Races that traverse mountains and century rides with steep climbs make even roadies with colossal thighs nervous. Climbing is all about balance, breathing, pace and your power-to-weight ratio. It isn't for everybody. But for those advanced cyclists who want to ride long stints in low gears, here are seven races sure to test even the strongest riders.
Hott Doggett 100 and Devils Fork MetricJuly 9, 2016, in St. Mars Hill, N.C. 1 of 8
Advanced climbers will pedal 9,600 feet of Madison County's scenic mountain in this century ride. Don't worry; you get a free T-shirt to wipe your sweat off at the finish line.
Farm to Fork Fondo – VermontJuly 17, 2016, in Pittsfield, Vt. 2 of 8
Easily the most challenging of the four Farm to Fork Fondos, this ride features four grueling ascents, endless farmland and gravel roads. The prize: sore quads and an incredible sense of accomplishment.
Devil's Slide RideJuly 23, 2016, in Pacifica, Calif. 3 of 8
With an elevation gain of more than 9,000 feet, this century ride will certainly test your lactic acid tolerance. If you can overcome the pain, you'll see stunning views of California's beautiful San Mateo Coast.
Tour de Big BearAugust 6, 2016, in Big Bear Lake, Calif. 4 of 8
A century ride around one of California's most scenic lakes, Tour de Big Bear offers advanced cyclists more than 7,000 feet of climbing.
Sadistic CenturyAug. 20, 2016, in Menomonie, Wis. 5 of 8
Sadistic is not the last name of the race's founder. The race is so aptly named because whoever founded it had to be sadistic to inflict this much pain on the riders.
Nestled in the hills and valleys of Menomonie, Wisconsin, this century ride features more than 30 climbs and a total elevation gain of 8,819 feet.
Mt. Ashland Hill Climb Bike RaceAug. 28, 2016, in Ashland, Ore. 6 of 8
The climb up Mt. Ashland, a brutal 4,600-feet of elevation gain, rivals some of the toughest climbs even the pro peloton faces. By the end of the race, the throb of your legs won't believe the race was a mere 24 miles.
Tour d' AppleSept. 5, 2016, in Flat Rock, N.C. 7 of 8
Don't buy into the town's ironic name of Flat Rock. This century ride includes over 8,000 feet of elevation gain and six mountain climbs.