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10 U.S. Cycling Events with Monster Climbing!

Consider yourself a decent climber? You’ll want to add one of these Killer Climb Fests to your Bucket List this summer!

These challenges are ones that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime! They represent some of the toughest days out on bike ever. Climb aboard, clip-in and get ready to suffer vertically!

Date Event Location Routes Diff  Type My Rides
Jul 25 Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hill Climb Idaho Springs, Colorado, USA 27 miles, 7,000 feet D GRANFONDO
Sep 19 5 Canyons Bike Challenge Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 116 miles, 14,000 feet F GRANFONDO
Oct 16 Mt. Lemmon Hill Climb Tucson, Arizona, USA 59.6 miles, 4.5%, 6,600 feet E HILLCLIMB
May 23 Storming of Thunder Ridge Lynchburg, Virginia, USA 27, 45, 49, 75, 100 miles E CENTURY
Jun 26 Climb to Kaiser Clovis, California USA 98, 155 miles F GRANFONDO
Jun 26 Cycle to the Sun Paia, Hawaii, USA 36 miles, 10,023 feet F HILLCLIMB
Jun 26 Vermont Gran Fondo Bristol, Vermont, USA 64, 105 miles D GRANFONDO
Jul 10 The Triple Bypass Evergreen, Colorado, USA 30, 75, 125 miles D GRANFONDO
Jul 17 Death Ride - Tour of the California Alps Markleeville, California, USA 129 miles, 15000 feet F CENTURY
Sep 12 Mt. Baker Hill Climb Glacier, Washington, USA 24 miles, 4,098 feet D HILLCLIMB
 

Mount Lemmon

Tucson, Arizona - May 15, 2020

Mt Lemmon is 33rd on the list of 100 toughest road bike climbs in the US, with a rating of either "Hors Category" or "Category 1" on the scale used to rank the climbs in European stage racing.

Mt Lemmon is right up there with the famous passes in the European tours: hardly anywhere else in the US can you climb so high for so many miles in succession. That's why, every winter, Tucson sees packs of riders in matching jerseys, many of them speaking languages other than English, booking up the mountain.

While the 4.5% gradient and 6,600 feet of elevation gain might not seem daunting at first, the nearly 30 miles of constant climbing starts to add up, and you’ll definitely feel those occasional kicks to 8%. A 56-mile out and back trip, you get to enjoy a continuous 21-mile descent at the end that is exciting without ever being terrifying. You'll need good descending skills, as you’ll hit some high speeds.

Organizers Greater Arizona Bicycle Association provide four aid stations, about six miles apart, with fluids, munchies, and healthy carbs. In honor of the pie shop that once operated in Summerhaven near the summit, the uppermost aid station will serve a variety of pies. You can also opt to buy yourself lunch at the restaurants in Summerhaven or Ski Valley at the top.Greater Arizona Bicycle Association provides vehicular sweep support to help with mechanical problems or provide a lift.

Round up a posse of your riding buddies, see how fast you can fly to the top, and enjoy a social stop to eat pie and swap stories before enjoying the descent back down.

For more information, please visit: https://www.bikegaba.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=307669&module_id=264634

Mt. Lemmon Hill Climb

Storming of Thunder Ridge

Lynchburg, Virginia - May 17, 2020

The Storming of Thunder Ridge is Lynchburg, Virginia’s only fully-supported road cycling event.

The longer 100 mile route tests rider stamina with a 13 mile ascent to Apple Orchard Mountain, the highest peak of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, with over 9000 feet of climbing. 

The post-ride celebration includes lots of food with plenty of time to relax and enjoy your accomplishments with all your cycling friends.

Included are cue sheets, fully stocked rest stops, SAG support and monitoring of riders along the course.

Indoor and Outdoor camping is available on Saturday night, May 16th (Sunday night outdoor camping too).

The Storming of Thunder Ridge Bicycle Ride is a fund-raiser benefiting the YMCA of Central Virginia’s Annual Fund.

Rider limit on the Blue Ridge Parkway of 650 riders so register early to secure a place.

For more information, please visit: http://stormingofthunderridge.org

Get ready to Storm Thunder Ridge - the observatory in the distance!

Climb to Kaiser

Clovis, California - June 27, 2020

The Climb to Kaiser is not an easy ride!

Taking place on Saturday, June 27, 2020 in Clovis, CA, the 44th Annual Climb to Kaiser is one of the hardest rides in North America.

The traditional Climb to Kaiser, rated as one of the “10 toughest rides in America by Bicycling Magazine”. It’s a 155 grueling miles with over 15,000 feet of climbing!

This ride will test your mental and physical toughness. You never know what Mother Nature has in store on this unique challenging ride.

The Tollhouse Century, perfect for the rider who has a goal of completing Climb to Kaiser someday, but wants to get a feel of the Fresno foothills and heat first with 99 miles and 8,200 feet of climbing, reaching a maximum height of 9,184 feet above sea level.

Featuring multiple climbs throughout the ride, the two that stand out are the 7-mile Old Tollhouse Grade, featuring pitches up to 13%, and the shorter 3.5-mile climb at Big Creek with sections of 20%.

Of course, there are plenty of other steep roads you’ll have to conquer, too, but the good news is this ride has a lot of downhill for you to spin easy and recover before the roads head up once again!

The rides are fully supported with SAG, rest stops, lunch stop, and a great after ride meal. If you register before June 10th, you will also receive a personalized Bib! The Bib will have the route you registered for, the event date and your name.

Registration also includes an event T-Shirt, event patch and a finisher’s medal!

For more information, please visit: http://www.climbtokaiser.com

Can you handle the Climb to Kaiser?

Cycle to the Sun

Pa'ia, Hawaii - June 27, 2020

The ride climbs 10,000 feet over 36 miles and reaches gradients up to 18%! Compare that to the legendary climb of Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France is only 5,336 feet over 13.6 miles.

It starts in Pa’ia at sea level and finishes up on top of the Haleakala Volcano at just above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). It was first held in the 1980s but languished for many years. 

Last year’s event attracted hundreds of riders from all over the world, with the fastest time of 2:57:59 by Inui Tomoyuki of Sagamihara City, Japan, and fastest women’s time of 3:37:50 by Trina Van Dyck of Airdrie, Alberta. 

There are three aid stations. The first at the 3,000-feet Kula Lodge, the second at 6,500 feet, just outside the entrance to Haleakala National Park, and the last will be at 8,000 feet.

The are cash prizes will be awarded to the Top 3 for both men and women across a range of age categories from 18 and under to over 70 years old. Merchandise prizes will be awarded to the top 6 in all age group divisions.

There is a post-race barbeque with the results and prizes announced at the party.

Other than the length, what makes the ride so hard is the last 5 miles, where the elevation makes it difficult to breathe and the asphalt turns to volcanic rock, there probably isn’t a tougher climb in the world.

Give it a try if you’re into ultimate bragging rights!

For more information, please visit: http://cycletothesun.com

Cycle to the Sun

Vermont Gran Fondo

Bristol, Vermont - June 27, 2020

Every cyclist should add the Vermont Gran Fondo ride to their Bucket List at least once; if the stunning views of the Green Mountains don’t take your breath away, the climbs will!

Taking place on June 27, 2020, the Vermont Gran Fondo is arguably one of the toughest Gran Fondo's in North America.

Such is its reputation, it attracts hundreds of cyclists from all over the USA, Canada and internationally, especially those who love a real challenge, exposing riders around the world to the beauty and the challenge of riding the Green Mountains of Vermont. The routes include stretches of iconic Vermont mixed-surface roads, amazing mountain top views, and picturesque undulating valley roads.

The Gran Fondo course will surely not disappoint those looking for a challenge with a planned route to likely cover 130 miles of mixed surface climbing over 11,700 feet. The provisional Gran Fondo course will ascend Brandon Gap once and Middlebury Gap twice, once from each side, and the infamous Lincoln Gap. With its status reported to be the steepest paved mile in the U.S., according to Bicycling Magazine and one of the world’s steepest climbs by the Global Cycling Network, this is where the real challenge begins, with a 24% maximum grade and an average grade of 16%, the east side of Lincoln Gap is no walk-in-the-park.

Riders seeking a bit of additional motivation can empty the tank by attempting to set personal bests and compare themselves to others on each gap. This year a timed Gap Hill Climb Challenge with KOM & QOM trophies will be awarded to the top three men and women. The most challenging gap of the course will be designated as the challenge.

In its seven years, the Vermont Gran Fondo has always had a special emphasis on rider experience. There are fully stocked rest stops and toilets, approximately every 25 miles which includes unlimited water, Hammer Nutrition, yummy fresh food, and first aid supplies to keep everyone hydrated and fuelled up for the challenge.

Participants also benefit from Full Moto support, Mechanical and “SAG” support vans should they experience any difficulties out on course.  All courses are fully marked, with route signage at every turn!

After this challenging ride, you can fully recover, and relax at the after-party. The Vermont Gran Fondo Après Ride Party will take place at the start and finish area at the Bristol Rec Club, Bristol in Vermont. Enjoy live music, a variety of food choices including tacos, tamales, wood-fired pizza, salads and locally-produced beverages (beer of course!), all in the massive party tent. Entry into the party and four food tokens are included in your registration fee as well as cool SWAG bag!

There are also special rates on a vast array of local lodging in and around Addison County.

For full details please visit: http://vermontgranfondo.com or click the register now button.

The infamous Lincoln Gap - reported to be the steepest paved mile in the U.S.!

Death Ride

Markleeville, California - July 11, 2020

Five mountain passes, 15,000 feet of climbing and a 129 miles make this ride one of the toughest in the U.S.

Located in the stunning California Alps, the Death Ride® course covers five mountain passes. 

This super challenging course includes climbing both sides of Monitor Pass (8,314 feet), both sides of Ebbetts Pass (8,730 feet), and the final climb up the east side of Carson Pass (8,580 feet). 

Turtle Rock Park, just north of Markleeville, California, is the hub for ride registration, the start and finish line. 

Organizers recommend choosing your gearing wisely, with compact cranks and a 40-tooth cassette being a reasonable course of action if you plan on reaching the finish!

For more information, please visit: https://deathride.com

Triple Bypass Gran Fondo

Avon, Colorado - July 12, 2020

The 32nd edition of the annual bucket list belter, this is another "Must Do" ride for the descerning mountain climber. The Triple Bypass is an epic bucket-list ride that has donated millions to charitable non-profits.

The Triple Bypass travels over 3 gorgeous mountain passes (they limit vehicular access on many roads for your safety and comfort) and on bike paths. You will ride with thousands of friends, snack yourself silly with 4 aid stations and finish it all off with a catered meal and congratulatory beer. 

NEW this year is the Gran Fondo on the Sunday July 12, 2020. The climbs of Vail Pass, Loveland Pass and Juniper Pass will be timed. There will be the QOM/KOM prizes for those with the fastest combined time.

The QOM/KOM competition starts with the 8.7 mile climb of Vail Pass which includes 1,919 feet of climbing on gradients of up to to 13% and tops out at a lung sapping 10,616 feet above sea level.

It doesn’t get any easier either, up next is the climb up Loveland Pass to 11,990 feet above sea level. Riders will climb 2,390 feet to the summit over 7.7 miles. 

If that wasn’t enough, the final climb up Juniper Pass to 11,020 feet above sea level will include another 2,700 feet of climbing over 10.6 miles.

Altogether the Gran Fondo competition includes a challenging 7,009 feet of climbing over 27 miles. This ain’t no walk in the park!

But remember, the race is really against yourself and the clock. Everyone will be a winner, however you can go for the fastest time, if you’re legs and lungs are feeling good! Eastbound from Avon to Evergreen is considered harder.

In July, at 11,000 feet above sea level in the Rocky Mountains there’s snow on the mountains and at the side of the road all year round. If the scenery doesn’t take your breath away, the climbs certainly will.

The Triple Bypass sells out every year in advance, so early entry is advised to secure a place on one of America’s top bucket list rides!

For more information, please visit: https://triplebypass.org, or click the button below to register now.

Altogether the Gran Fondo competition includes a challenging 7,009 feet of climbing over 27 miles.

Mount Evans

Idaho Springs, Colorado - July 25, 2020

The 55th Annual Bob Cook Memorial Mt. Evans Hill climb is an iconic bicycle race that takes place on the highest paved road in the United States at 14,264 feet above sea level. People have been racing the Mt. Evans Hill Climb for 55 years. It’s an epic event that creates lifelong memories. 

The Mt. Evans Hill Climb includes professional cyclists that have raced in the Tour de France and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. You will have the opportunity to race on the same course as those that have made it to the highest level of cycling. The Gran Fondo is open to any amateur cyclist!

The race starts in the historic mining town of Idaho Springs at an altitude of 7,540 feet and finishes at 14,130 feet, 130 feet below Mount Evans' summit. The race is 27.4 miles in length and climbs 6,630 feet. 

There are 11 switchbacks that take you to an unforgettable view of the Rocky Mountains and an achievement of a lifetime. 

Around one thousand riders compete each year and the event offers mechanical support, a feed zone and transportation of clothing bags to the summit for the trip down the mountain. There is a limited Shuttle Service for the trip down.

There is an award celebration in Idaho Springs for all participants and spectators. There are prizes across a range of age categories for both men and women.

Think about it – when else will you have the opportunity to climb a 14’er and have full support? And there is a rocking party at the bottom to celebrate!

For more information, please visit: http://bicyclerace.com

The 55th Annual Bob Cook Memorial Mt. Evans Hill climb

5 Canyons Bike Challenge

Salt Lake City, Utah - Agust 29, 2020

The third edition of the 5 Canyons Bike Challenge will tackle all five of Salt Lake Valley’s canyons in one day!

5 Canyons is one of the most daunting cycling challenges in the country, ascending more than 14,000 feet over 116 miles through all five of Salt Lake City’s beautiful riding canyons, comprising three HC climbs and two Category 2 climbs—in one day! This challenge is one made for those who love the thrill of climbing!

The ride has more vertical climbing than even Mount Whitney (the tallest peak in the lower 48).  The ride first ascends Little Cottonwood Canyon, then moves on to Big Cottonwood Canyon, Millcreek Canyon, Emigration Canyon, and finishes with City Creek Canyon in the heart of Salt Lake City.

The beauty and serenity of an early morning canyon ride is unmatched. And, there is no more abundance of beautiful canyons in all the world than right here along the Wasatch Front.

For more information, please visit: http://www.5canyons.org

The beauty and serenity of an early morning canyon ride is unmatched.

Mount Baker

Glacier, Washington – September 13, 2020

The Mt. Baker Highwayis known as one of the most scenic paved roads in the country and rarely is the highway closed to motorized vehicles on the way up Artist Point. With steep elevation and several switchbacks, this ride is not for the faint hearted!

Experience the agony and the ecstasy of climbing 4,100 feet in approximately 22 miles.

There are three level of abilities groups to choose from, Social riders, Recreational riders and Competitive Racers.

Cash prizes are awarded for the top 3 places for both males and females across a range of age categories from 13 to 60+ years. 1st prize is $500, 2nd prize is $250 and 3rd prize is $100. Additionally, the top female and top male of the following age divisions will receive a custom fully-sublimated winner's Jersey.

There are aid stations equipped with snacks, water, fruit and basic repair kits during the climb and one at the Top. Highway 542 is closed to traffic both ways from 7am-12noon. A shuttle will be available to transport cyclists who do not wish to bike down.

The race is capped at 400 total participants, so register early to secure a place.

Details on the ride can be found at bakerhillclimb.com, however registration doesn't open until May.

Mount Baker Glacier, Washington – September 13, 2020