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Philosophy and Botany with Bikes

by Scott Abbott and Sam Rushforth

March  2014 | Nonfiction | 978-1-937226-23-7 | 364 pp | $15.95 


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.


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.”

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


"Ride along with Sam and Scott through Utah’s spectacular landscape and you will share their vast knowledge of its many plants and creatures and the way their livesand oursturn with each new season. But this is not just another book about experiencing the wonders of nature from the ground up. You will also partake of humor, friendship, and even wisdom. Who knew enlightenment could be so much fun?"
author of Stony Mesa Sagas and Canaries on the Rim


"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 PECK, author of The Scholar of Moab


“Abbott and Rushforth describe their fall from the path of righteousness and their descent/ascent into nature…. It’s like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance meets Desert Solitaire in Utah County.”
author of Running After Antelope


"Sometimes you have to get on the bike and go out with the wild things if you’re going to get there at all. Abbott and Rushforth show us the way. Mount up. Here’s our ticket to ride.”
—CHARLES BOWDEN, author of Dreamland


"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."




SCOTT ABBOTT is the author of a book about Freemasonry and the German novel, and of two books about travel and literature (with Zarko Radakovic): 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.

SAM RUSHFORTH is former 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.

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