Inspired by the action of the Tour de France? You may never be able to take 23 days to ride across France, but there are some local events where you can test endurance and skills. Here are five great local races to add to your calendar:
- Six Gap Century Ride, Dahlonega, GA (September 24). Whether you want to conquer all 6 of the North Georgia Gaps for the first time or set a time record for your 6-Gap Ride, the Six Gap Century is a challenging ride that gives you over 11,200 feet of climbing on its 104 mile course.
- Gran Fondo Hincapie,(Greenville, SC (October 21). Follow the training route of seven-time Tour de France rider George Hincapie for over 8100 feet of climbing over 80 miles. This event attracts a wide field of cycling pros and celebrity riders. Make sure you stick around for the entire festival including a massive warehouse sale, family festival, and celebrity chef dinner.
- 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge, Chattanooga, TN (May). With over 7100 feet of climbing, this ride is a local early season favorite. Due to some disputes over road usage in the Georgia counties, this race now just goes through two states, but the climbs are still epic with sections hitting a grade of almost 20%.
- Tour of Southern Highlands Stage Race, Woodstock, and Ball Ground (March). If you want to give stage racing a shot, the Tour of Southern Highlands is a great place to start. This event offers 3 stages for amateurs to participate in including a Time Trial and circuit race and then a road race with over 7,000 feet of climbing.
- Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, Brevard, NC (April). If you're ready for an epic mountain bike adventure, this race is for you. Five days and over 20,000 feet of elevation gain on some of the best single track trails in the country. This race can be done solo or with a partner.
Looking for something even more challenging? Try of these epic events:
- Haute Route - Mavic Rockies. (June) A seven-day point to point race featuring some of Colorado's most breathtaking climbs. This ride will test your climbing and endurance.
- Race Across America (June) Known as one of the most challenging races in the world, this ride will take you from coast to coast. You'll ride 3000 miles across 12 states with 170,000 feet of climbing. This race can be done solo or as a 2, 4, or 8 person team and must be completed in 12 days. It is a race - once the clock starts it doesn't stop until you hit the finish line so rides will be on the course 24-hours a day.
Do you have rides that you'd add to the list? Share those with us in the comments or on our Facebook page! And stop by the store to save 15% off saddles and cleats during the tour or book your $150 bike fit mai.