It's kind of like a Tour de Yellowstone.

Many Utahns have traveled to Yellowstone in a day, but how about on a bicycle?A dozen Utahns in their 30s and members of the Ruottveloce ("fast wheels" in Italian) biking group are cycling 315 miles from Farmington to West Yellowstone today in a single day.

Besides being a very physically challenging feat, the dozen men also have sponsorships with various businesses and individuals, hoping to raise between $10,000 and $15,000 for the Christmas Box House charity.

"We did this ride last year just for the heck of it," said Gardner Brown of Farmington, one of the bike riders and the organizer of the grueling event.

This year, the group wanted to do it for a cause, too. They'll keep no money for expenses and give all their pledge collections to the charity.

You can drive to West Yellowstone by car in about five hours and the bicyclists hope they can do it in about 20 hours -- wind direction and personal stamina permitting -- arriving at a cabin outside West Yellowstone about 10 p.m.

They were scheduled to start at 2 a.m. Friday and were hoping to be near Rexburg, Idaho, by 4 or 5 p.m..

Brown estimates it will take about 16 1/2 hours of actual pedaling (and some 3 1/2 hours of rest time) to cover the distance over the three states. Their average speed will be around 20 mph.

"It probably takes about 20,000 calories to do this," he said, explaining while there's no good way to calculate the energy expenditure, he lost 32 pounds doing it last year, even though he drank 32 bottles of water.

The men's wives have formed a support group and plan on following the bikers. They'll drive them back from Montana Sunday after spending two nights at Brown's cabin.

No one expects all 12 bicyclists to make it all the way. Brown said last year eight men tried the ride, and four finished.

Besides Brown, Kyle Brown of Farmington (no relation), Nate Page of Fruit Heights, Gary Gardiner of Centerville, Rob Rowley of Kaysville, Chris Johnson of Bountiful, Reggie Foster of Bountiful, Gerald Hunsaker of Salt Lake City, Spencer Eccles of Salt Lake City, Rod Lembers of Centerville, Roger Sibley of Bountiful and Kenny York of St. George, were all planning on attempting the ride.

Anyone who would like to donate to the Christmas Box charity through the bicycle group can contact Brown during the day next week at 533-8444.