11 Challenging Rides for Climbers
Challenge the Bear
Tehachapi, California - July 5, 2014 1 of 12
Split into three categories (baby bear, momma bear, grizzly bear), the 60-mile metric century is stocked with one Category-1 climb, three Category-2 climbs, and one Category-4 climb—all totaling close to 8,000 feet.
2014 Fire Road Cycling Dirt Fondo
Cedar City, Utah - July 5, 2014 2 of 12
If you want to get off the road, this Leadville qualifier will provide you with a challenging day on the bike. But even though there's over 7,500 feet of climbing on the 100-mile course, shorter routes are available on the well-groomed fire road, which makes the event suitable for families too.
Tour de Big Bear
Big Bear Lake, California - August 2, 2014 3 of 12
Taking place at 7,000 feet above sea level, there won't be much air to breath as you take on the race to the peak of Onyx Summit, where the king of the mountain will be awarded. Total climbing totals 7,400 feet for the 100-mile course and 3,000 feet for the 50-mile option. All roads are newly paved and offer stunning views of Big Bear Lake.
Gran Fondo Italia Aspen-Snowmass
Snowmass, Colorado - August 10, 2014 4 of 12
Ascend the classic climbs of Colorado on this epic ride into Snowmass Village. The 95-mile option features a hill-climb finish up several switchbacks and will offer an Italian-style celebration at the summit. Lead-out and police escorts will be provided.
Darn Tough Ride
Stowe, Vermont - August 31, 2014 5 of 12
Start in the picturesque village of Stowe before heading out to Smugglers' Notch over Mt. Mansfield—Vermont's highest peak. There are two-timed climbs on the course and over 7,300 feet of elevation gain for the 100-mile option.
Mammoth Fall Century and Gran Fondo
Mammoth Lakes, California - September 5, 2014 6 of 12
With routes ranging from 42, 70 or 102 miles, this bucket list race features jaw dropping views of the Sierra Nevada Range, Mono Lake and the White Mountains. Do bring your climbing bike, as the course starts at a cool 8,000 feet of elevation and has well over 6,000 miles of climbing sprinkled throughout the century and Gran Fondo courses. But what fun would spectacular views be if you didn't have to work to get there? If you arrive on Friday, a short 7.8-mile time uphill time trial will also be held to warm up your climbing legs before the big event.
Highlander Cycle Tour
Canandaigua, New York - September 5, 2014 7 of 12
Seven events are offered as part of the Tour, but one stands out. The Quads Hills Century is a 100-mile ride with 10,000 feet of climbing, with grades approaching 23 percent on some ascents. You'll be rewarded with some of the most amazing scenery in upstate New York.
Giro di San Diego Gran Fondo
Solana Beach, California - September 7, 2014 8 of 12
This 108-mile route climbs to the top of Palomar Mountain, which stands above 6,000 feet. The fastest male and female cyclists to reach the summit will be crowned the king and queen of the mountain. There will be plenty of climbing sprinkled in between too, so if you're not feeling up to it, less challenging (but hardly easy) routes are also available.
Tahoe Sierra Century
Olympic Valley, California - September 13, 2014 9 of 12
This community fundraiser is no walk in the park. The century ride covers 6,800 feet in elevation gain, though it's not all hard work—13 of the 100 miles are along the beautiful shores of Lake Tahoe. Lunch is provided during the ride and as well as a dinner party afterwards, which are included in entry fees to refuel your energy stores after a long day of climbing.
Six-Gap Century and Three Gap Fifty Bike Ride
Dahlonega, Georgia - September 28, 2014 10 of 12
Dahlonega offers some of the steepest climbs around, and the Six Gap Century will takes riders over sections of road above 15 percent in gradient. On the 104-mile course, you'll have to ascend 11,200 feet to reach the finish—including a 7-mile section that averages over 7-percent grades.
Black Bear Century
Minisink Hills, Pennsylvania - October 11, 2014 11 of 12
Seven different distances are offered, ranging from 32 to 107 miles. The long one, though, is where your climbing is put to the test. More than 9.700 feet of elevation gain will take you to the highest point in New Jersey with 100-mile-plus views in all directions—all with fall foliage creating stunning backdrops of color in every direction.