Catching a glimpse of that early-August century ride marked on your calendar can bring dread and despair from thoughts of unbearable temperatures. Without taking a single pedal, and the ride still weeks away, you begin to tremble uncontrollably, sweat profusely, and every muscle and fiber in your body secretes a burning lactic acid until you finally break down and cry. Thankfully, those days are soon behind us, and cyclists everywhere can celebrate the coming of a new, cooler season.
Fall century rides grant cyclists not only a more agreeable temperature, but also gorgeous scenery, the smell of crisp, autumn air and the reds, browns and oranges of the changing foliage.
So, grab your pumpkin-flavored whatever and give one of these fall century rides a spin.
The Ride for Missing Children
Various Dates and Locations
Yes, you'll get to enjoy the beauty of upstate New York before it gets too cold to bear, but this ride is about more than the scenery or how fast you can pedal. Raising awareness for missing children, the ride is unique in that all cyclists, escorted by local law enforcement, ride in a group at a moderate pace of 14 to 18 mph. Riders stop by schools where cheering schoolchildren and their parents greet them. There, cyclists spend time speaking to children and raising awareness of missing children in the U.S.
Escape New York
September 21, 2019 in New York, New York
Don't worry, this is not 1997 (anymore). You're not Snake Plissken and the U.S. government did not turn Manhattan into a maximum-security prison. Nonetheless, this ride should be a thrill. Celebrating its 21st year, Escape New York, which traverses Bergen and Rockland Counties, offers rolling hills and postcard views of the Hudson River. You'll cross the famous George Washington Bridge, eat good food and meet wonderful people.
WCBC Savage Century
September 21, 2019 in Newark, Delaware
If you think this ride is named after "Wonder Years" great Fred Savage, you'd be sorely mistaken. By "savage," they mean brutally difficult. Fortunately, October should provide gorgeous weather for this ride through rural Delaware. And, if your legs aren't feeling up to the 100-mile task, you can always choose shorter routes of 40, 60 or 75 miles.
Emmitt Smith Gran Fondo
September 14, 2019 in Frisco, Texas
Join three-time Super Bowl champion and former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith for 100 miles on the bike in a tour all around the Lone Star State. Whether you're a serious cyclist or a weekend rider, there's something for everyone at the event, including a family ride, 45-mile and 22-mile options.
No Hill Hundred
October 5, 2019 in Fallon, Nevada
In case you couldn't discern it from the ride's name, this 100-mile route is as flat as a pancake. If your little legs can't handle inclined plains or grades of more than one percent—or you fancy yourself a sprinter in the Tour de France—this ride should be right up your alley. But just because your legs won't cramp and you'll likely finish bonk-free doesn't mean you'll go home empty handed. No, this ride gives all participants a cycling jersey and plenty of other commemorative swag.
Anne Arundel County Lifeline 100
October 6, 2019 in Millersville, Maryland
Offering a mix of road and paved trails, this 100-mile route takes riders through the downtown area of Maryland's gorgeous state capital, Annapolis (also home of the U.S. Naval Academy), and the lovely Severn River in the heart of autumn. The ride coincides with a community health fair, which will include health screenings and fun activities for kids and family.
Bikes, Brews and Omelettes Two
November 3, 2019 in Arnaudville, Louisiana
Held in conjunction with the Giant Omelette Celebration—which is exactly what you'd think it is, a celebration with giant omelettes—this ride tours the southern Louisiana town of Abbeville and surrounding areas. Volunteers support the ride with frequent SAG stops with energy gels, food and drinks. And don't forget to fill up with some tasty omelettes after the long trek. You can't make an omelette without exercising a few legs.
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