Choose one of these 15 road rides from around the country and start training.
Great River Ride
Date: October 12, 2008
Location: Westfield, MA
Test your lung capacity on the hills of the Eastern Berkshires before going all out on the 25-mile downhill run to the finish.
Mad River Valley Century Ride
Date: August 23, 2008
Location: Waitsfield, VT
No steep climbs required. Cruise past postcard-pretty farms and through the rolling river valleys of Vermont’s Green Mountains.
Maine Lobster Ride & Roll
Date: July 26, 2008
Location: Rockland, ME
Suck in salt air as fishermen bring in their catch on Maine’s rocky coast. After the race enjoy a lobster roll dinner and put on a pair of dry, commemorative lobster socks.
New York City Century Bike Tour
Date: September 7, 2008
Location: Central Park, Manhattan
Bike in skyscrapers’ shadows in this ultra-popular urban century, which starts in Manhattan’s Central Park and passes through Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
Date: October 17-19, 2008
Location: Ellettsville, IN
Price: TBD, probably about $40
Riders have been testing their quads on the hills of Southern Indiana since the 1960s in this weekend-long classic, which includes a brag-worthy more than 20 percent incline on Mount Tabor.
Date: June 1, 2008
Location: Union, IL
Ogle the cows along the dairy roads of rural southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. The flat landscape makes this a good pick for beginners.
Hotter’N Hell Hundred
Date: August 23, 2008
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Thousand of cycling masochists pleasure in riding through the blistering August heat of North Texas, and more than 800 local medical personnel wait route-side, just in case.
Mountain Mama Road Bike Challenge
Date: August 2, 2008
Location: Monterey, VA
Climb nine mountains in parts of two states in the Alleghenies of Virginia and West Virginia.
Santa Fe Century
Date: May 18, 2008
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Cross the Ortiz and San Pedro Mountains and pass through the old mining towns of the Turquoise Trail. Climbs are tempered by long stretches of flats and easy rollers.
Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle
Date: September 6, 2008
Location: Carmel, CA to Cambria, CA
Price: $1,200 minimum in donations
Cycle the Pacific Coast Highway on one of the poshest centuries around, passing through wine country and ending with a celeb-filled bash at the Hearst Castle.
Chico Velo Wildflower Century
Date: April 27
Location: Chico, CA
If you can’t hack one hundred miles and the 4,300 feet of Northern California hill climbing, go for the 65-mile “Mildflower” instead.
Honolulu Century Ride
Date: September 28, 2008
Location: Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, HI
From Waikiki to Swanzy Beach and back, more than 4,000 riders pedal on Oahu’s coastal roads in Hawaii’s oldest and largest cycling event.
Inland Empire Century
Date: May 10, 2008
Location: Richland, WA
Climb the Horse Heaven Hills, cross the Columbia River, and roll through the orchards and wheat fields of the lower Yakima River Valley.
One Helena Hundred
Date: July 19, 2008
Location: Cascade, MT
Bike Big Sky country, following the bends in the Missouri River near Cascade. Though the landscape is dramatic, the hills are fairly gentle.
Date: August 16, 2008
Location: La Veta, CO
Gain 7,500 feet in elevation as you climb southern Colorado’s scenic Highway 12 through the Spanish Peaks, topping out on 9,945-foot Cuchara Pass.