6 Cycling Races in Prime Vacation Spots

Marc Lindsay
by Marc Lindsay
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6 Cycling Races in Prime Vacation Spots

Believe it or not, vacation is a good time to put all your cycling training to good use. Since most places where you can bike for miles are inherently beautiful and vacation-worthy, you can sign up for a race, ride and then relax with friends and family afterward with the satisfaction of knowing you already put in hard miles.

From Maine to Hawaii, cycling races happen to be in some pretty great places perfect for vacationing after the race is done. Here’s a short list:

1. BIG BEAR, CALIFORNIA
Race: Tour de Big Bear
August 4, 2018

The Tour de Big Bear Gran Fondo is one of the most beautiful and challenging rides in Southern California. Big Bear’s stunning mountain scenery makes it a great spot to escape the city and enjoy time outdoors. When you’re not on the bike, you can hike trails, rent a boat to relax on the lake or check out the Big Bear Discovery Center. For a cool place to stay, check out the Big Bear Lakefront Cabins.

2. COPPER MOUNTAIN, COLORADO
Race: Copper Triangle
August 4, 2018

The Copper Triangle race is a bucket-list ride that allows you to take in the scenery by bike. This stunning alpine event takes place at Copper Mountain Resort, which is a beautiful location if you’re looking to stay right on the water. As for the family, there’s a kid’s sandcastle competition every August, you can take the American Eagle chairlift for a picnic at 11,375 feet or rent a boat for a day of relaxing on Dillon Reservoir. If you’re looking to extend your trip and explore the area, Vail is a 30-minute drive.

3. BIG ISLAND, HAWAII
Race: Sea to Stars
August 4, 2018

While the 48-mile race climbing to 9,800 feet is anything but easy, it is an incredible challenge you won’t soon forget. The epic road you’ll be tasked to conquer leads to the Mauna Kea Volcano and is the site for Hawaii’s mountain climbing state championship if you’re into bragging rights. When you’re ready for downtime, there is no shortage of activities in this perfect vacation destination. Helicopter and balloon tours, snorkeling and submarine rides are just a few of the activities you can try when you’re not relaxing on one of the incredible beaches nearby. For lodging, try the Volcano Village Lodge for something a little different from your run-of-the-mill hotel and worthy of a dream vacation.

4. SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
Race: Climate Ride
August 2–6, 2018

This five-day ride begins and ends in Seattle while exploring the San Juan Islands, Canada’s Vancouver Island and the spectacular Olympic Park in between. Rugged beaches, historic port towns, a temperate rainforest and the Olympic mountains should be on the itinerary. If you’re looking for fun activities in Seattle, ride one of the ferries, visit SAM or eat a Seattle Dog while you’re on the beach. For an iconic Seattle hotel, check out The Sorrento, which has been around for more than 100 years.

5. PORTLAND, OREGON
Race: Providence Bridge Pedal
August 12, 2018

Yes, it rains in Portland most of the year — but summer is mostly sunny and mild, making it a perfect spot for a getaway. The Providence Bridge Pedal is a laid-back event that allows cyclists to cross many of the city’s bridges for spectacular views of the Willamette River on roads closed to traffic. Afterward, you can head to Multnomah Falls and Columbia Gorge to relax by the waterfall or stay in the city for a tour of the local breweries. You can also hike or walk around the Japanese Garden in Washington Park if you’re looking for more activities to enjoy in the sunshine. For a hotel in the city, try the Jupiter Hotel that’s within walking distance of a ton of popular restaurants, breweries and shops.

6. SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE
Race: Maine Lighthouse Ride
September 8, 2018

Without a doubt, one of the best rides in Maine is the Lighthouse Ride. There are four ride options ranging from 25 miles all the way up to 100, with the latter passing nine of the area’s most scenic lighthouses with beautiful ocean views. Once you’re done burning calories, head to the Harbor Fish Market or try one of the local food tours that will let you sample a little of everything. For more water adventures, you can try a sailboat tour or an offshore guided fishing trip if you’d like to try your luck at a big catch. If you want a hotel with some character, try the Inn on Carleton or the Morrill Mansion Bed and Breakfast.

About the Author

Marc Lindsay
Marc Lindsay

Marc is a freelance writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. He holds a master’s degree in writing from Portland State University and is a certified physical therapy assistant. An avid cyclist and runner of over 20 years, Marc contributes to LAVA, Competitor and Phoenix Outdoor magazines. He is the former cycling editor for Active.com.

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