5 Century Rides to Try this Winter

Winter doesn’t have to mean the end of your cycling season.  And no, I’m not suggesting heading indoors to your rollers (although there might be some of that involved).  For many places around the U.S., winter days bring cool, sunny weather ideal for completing a big ride.  Here are five century rides to add to your calendar this winter.  Even if you have to train in the basement, it will give you a reason to keep training  — and that can be worth a lot.

El Tour de Tucson

Tucson, Arizona

Earn your turkey dinner by riding the El Tour de Tucson.  You’ll get in a century, and then six extra miles, so that you can justify an extra piece of pumpkin pie.  The 106-mile course meanders through Suaguaro cactus and up several Sonoran climbs.  The best part of the ride is at the finish line, where you and 7,000 other participants can drink beer, listen to live music, and eat tacos.

New Years Century Ride

Key Largo, FL

Start out the new year right with the this 100-mile ride from Key Largo to Key West.  Hosted by Key Largo Bike Tours out of Tavernier, FL, the small, intimate ride makes stops at the iconic 7 mile bridge, No Name Key Pub, and Baby’s Coffee.  Afterward the group, celebrates the New Year at the Green Parrot before catching a ride back to Key Largo.

2018 Date: January 1, 2018

The Champions Ride

Tallahassee, FL

Get in a century and do good.  This event raises money for the Hang Tough Foundation, an organization offering “physical, mental and financial reprieve  to children suffering from childhood illnesses or special needs.  If riding 100 miles isn’t enough for you, the event weekend also includes a criterium and a bike rodeo for kids.

2018 Date: February 25, 2018

The Stagecoach Century

Ocotillo, CA

In February, the best place to be is the dessert, and the Stagecoach Century will get you there.  Located in the desert east of San Diego, the route follows the historic Great Southern Overland Stage Route.  Due to its remoteness, there’s little traffic and only two (!!!) stop signs the whole  way.

Date: February 24, 2018

 Casa Grande Century

Phoenix, AZ

The weather in Phoenix seldom disappoints   The average high for the Casa Grande Century is 70 degrees.  Soak up some sun and get in some easy miles.  The relatively flat course is perfect for first-timers, or for folks who haven’t been doing enough riding over the winter.

Date: January TBD, 2018

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