The United States is one of the world’s largest countries and has a massive cycling community that grows each year. Bicycling has become the second most popular outdoor activity among youth in America, and the fourth most popular among adults. Millions of people attend cycling events in the United States every year, from amateur cyclists to international stars and from local fans to the sport’s closest followers. If mountain biking is your thing, there’s plenty of awesome trails to check out, but if you yearn to challenge yourself on the road and enjoy beautiful views along the way, then we’ve got you covered. Here are the five best cycling events in the U.S. that you have to check out.
Dirty Kanza 200 – Emporia, Kansas
Dirty Kanza was started in 2006 by Central Kansas natives with a passion for cycling and a love of their gravel trails. Gravel grinding has become extremely popular over the years, and Dirty Kanza grew from 34 participants in 2006 to well over 2,000 today. Taking place on June 1st, this 200 mile gravel loop won’t show you much kindness, but the locals certainly will.
Cross Florida Ride – Cocoa Beach, Florida
The Cross Florida Ride is an extremely interesting race that takes cyclists from the Atlantic coast to the Gulf coast. This 170 mile one day ride goes through the heart of Florida (and over some pretty challenging hills), allowing you to see not only beautiful beaches but also gorgeous lakes and wilderness. It also starts in a near perfect vacation spot within Port Canaveral, and with plenty of great places to stay for travelers, you can find accommodations within the area, so it’s perfect if you plan to bring a whole group or your family down to enjoy the Florida sun before the race.
Crater Lake Century – Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake is one of the most breathtaking places in the entire country. Formed by a volcanic eruption 7,000 years ago, the crater lake is the perfect spot for a ride. After 35 miles in the Wood River Valley, the race climbs 3,000 feet to the crater rim, where riders traverse 30 miles of peaks and valleys with an amazing view of the lake. This is a sight and a race that you will not want to miss.
Sea Otter Classic – Monterey California
Every cycling enthusiast should be in Monterey in April for the Sea Otter Classic. The four day event is the world’s largest cycling festival, with 10,000 professional and amateur cyclists and 70,000 fans, including national and world champions as well as Olympic athletes. The event also hosts over 450 vendors selling thousands of products, many of which are exclusive or still in early launching stages. There are tons of different races to join in on, including mountain biking and one of the country’s most popular Gran Fondos.
Tour of Utah Ultimate Challenge – Salt Lake City, Utah
Claimed to be America’s “toughest one day cycling adventure” and changing every year, this year it’s a 94 mile road stacks up over 8,000 feet of elevation. Amateurs are allowed to ride on Saturday, August 17th, and are encouraged to stick around to watch the pros on Sunday. Biking the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains is one of the harder things Americans can do, so if you’re up for the challenge, head on over to Utah for some of the country’s hardest climbs and best views.
Besides these five, there are plenty of other unmissable cycling events in the US. Some honorable mentions are the Mt. Tam Century Ride, the Blue Ridge Brutal, the Snowy Range, the Mount Washington Hillclimb, and the Tour de Tucson. So if you’re on the lookout for your next cycling challenge, check out any of these events for the best cycling experience of your life!
After taking a career sabbatical to become a mother, Jackie Smee now writes and researches full time on anything to do with health, wellness and exercise. She has, in the past battled problems with anxiety and panic, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support people with mental health issues. Follow her biking guides here: https://bikesreviewed.com