The team at Strambecco rates the Best Cycling Races-Events Pennsylvania 2024 based on various factors, including reputation, route quality, location, rider feedback, and the event's or race's overall uniqueness. Strambecco does not list every event. We strive to identify and review special and noteworthy events, spanning Road, Gravel, and Mountain Bike events and races.
Pennsylvania, known for its diverse landscapes and rich history, has become a haven for cyclists seeking varied terrains and breathtaking scenery. From the challenging roads of the Lehigh Valley to the gravel paths of the Shunk Hills and the rugged mountain trails of the Trans-Sylvania region, Pennsylvania offers an array of cycling opportunities. In this article, we will delve into the popularity of cycling in the Keystone State, exploring road cycling, gravel riding, and mountain biking. We will also highlight three notable events showcasing the state's vibrant cycling community: Gran Fondo Hincapie Lehigh Valley, Tour De Shunk Gravel, and the Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic.
Road Cycling in Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania's road cycling scene is characterized by scenic byways, challenging climbs, and historic routes. Whether cyclists are navigating urban streets or winding through rural landscapes, the state provides a diverse and rewarding experience for riders of all levels.
Popular Road Cycling Locations:
- Lehigh Valley: The Lehigh Valley region offers road cyclists a mix of rolling hills, scenic countryside, and charming small towns. Routes around the Lehigh River provide both challenging ascents and exhilarating descents, making it a popular destination for road cycling enthusiasts.
- Lancaster County: Known for its picturesque farmland and Amish country, Lancaster County provides cyclists with a unique and tranquil road cycling experience. Cyclists can explore the gently rolling hills and covered bridges that dot the landscape.
- Pittsburgh to DC Trail: For those seeking a longer adventure, the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath connect Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. This scenic trail offers a car-free route through forests, farmland, and historic towns.
Gravel Cycling in Pennsylvania:
The gravel cycling scene has gained significant traction in Pennsylvania, attracting riders who crave a mix of adventure and exploration. Gravel roads wind through the state's rural landscapes, offering a taste of solitude and natural beauty.
Popular Gravel Cycling Locations:
- Shunk Hills: The Shunk Hills, located in the north-central part of the state, are a gravel cyclist's paradise. Remote and challenging gravel roads wind through dense forests and rolling hills, providing a true backcountry experience.
- Bald Eagle State Forest: Situated in central Pennsylvania, Bald Eagle State Forest boasts a network of gravel roads that traverse through a mix of wooded areas and open fields. Gravel cyclists can immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature while tackling varied terrain.
Mountain Biking in Pennsylvania:
The state's varied topography, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Alleghenies, provides mountain bikers with a diverse range of trails. Technical descents, rocky paths, and lush forests characterize Pennsylvania's mountain biking scene.
Popular Mountain Biking Locations:
- Rothrock State Forest: Located near State College, Rothrock State Forest is a mountain biking destination with a variety of trails for all skill levels. From flowing singletracks to challenging descents, the forest offers a dynamic riding experience.
- Jim Thorpe: Known as the "Switzerland of America," Jim Thorpe is a charming town nestled in the Pocono Mountains with a vibrant mountain biking community. Trails like the Switchback Railroad and Mauch Chunk Lake Park provide riders with thrilling descents and scenic views.
Notable Cycling Events in Pennsylvania:
- Gran Fondo Hincapie Lehigh Valley:
- Date: Annually in the summer
- Location: Starting and finishing in Jim Thorpe, PA
- Description: The Gran Fondo Hincapie Lehigh Valley is a premier road cycling event that brings cyclists of all levels together for a challenging and scenic ride. The route showcases the beauty of the Lehigh Valley, combining tough climbs with thrilling descents and picturesque landscapes.
- Hincapie Gran Fondo Lehigh Valley is part of the national Hincapie Gran Fondo Series, with events in Maine, California, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
- Tour De Shunk Gravel:
- Date: Annually in the fall
- Location: Sullivan County, PA
- Description: The Tour De Shunk Gravel is a celebrated gravel cycling event that takes participants through the remote and challenging gravel roads of the Shunk Hills. With varying route options, the event caters to gravel cyclists seeking adventure and camaraderie.
- The event offers a variety of Gravel and Road Options to choose from.
- Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic:
- Date: Annually in the spring
- Location: State College, PA
- Description: The Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic is a prestigious mountain bike stage race (5 or 3 days) that explores the trails of Rothrock State Forest and surrounding areas. The event attracts elite mountain bikers and enthusiasts alike, offering a challenging and immersive experience in the heart of Pennsylvania's mountainous terrain.
Pennsylvania's diverse landscapes, ranging from rolling hills to rugged mountains, have established it as a cycling paradise. Whether cyclists are drawn to the challenging roads, gravel paths, or mountain trails, the Keystone State has something for everyone. Events like Gran Fondo Hincapie Lehigh Valley, Tour De Shunk Gravel, and the Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic not only showcase the state's varied cycling opportunities but also bring together riders from all walks of life, fostering a sense of community and shared passion for two-wheeled adventures in Pennsylvania.