The Saluda Roubaix is a tough, but beautiful gravel grinder in South Carolina. Named after one of the greatest cycling races of all time, the Saluda does live up to the Roubaix name even with all of the great expectations. At 73 miles and with 2,500 feet of climbing, this is no Dirty Kanza 200. BUT, this is gravel folks and this route is very Belgium/Amstel gold style with lots of short and steep climbs scattered throughout the duration of the race. Such a rough gravel event that some riders wield a hardtail mountain bike. Saluda Roubaix is a pristine gravel event taking place in South Carolina, and if gravel is your thing, then this is an event to do 100 percent.
This is a special Gran Fondo National Series event on many levels starting with the chance to see the alluring Asheville downtown and surrounding countryside from the perspective of your handlebars. The event is particularly unique in that it doubles as both a traditional Gran Fondo and the USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship. To compete in the National Championship category riders must qualify; however, all normal Gran Fondo Asheville routes are open to all riders to register and do not require qualification. There is a separate start time for USA Cycling Gran Fondo National Championship participants who 30 minutes prior to the Gran Fondo Asheville riders.
GFNS has been producing premier one day events since 2012 and currently hosts 8 national events including the official USA Cycling Gran Fondo Championship. What’s unique about GFNS events is that they offer a mix of personal challenge and serious competition on roads with challenging climbs and incredible scenery. Each rider is assigned an electronic timing-chip to keep track of their progress throughout the course and to allow riders to compete for best time through highlighted sections of the course. There is not start to finish as in traditional racing formats, but rather timed sections count towards a rider’s competition time.
This Gran Fondo course starts with very short, punchy climbs, features long stretches of quiet, narrow, and winding country roads, and finishes with a classic climb up Elk Mountain to the Blue Ridge Parkway and a decent to finish at Wicked Weed Brewing’s Funkatorium, in downtown Asheville. The Gran route is 98 miles with 8,800 feet of elevation gain.
There is also a Medio route available at 61 miles with 4,900 feet of elevation gain, and a Piccolo route at 29 miles and 1,900 feet of eleveation gain.
Even with Gran course riders competing for the Gran Fondo National Championship, the timed segment format gives everyone the opportunity to socialize between segments. With the start/finish and post-ride party hosted at the Wicked Weed Brewing’s Funkatorium, this is one of the most festive, supportive, and fun events of the whole season.
There is much to experience in Asheville, Lonely Planet’s top U.S. travel destination in 2017. Asheville’s vibrant downtown is a hub for artists, musicians, renowned chefs, craft brewers and distillers. The area also features the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, Biltmore Estate, and outdoor opportunities like hiking on the Appalachian Trail and water sports on the French Broad River.
In mid-summer, the High Country of North Carolina enjoys 80-degree temperatures while the surrounding East Coast temperatures hover in the high 90s. Early August is a prime time to be in Boone! The rural roller-coaster roads around Boone are a ton of fun, and quite challenging. The climbs aren’t very long, but that means there’s not a lot of time for recovery on the descents, either. This is a great course for all-around riders.
GF Boone is one of 4 events designated Super Gran by the Gran Fondo National Series. There are 3 route options: The Gran at 98 miles and +8400 elevation gain; The Medio at 54 miles and +5200 elevation gain; The Piccolo at 25 miles and +2200 elevation gain.
The laid back atmosphere of this western North Carolina college town is contagious. One of the smaller fields for a Gran Fondo National Series event, the Boone Gran Fondo has a supportive, family feel, particularly when we all gather for great local food, cold beer, and fantastic raffle prizes after a challenging and competitive ride.
Gran Fondo Boone is a Gran Fondo National Series event. The series was established in 2012 and is comprised of eight European-style ride/races staged in the United States. Every GFNS event offers courses covering 30, 60 and 100-mile journeys through some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain in endurance sports. Timed sections allow riders to compete in specific segments of the course, while casual cyclists can ride at their own pace. Participants can ride as individuals or on teams. GFNS awards special prizes to the top riders in every age and gender category. Each rider is assigned an electronic timing-chip to keep track of their progress throughout the course and to allow riders to compete for best time through highlighted
GFNY Florida (Sebring) is one of 25 GFNY global series events culminating in the GFNY Championship next May in NYC. The highly scenic “old” Florida route starts in historic Downtown Sebring where this 100+ year old city was built uniquely around a circle park. The Sebring Civic Center, our host location, sits directly on beautiful Lake Jackson boasting some of the best sunsets in Florida. You will experience the “old Florida” charm as you ride through protected native Florida ‘scrub’ habitat, cattle ranches and a dairy farm. The upper loop towards Avon Park has scenic rolling hills through miles of Florida’s iconic orange groves on low-traffic and well paved roads. The Arbuckle Creek Road leg showcases thousands of acres of pristine cattle ranch land, most of which is preserved by the state of Florida under conservation easements, as well as taking riders over picturesque Arbuckle Creek itself. The Long Route riders will repeat the upper loop to Avon Park. Timing finish will be 2km from the Sebring Civic Center. The celebratory finish line will be at the Sebring Civic Center, where festivities, post-race meal and awards ceremony will be awaiting you.
GFNY Florida Sebring is a timed race. Each athlete has their own timing chip, which starts right after you cross the start line and stops when you cross the finish line. Timing results for all riders will be provided at the finish area on race day and online after the race. Only the finishers of the 132km long course are eligible for category rankings and Overall and Podium awards. If you want to race and be ranked in your category, you must complete the long course. Top 10% of finishers in each age groups qualify for the Racer Corral at every GFNY World event.
The assault of Mount Mitchell is one of the toughest cycling events in America. At 102 miles and with over 11,000 feet of climbing, this is not a ride to mess around with whatsoever. This South Carolina event has been canceled for 2020 for obvious reasons but is back in May of next year, 2020. This ride is by no means for the faint of heart and training will be needed if you want to cross that line in good time. Being a well managed event there are a dozen aid stations and wonderful kits supplied by Hincapie. 11,000 feet of climbing is not for everyone whatsoever and spots are actually a little tight for the race so there is a separate, smaller version of the assault taking place on another date in which you can complete and get a spot for the true Assault. There is an article on this smaller version called the Assault of Mount Marion here. But the assault on Mount Mitchell is one of the south east and eastern seaboards top, and hardest cycling events and a journey worth making.
Linked with the Assault of Mount Mitchell is the Assault of Mount Marion. A shorter version and separate event all together from the massive Mount Mitchell event. It is still a large ride at 74 miles but has nowhere near the vertical gain of the Mount Mitchell Assault. This smaller version, if completed in proper time, gives you a slot for the Assault of Mount Mitchell. Having been canceled for 2020 and 2021, the event look for a strong return in 2022.
The Hot Hundred cycling event is labeled as “the hottest ride in the south.” Taking place annually in Tuscaloosa Alabama, the Hot hundred hosts 5 rides ranging from 30-100 miles. Founded in 2003, “Hot Hundred is Tuscaloosa’s Century Bicycle Ride” and hosts lengths at 30, 40, 50, 70, and 100 miles. A wholesome bonus to this event is that proceeds gained from Sponsorship and registration support local mental health agencies. The Hot Hundred cycling event is one of Alabama’s best, and most popular cycling events and worth a ride if you are in the south.