Here are 11 great century rides across the U.S. that you can sink your teeth into as the cycling season begins.
Hawaii Century RideSunday, April 9 in Kawaihae, Hawaii 1 of 12
There's no better place to enjoy your first spring century than in a state that's in an endless cycle of the beautiful season. This annual ride features some of the most beautiful roads the state has to offer and, by extension, some of the most beautiful roads the world has to offer. You will also get the opportunity to ride part of the IRONMAN World Championship course on the north part of the island.
TarWheel CenturySaturday, April 22 in Camden, N.C. 2 of 12
As a ride through North Carolina, the TarWheel gets our vote for cleverest name. A fully supported ride with fruit smoothies (yes, you read that correctly) at SAG stops, the event includes three different routes and distances for cyclists of all skill levels. And, once you're done riding and drinking your smoothies, you can head south to...
Issaqueena's Last RideSaturday, April 22 in Walhalla, S.C. 3 of 12
Walhalla, South Carolina introduces the Blue Ridge Mountains to ambitious cyclists on this challenging century. With a great deal of elevation gain, you better hope you stuck to your offseason training plan if you want to complete this ride. And, if you manage to keep your cadence to the finish, you'll be in for spectacular views of Lake Jocassee and a delicious post-ride meal.
Natchez Trace Century RideSaturday, May 6 in Ridgeland, Miss. 4 of 12
Experience some of the best that Southern hospitality has to offer. Of course, you'll be pedaling through it, but that won't stop you from enjoying the beauty of the abundant wildlife sure to spring up around the Ross Barnett Reservoir. The ride includes four distances depending on your capability, but to experience everything the mighty Mississippi has to offer, we recommend opting for the full 100-mile journey.
Tour of Long BeachSaturday, May 13 in Long Beach, Calif. 5 of 12
A charity ride that raised over $300,000 to support Pediatric Cancer Research last year, this century packs thousands of riders on the roads of Long Beach, California. Tony Cruz, a 2000 U.S. Olympian and former pro cyclist, carefully plans all the routes, so you know you're in for a treat. But don't let his credentials scare the novice riders, who can always participate in the 5-mile family fun ride.
Cervelo Belgian Waffle RideSaturday, May 20 in San Marcos, Calif. 6 of 12
While not a century, this challenging ride is too good to pass up and features 235K of suffering over bone grinding roads, mud, arduous climbs and sleet, heat and winds. It's a never ending string of climbs that will make you hurt so good when it's over. Sign up for the ultimate test with "The Waffle," which features 146 miles and over 13,000 feet of climbing, or, if that's too much, settle for "The Wafer," with 68 miles and a 7,000-foot elevation change.
Santa Fe CenturySunday, May 21 in Santa Fe, N.M. 7 of 12
One of the most insanely affordable century rides in the country—and beautiful to boot—the Santa Fe Century offers participants delicious food stops, challenges for cyclists of all abilities and the chance to cycle the famed Turquois Trail through the old mining towns and villages of scenic New Mexico. Now in its 32nd year, these ride organizers have plenty of experience to ensure a great time.
Ice Cream CenturySaturday, June 3 in Boonsboro, Md. 8 of 12
Yes, this ride is exactly what you imagine: cycling and ice cream. After all, the two go together like ... well, an appropriate analogy does not exist, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying two of the most amazing things this world has to offer simultaneously. On this hilly 93-mile route, you'll visit seven of the greatest creameries Maryland has to offer. Luckily, you'll quickly burn off those calories during the challenging ride.
Ride for Missing ChildrenSaturday, June 3 in Buffalo, New York and Rochester, N.Y. 9 of 12
Unlike many century rides that allow its participants to pedal at their own pace, the Ride for Missing Children rides as a massive, 2x2 peloton, averaging a 14 miles an hour pace. The ride stops at local schools for educational rest stops that include silent tributes to missing children. A ride for a great cause, this hundred miler is sure to be an experience like no other.
Apple Century Bike RideSaturday, June 3 in Wenatchee, Wash. 10 of 12
In case you didn't already know, the Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful places in the world this time of year. And there's no better way to enjoy the springtime greenery than pedaling along the scenic Wenatchee River in Washington State. On this 100-miler, your eyes will feast on lush orchards, cool and clear river valleys and tall ponderosa pine forests. It's a ride for the ages.
Mountain Top ExperienceSaturday, June 17 in Florissant, Colo. 11 of 12
It's tough to imagine a century ride spoiling its participants, but the Mountain Top Experience manages to accomplish just that. The ride—or experience, rather—will wine and dine all cyclists with a free lunch, free massage and an after-party with beer and ice cream. Oh, and you'll see some gorgeous Colorado countryside, all on paved roads, with six aid stations and SAG vehicles.