Looking to take your riding to the next level? Looking for a new challenge or race to tackle on two wheels? Congratulations, you've come to the right place! Mark your calendar for some of the best organized bike rides in America and cycling events coming up.
7 of the Best Cycling Races in the US
Regardless of whether you're a seasoned cyclist or not, you’ve most likely heard of the Tour de France. With its origins rooted in Europe, cycling has always held a strong fan base on the other side of the pond. The good news is that cycling is continuously growing in popularity in the United States and there’s an increasing number of races and events to participate in, now more than ever.
For riders and cycling fans alike, these are some of the best cycling races in the US to jump in on.
- Tour Divide
We’re kicking this list off with a ride for the ultimate cycling badass. Tour Divide is one of the longest and most challenging mountain bike races not only in the United States, but in the world. Some of the most prepared and talented riders come from across the globe to participate in this three-week self-supported race that begins in the Canadian Rockies and ends in New Mexico (or vice versa — it’s your choice!). The event is advertised as 'one stage' of 2745 miles. The scenery is optimal but the skill level of riders is even better.
Next Ride: Summer 2023, Dates TBD
- Texas Hell Week
As the name suggests, this week-long race is intense. The great thing about Texas Hell Week is the participants and audience it attracts. Fans of all ages love heading to Fredericksburg, Texas, to watch riders of all skill levels go on an incredible journey up and over hills and speed through dusty flatlands. If you’re searching for one of the best century rides in America (cycling ride of 100 miles or more), you’ll find it here.
Next Ride: Spring 2023, Dates TBD
The Silver State 508
All the intensity of this race, spanning Nevada Highway 50, takes place in just 48 hours, with the organization having claimed it as "the toughest 48 hours in sport". Men and women racers can participate as solo riders or relay teams. The clue is in the name here, it's 508 miles of truly EPIC riding, barren roads and stunning scenery. Past participants agree that this is one of the most satisfying races to complete in the country.
With 40 years under its tires — the race first kicked off in 1983 — the route of “The 508” (as it’s affectionately called) has looked different from time to time, but the energy and passion for the race continues to strengthen. Whether you’re a new cyclist wanting to make your mark or you are looking to fashion yourself as the next Reed Finfrock (a ten-time finisher of The 508, with his lowest finish time clocking in at 32:10:30), this is one race to set your sights on.
Next Ride: September 16-18, 2022
Red Rocks Century
Some of the best organized rides in America are often century rides. For the cyclists riding the Red Rocks Century, they spend all 12,000 feet of elevation taking in beautiful Colorado landmarks like Dinosaur Ridge and Red Rocks Park. Although not classified as a race, this ride is a great test of endurance and skill and admired by fans taking in the sights as well.
After its inaugural ride in 2009, which it was known then as the Healing Wheels Tour, the Red Rocks Century ride is a well-organized race paired with exceptional views.
Next Ride: Fall 2022, Dates TBD
Death Ride - Tour of the California Alps
Again, the name of this race doesn’t leave much to the imagination. With 15,000 feet of climbing and 129 total riding miles, cyclists get to take on five iconic pass climbs with a ton of support from fans and cycling industry professionals. Riders taking part in the Death Ride get full mechanical support before, during, and after the race, as well as plenty of rest and water stops along the way.
As one of the premier cycling events on the west coast, this ride that is nestled within the California Alps in northern California — the route is east of Sacramento, California, and south of Carson City, Nevada — is geared toward more seasoned and veteran riders. With the course as strenuous as it is for riders, event organizers recommend the Mendocino Monster event as a pre-Death Ride warm up, which might be a good training timeline for those looking to race next summer.
Next Ride: Summer 2023, Dates TBD
Vapor Trail 125
There’s a reason this is called the “vapor trail” and it has everything to do with your lungs. During the Vapor Trail ride, experienced mountain bike riders climb a stifling 20,000 feet over 125 miles. Limited to only 80 cyclists and starting at night on the Arkansas River, this 24-hour endurance ride takes cyclists through Salida, Colorado. Each of the six pass climbs can last over two hours and, because the race takes place at the end of summer and into fall each year, weather conditions are always unpredictable. Not just any cyclist can participate in this one — that’s why it’s one of the best to witness.
Next Ride: August 26 - 27, 2022
- The Alaska Ultrasport Iditarod Trail Invitational
Talk about a change of scenery. This is the longest winter mountain bike ride in the world and, by far, one of the most competitive and demanding. Riders start in Knik, Alaska and travel a massive 1,100 miles (yes, you read that correctly) to McGrath across snowy trails and mountains. Those taking part in the race — deemed an adventure by the event organizers — must have completed a 350-mile race in the previous year in order to participate and must prepare for a grueling and potentially dangerous journey ahead. For the most extreme of riders and cycling fans, this one’s for you.
Next Ride: February 26, 2023
The Best Organized Bike Rides and Events in America
Are you ready to get in on one of these races? It’s important to know that none of these races would be possible without support from organized cycling events throughout the year. At these trade shows and conferences, cycling sponsors, riders, and gearheads come together to try out new technology, bike brands, safety equipment, and more. Some great events to check out are:
- LifeTime Sea Otter Classic - Monterey, California, April 20 - 23, 2023. The Sea Otter Classic is a favorite of KAV’s as it is known as a high-energy event, not least due to the nearly 1,000 brands showcased at the bicycle expo.
- The Big Gear Show - Park City Utah - Tentatively planned for June 2023
- Wydaho Rendezvous Mountain Bike Festival - Grand Targhee Resort, Alta, WY - September 2 - 4, 2022
- The Cycle of Influence Summit - Benton, AR (or virtual) - September 6 - 8, 2022
- Cycle-Con Weekend Expo - Dayton, OH - October 7 - 9, 2022
- Philly Bike Expo - Philadelphia, PA - October 29 & 30, 2022
At KAV, it’s our goal to get every cyclist in a custom KAV Portola Helmet. Keep an eye out on our social media profiles — we’re on Instagram and Facebook — to keep track of what events and races we’re at. We’ll be at some upcoming events to get our state-of-the-art technology in front of biking enthusiasts from all over the country. Learn more about the safety features, our complimentary custom fit kit and virtual fit sessions that are risk-free, and customization of our product as well as our overall mission for riders, here.