Cycling is one of those sports most popular among folks with addictive personalities; people who need bigger and bigger doses of adrenaline-inducing miles topped off with neuron-exciting terrain. Here’s a list of some of the most challenging cycling events. Plus, if you ride your wheels right, you may even enjoy some spectacular scenery.
Seattle to Portland (STP)
The annual Seattle to Portland is the largest bike ride in the northwest. The event consists of over 10 thousand riders cycling 205 miles from, well, Seattle to Portland. The route meanders through valleys, farmlands and forests. Daring cyclists choose to ride the event in one or two days, with a camp out in Centralia, Washington. Total ride elevation gain is 4,828 feet. The oldest rider of this race was 85 years, which should give you all the more reason to get out there and get it done.
Death Ride Tour
The word death in the title should be an indicator of a tough ride. The Death Ride Tour…Ride for Life…For Those Who Care is in its fifth year of operation and occurs throughout southwestern Colorado. The route is more than challenging, it truly is a death ride. With 232 miles and 16,500 elevation gain, riders keep the end sight in mind, the good cause. All proceeds are donated to the Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the ALS Association.
Tour of Utah
Once amateur, turned professional cycling event boasts a total 600 miles and more than 40,000 feet in elevation gain. Showcasing some of the most beautiful sights in racing, these bionic bodies push through this one-day, world-class event.
For those who are non-professional can cycle the Ultimate Challenge, which is a 112 miles and over 12,000 feet in elevation gain. Registrants will get to view the Stage 5 of the Tour of Utah on a big screen television at the finish line.
The Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day (RAMROD) is a one-day ultra-marathon cycling event. The 152 miles consists of a steady 10,000 foot climb to the national park. Three particular climbs are the 12-mile Inspirational Point (4,850 feet), three-mile Backbone Ridge and the nine-mile Cayuse Pass (4,696 feet). The reward to the grueling ride is a beautiful view of Washington’s most spectacular volcano.
Tour of the Unknown Coast
One of California’s toughest and most scenic ride is the Tour of the Unknown Coast, which takes place in Humboldt County. The 100-mile option climbs 9,400 feet, which most of the climb is located toward the end of the route. Enjoy coasts and shoreline as cyclists pedal through the meandering route.
Race Across America (RAAM)
This 30-year, international event attracts cyclists from around the world to conquer the road all while giving to charity. RAAM raises near one million dollars to donate to various organizations. The 2013 event includes 3,000 miles of road starting at Oceanside, California through Annapolis, Maryland.