With 2018 coming to a close, it's about that time of the year when cyclists start planning their events for the upcoming season. Sure, your local routes and Saturday group rides with your usual crew are fun, but why not switch things up in 2019?
From a Southern California ride with ocean views to a gravel ride in North Carolina, we've gathered nine of our favorite lesser-known rides throughout the country. Not only are these rides an easy way to explore new areas and meet new people, but they're perfect for keeping things fresh and exciting as you enter the new year and beyond.
Tulip Pedal Ride
April 20, 2019 in La Conner, Washington
A fun play on words, this "Tulip Pedal" ride takes participants on a route flanked by the beautiful tulip fields between Mount Vernon and La Conner. This event offers three options—a 20-mile ride, a 40-mile ride and a 60-mile ride—and each benefits child injury prevention in the surrounding Washington communities. There's no better way to experience the tulip blooms than by bike.
Learn more about and register for the 2019 Tulip Pedal Bike Ride, here.
The Burnsville Metric
April 27, 2019 in Bursville, North Carolina
Whether you're racing or just trying to finish, the Burnsville Metric is an excellent bike ride for all ages and abilities. Riders can choose from a 60-mile or 43-mile loop through the mountain countryside of Yancey and Mitchel County, with each route starting and finishing at Burnsville Town Square. After your day in the saddle, enjoy a cold one from a local brewery or some grub from one of the food trucks at the post-ride party.
Learn more about and register for the 2019 Bursville Metric, here.
Fiesta Wildflower Ride
April 28, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas
With routes ranging from 20 miles to 62 miles, the Fiesta Wildflower Ride is San Antonio's only cycling event. Registration includes fully-stocked aid stations, SAG wagons, support from local bike mechanics and tons of swag—participants will receive a unique finisher's medal, custom bib, T-shirt and custom water bottle. Afterward, celebrate your achievement with almost 2,000 other participants at the famous post-ride fiesta.
Learn more about and register for the 2019 Fiesta Wildflower Ride, here.
July 14, 2019 in Lenoir, North Carolina
Exploding in popularity in recent years, gravel rides are the perfect way to mix up a road-heavy schedule in 2019. Wilson's Revenge offers 52-mile and 33-mile gravel routes through rugged Wilson Creek Gorge. Participants will enjoy the picturesque views in the Pisgah Forest, two fully stocked aid stations and an optional post-ride river swim at Brown Mountain Beach Resort to cool off.
Learn more about and register for the 2019 Wilson's Revenge gravel ride, here.
Hotter'N Hell Hundred
August 24, 2019 in Wichita Falls, Texas
As if the event name wasn't clear enough, this ride can be summarized in one word: HOT. It's one of the largest rides in the country, and participants can expect relentless Texas heat (sometimes reaching over 100 degrees) as they explore well-maintained roads through the countryside. It's a pretty flat and fast route, with ample aid stations along the route to cool off, rest and refuel.
Learn more about and register for the 2019 Hotter'N Hell Hundred, here.
Maine Lighthouse Ride
September 7, 2019 in Portland, Maine
One of the most scenic events on this list, the Maine Lighthouse Ride passes nine lighthouses along the rolling 100-mile route, as well as the beautiful Scarborough Marsh (the largest salt marsh in Maine), Old Orchard Beach and Camp Ellis. Better yet, each registration benefits the Eastern Trail Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to cycling infrastructure in the greater Portland area.
Learn more about and register for the 2019 Maine Lighthouse Ride, here.
Gran Fondo Santa Clarita
September 2019 in Santa Clarita, California
Made famous by the Amgen Tour of California, this route around the greater Santa Clarita area features long sustained climbs through the surrounding mountains and well-maintained roads. The event includes a 20-mile family route, a 60-mile medio fondo route and a 100-mile gran fondo route, as well as an all-day kids course on the field at the expo. It is a timed event (rolling neutral start with a police escort) and includes SAG vehicles, feed zones and a post-ride meal and beer garden.
Learn more about and register for the 2019 Gran Fondo Santa Clarita, here.
October 6, 2019 in Millersville, Maryland
Winding through Anne Arundel County, the Lifeline100 offers five different lengths for cyclists of all ability levels. Participants can expect views that include the Severn River, downtown Annapolis, the airport and more. Last year the Lifeline100 raised over $30,000 for local, non-profit causes through over 800 participants and 30 sponsors and is on track to top these numbers in 2019.
Learn more about and register for the 2019 Lifeline 100, here.
Phil's Cookie Fondo
October 2019 in Malibu, California
Hosted by former professional cyclist Phil Gaimon, this "Cookie" fondo has everything you can ask for and more. Not only are there cookies (and Illy Coffee and CLIF Bar goodies) at each rest stop, but there's also plenty of elevation gain for even the most hardcore climber. Ranging from the 32-mile "Mini Chip" route to the 110-mile "Double Fudge" route, no matter what you pick you'll be sure to #EarnYourCookies.
Learn more about and register for the 2019 Phil's Cookie Fondo, here.