Here are eight metric century rides (aka, a normal century ride to everyone else in the world) that will get your blood pumping, quads sweating and allergies…fully activated.
Tour de SummerlinApril 22, 2017, in Las Vegas 1 of 9
While Vegas isn't the ideal place to immerse oneself in blooming flowers and mounds of pollen, it remains the biggest adult playground in the world. Summerlin, the scenic community where the ride takes place, is just a hop and skip from downtown Vegas. While you won't see colorful flowers or The Mirage on your ride, the scenic roads and gorgeous mesas are more than worth pedaling for 100 kilometers.
Answer to Cancer Cycling Event and 5K Family Fun Run/WalkJune 10, 2017; West Point, NY 2 of 9
Hate cancer? Of course you do—and this race allows you as an individual or a team to do something about it. 100 percent of funds raised through participation in this fun and challenging race goes toward advancing cures for all cancers.
Participants can bike 25, 50 or 100 miles (or even run the 5K). The race kicks off with a military procession through the United States Military Academy at West Point, with cyclists continuing on through the Lower Hudson Valley, which is home to some of the best cycling and scenery in the Northeast.
Cycling registration is $50 or $25 for the 5K. Funds raised go to the Cancer Research Institute to support its cancer immunotherapy research.
Natchez Trace Century RideMay 6, 2017, in Ridgeland, Miss. 3 of 9
This is the kind of ride that puts the "hospitality" in "southern hospitality." Hell, it puts the "southern" in it, too. This event is not so much a grueling test as it is a fun spring day on the bike. The race includes stops every 10 to 15 miles that feature local music, food and hands-on fun, and an after party with more food, more music and more fun. Mardi what?
Tour de LincolnMay 6, 2017, in Lincoln, Calif. 4 of 9
A short drive from Sacramento, this ride in Lincoln, California, traverses a route that utilizes well-stocked rest stops and SAG support as you cruise through beautiful valleys and suffer on challenging climbs. The metric century also includes 3,800 feet of elevation gain, so prepare to tell your legs to shut up around kilometer 80.
Tour of Long BeachMay 13, 2017, in Long Beach, Calif. 5 of 9
One of the largest cycling events in Southern California, the Tour of Long Beach raises over $100,000 annually to support pediatric cancer programs. The event offers cyclists the chance to ride along the beautiful California coast on what should be a perfect spring day in May. You'll ride from Long Beach to Seal Beach to Newport Beach and back.
San Diego Century Bicycle TourMay 20, 2017, in Encinitas, Calif. 6 of 9
This bicycle tour offers various routes, but don't expect novice riders to tackle the 33-mile course. All rides require participants to traverse San Diego's famous hills and demand good fitness and bike handling. Despite the difficulty, stunning views and perfect weather have made the San Diego Century an annual staple in the self-proclaimed "America's Finest City."
Viking Tour 2017May 21, 2017, in Poulsbo, Wash. 7 of 9
The Viking Tour takes place during the town's iconic VikingFest carnival, so don't be afraid to wear your horn-clad helmets on this scenic metric century. The ride finishes in Norway, or (ahem), Poulsbo, Washington—not that you would notice any difference between this charming town and the real Scandinavian country.
Tour de FrondsJune 17, 2017, in Powers, Ore. 8 of 9
Seeking that perfect weather before the sultry summer creeps in? The 20th anniversary Tour de Fronds in Powers, Oregon, grants riders the challenge of the roads with the charm of the Pacific Northwest. You'll see gorgeous wildflowers, waterfalls, rivers, streams and mountain vistas all through your sweat-filled sunglasses. New to this year's ride, the Tour de Fronds offers two metric centuries—one on paved roads and the other on gravel—so pick the one that most suits your fancy.