While the winter might not seem like the ideal time to go for a ride, there are locations across the country that still offer great outdoor cycling opportunities. Check out these eight fun events that offer warm weather and sunshine even during the coldest months of the year.
WINTER CLASSIC POKER RIDE
Dec. 9, 2018
This fun, laid-back ride in sunny Scottsdale offers an A and B ride of 42 and 28 miles, respectively. Along the well-marked route through the valley, you’ll stop at designated areas for a hand of poker. The best hands along the way receive prizes at the finish along with pizza, beer and plenty of live music.
TOUR DE FELASCO
Jan. 12, 2019
Though this event is not a race, you will be challenged. The 50- or 62-mile trail ride in north Florida consists of rolling hills, steep climbs, sinkholes, creek crossings and log bridges that you’ll be forced to navigate throughout the magnificent San Felasco Hammock Preserve trail system. The good news is the scenery is just as beautiful as it is challenging, and the weather is usually warm enough for shorts.
CASA GRANDE CENTURY
Casa Grande, Arizona
Jan. 13, 2019
This race claims to be the first century ride of the year and also features 33- and 60-mile options. The loop century course is flat and on low-trafficked roads, making it ideal if you’re trying the distance for the first time. The average high on race day is 70ºF with plenty of clear skies and sunshine, which is about as good a day on the bike as you can expect in January.
Jan. 27, 2019
Not matter the time of year, there are few better places in the world to ride a bike than in Hawaii. In addition to the scenic 75K (46-mile) ride around the Honolulu coast, this event also offers a 10K, 5K and 1-mile run that’s suitable for all ages and abilities. All proceeds for the event go toward epilepsy awareness.
PEDALING THE PRARIE BIKE RIDE
Feb. 2, 2019
This relaxing ride cruises through the rice fields and prairie between Bellville and Katy, Texas, and features four distance options ranging from 24–71 miles. No matter which you choose, the event is well-organized, fun and offers the perfect way to enjoy exercising outdoors this winter.
TOUR DE PALM SPRINGS
Palm Springs, California
Feb. 9, 2019
Beautiful, warm and plenty unique, Palm Springs is the perfect location for an early season century ride. While the surrounding mountains provide a scenic background, the course is mostly flat and easy to navigate. If you’re not yet ready for the 100-mile ride, 10-, 25- and 50-mile rides are also available. On-course cheerleaders, bands and other entertainment encourage you all the way to the finish.
Feb. 23, 2019
One of the best rides of the year, this classic ride 80 miles east of San Diego isn’t easy, but it will be memorable. The Wild West adventure takes you through the California desert where stunning vistas and hassle-free roads let you enjoy your time on the bike like few other races can. The 150-mile course features climbs ranging up to 4 miles in length and 8% gradients along with plenty of rolling hills. You can also complete the event as a four-person team time trial or opt for the shorter 26- or 50-mile courses.
ST. JOSEPH GRAN FONDO
March 3, 2019
One of the earliest Gran Fondos of the cycling calendar, this race in Bryan, Texas lands just before spring in the bluebonnet fields of Brazos Valley. The 20-, 40-, 70- and 100-mile distance options also make this an event for all abilities — and it’s a great way for the community to help support local cancer survivors. Afterward, stick around for the post-ride celebration with Karbach Brewing Company.