chip Ward, author of Canaries on the Rim: Living Downwind in the West

"It's like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance meets Desert Solitaire in Utah County."
--Scott Carrier, author of Running After Antelope

"Come fall in wonder with nature and humankind as these two scholars and mountain bike enthusiasts explore flora, fauna and the follies of life, love, friendship and aging. Abbott and Rushforth are brash and beautiful, their observations clear-eyed, precise and soulful. By the end of the ride you'll understand more about Utah's landscape and two men's hearts than you ever imagined."
--Brooke Adams, former editor of the Salt Lake Observer and Salt Lake Tribune reporter

"Sometimes you have to get on the bike and go out with the wild things if you're going to get there at all. Scott Abbott and Sam Rushforth show us the way. Mount up. Here's our ticket to ride."
--Charles Bowden, author of Blues for Cannibals

"Following the conversations and adventures of Scott and Sam in this work was a delight--my only complaint is that I was stung by an absolute desire to join them. The gusto and passion they have for this land comes through on every page."
--Steven L. Peck, author of The Scholar of Moab and A Short Stay in Hell

"Imagine Plato's Phaedrus and a field guide to Utah fauna and flora left in an inside pocket of a sweaty, oft-used CamelBak get acquainted and copulate. The wise progeny, scratched and scented, philosophizing its way out, would be Wild Rides and Wildflowers, coauthored by Scott Abbott and Sam Rushforth."
--Larry Menlove, for The Provo Canyon Review

About the Author

Scott Abbott is the author of a book about Freemasonry and the German novel, and co-author of two books about travel and literature, Repetitions and Vampires and A Reasonable Dictionary. He was the jazz critic for the Salt Lake Observer and has translated several works by Austrian writer Peter Handke. He is Professor of Integrated Studies, Philosophy, and Humanities at Utah Valley University. His double-sprung Specialized Stumpjumper mountain bike, like he himself, is old, heavy, and mostly serviceable. Sam Rushforth is Dean of the College of Science and Health at Utah Valley University. Under his watch, the university has grown to 33,000 students. He studies aquatic botany and wetland ecology and has published more than one hundred papers and books. He has mentored nearly forty graduate students, who are now working all over the world. He lives in Orem, Utah.