We know that sometimes the best bike ride of your life can take place right outside your front door, on your local neighborhood streets and trails. Then there are those other times—when the wanderlust kicks in and the need to travel with your bike just overwhelms you. For those moments, here are a dozen bike riding events that we think are worth the trip.
Started by endurance champion Rebecca Rusch, RPI is not for the faint of heart. To conquer this event you’ll have to ride 100 miles, “on grueling gravel roads, through canyons, over summits, and across high mountain basins.” Still, if you’ve ever wanted to explore riding in the Gem State, this is the ride for you. Plus, a portion of the proceeds are donated to PeopleForBikes, to help us toward our goal of making every bike ride better across the U.S.
Founded in 2011, Slow Roll Detroit is a weekly bike ride (every Monday from May through October) dedicated to promoting cycling in the City of Detroit. Thousands of riders show up for a leisurely ride that builds community at a pace that welcomes riders of all types. You may not think of Detroit as a top bike riding destination—this event will surely change your mind.
Climate Ride is an organization that produces charitable multi-day rides, allowing participants to explore different regions of the world while raising money for non-profit beneficiaries. Some of the event locations include Bhutan, Glacier National Park and Nova Scotia, but you can do an independent challenge any time, anywhere. Participants can choose from more than 100 beneficiary organizations, including PeopleForBikes. That means you can enjoy a great ride and also contribute to making bike riding better across the U.S.
If you think there’s nothing exciting about riding in Iowa in the middle of summer, you’d be wrong. RAGBRAI is the largest bike touring event in the world and there’s a reason why people come from all over to participate. Yes, the riding is fun, but the atmosphere can’t be beat. Rest stops along the multi-day route feature local food vendors and you’re guaranteed to get a laugh from the hilariously-named teams.
The second oldest 100-mile mountain bike race in the United States, the Leadville Trail 100 MTB was first run in 1994 and takes place in Leadville, Colorado on the second Saturday in August. With a total elevation gain of 11,000 feet, this mountain bike race is definitely not an entry-level event. You’ll be totally wiped if you finish, but you’ll get a special belt buckle for your effort.