Just because the pros end their seasons with the road world championships in September doesn’t mean you have to stop riding then, too. In fact, the cooler temperatures can be a pleasant break from the summer heat—and a perfect time of year to ride your bike.
Check out these 10 awesome rides in the U.S. that offer epic scenery and plenty of competition.
Sawtooth Mountain Challenge
Grand Marais, Minn.
October 17, 2015
There are plenty of scenic routes in Minnesota, but the Pincushion Mountain ski trails might be the best of the lot. The 21-mile expert singletrack course is definitely suited for those seeking a challenge, but the spectacular views overlooking the Grand Marais and Lake Superior are for everyone to enjoy—no matter which course you choose.
Photo by Instagram user afterwise_sarah.
October 24, 2015
There’s a reason the trails of Moab are considered to be the Holy Grail for mountain biking. What makes the Moab Epic stand out from other events in the area is that you choose the route. You’ll get a topographic map marked with a series of checkpoints that you must reach to win the race—the rest is up to you. The Magnificent 7 and Moab Brands trail networks that you’ll use were also built for mountain biking, and are some of the best in the entire country.
Photo by Instagram user mello.tello.
Hincapie Gran Fondo
October 24, 2015
There’s little doubt that the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina offer some of the biggest and most scenic climbs in the U.S. What makes this course special is that it’s also the backyard of pro cyclist George Hincapie. You’ll not only conquer the same 80-mile course Hincapie trained on to prep for the Tour de France, but you’ll also be accompanied by Mr. Hincapie himself.
If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, sign up for the platinum package, where you’ll be treated like a pro: five-star meals, post-ride massages and full-SAG support are just a few of the perks. Also included in the mind-boggling $10,000 cost are three course recon rides with Hincapie, breakfast with the pros and five nights in the new Hotel Domestique.
Photo by Instagram user hermanprestonlam.
Bookwalter Binge Gran Fondo
October 31, 2015
BMC pro cyclist Brent Bookwalter created this event, but he isn’t the only pro that will be in attendance. Other cycling celebrities will join the ride as guides and guests so you can rub elbows with the best in the business over 83 miles. The Black Mountains and the colorful surrounding areas of Asheville in the fall are scenery you won’t want to miss.
The Swank 65
November 1, 2015
This mountain bike race has a little bit of everything. From mining roads to singletrack through the Pisgah National Forest, you’ll tackle tough climbs and breathtaking descents—leaving the hustle and bustle of civilization far behind.
Photo by Wil K.
Giro D’Vino Bicycle Win Tour
November 8, 2015
A more relaxed ride, this course heads through the best wineries in the Lodi region of northern California. In addition to tastings, you’ll also get to enjoy the multiple vineyards that line the route as well as the river crossing of the Mokelumne, which is known for its beautiful fall scenery.
Photo by Instagram user shallotjane.
Gran Fondo Miami
November 15, 2015
If a more upbeat city vibe is your thing, the Gran Fondo Miami won’t disappoint. The 100-mile course begins in Coral Gables on the Miracle Mile, then heads past the historic Biltmore Hotel before reaching the coastal beaches that have made the area famous. The weather promises to be fantastic in November, and would make for the perfect getaway if you live in one of the colder regions in the U.S.
El Tour de Tucson
November 21, 2015
This race is one of the largest cycling events in the U.S. with over 9,000 participants each year. Tucson has been rated in numerous publications as a top 10 cycling city because of its plethora of bike paths and varied terrain. The 104-mile course will give you a sample of just about everything the city has to offer. From rolling terrain to mountain summits that top 8,500 feet, you’ll get to take in the majestic views of the Sonoran Desert and the beautiful weather that have made Tucson such a popular destination this time of year.
Photo by Instagram user alanfreedy.
12 Hours of Fury
Fort McDowell, Ariz.
November 21, 2015
If you’re an endurance freak, you’ll love this event. Located on the smooth and fast mountain bike trails of Fort McDowell, participants will race around a 15-mile loop to see who can ride the most laps in a 12-hour period. If you’d rather not try it solo, you can also sign up as a two- or four-person team.
Photo by Instagram user peacelovebicycles.
Solstice Chase (fat bike)
St. Croix Falls, Minn.
December 19, 2015
If you’ve ridden a fatbike, then you know it can be tons of fun—especially in the snow. The Solstice Chase is one of the new fatbike races that have popped up recently around the U.S., and it’s definitely one of the best. Located 50 minutes outside Minneapolis, St. Croix Falls is one of the most beautiful areas in the country. The groomed ski course will have a 42K or 21K option, and only fatbikes with 3.8-inch wide tires or larger will be allowed to race.
Photo by Instagram user boshjauer.