Try One of Our Favorite Bike Races of the Year
Look forward to dirt races, gravel rides, and more in 2021
As summer gets into full swing, cyclists are embracing the return of bike events. “People are clearly so excited to be outside together and doing things again,” says Ben Delaney, the cycling group editorial director for Outside Inc.. “The energy to participate in bike events this year seems like a combination of pent-up frustration, eagerness to get out and do something, and the relief of being out there.”
Whether you’re looking for a chance to test your fitness or reconnect with the cycling community, jump back into in-person group riding with these five upcoming events.
Rooted Vermont has a quirky, welcoming atmosphere, bringing together riders of all abilities into a race full of fun, food, and beer. There are two course options: a 45-mile route with 3,500 feet of elevation gain and an 85-mile route with 8,000 feet of climbing, both of which follow mostly dirt roads through Vermont’s Green Mountain range. Post-finish, riders can celebrate with local IPAs and classic maple creemees. A random selection lottery for entry was held in January for more than 800 spots, but if you’re aiming to join in 2022, registration for the lottery opens November 1 here.
Red River, New Mexico
The newest addition to Roll Massif’s roster gives riders a chance to experience northern New Mexico. Starting from the town of Red River, the 85- and 100-mile courses take cyclists through small mountain towns and along a scenic byway in the Sangre de Cristo Range. The ride highlights the regional culture in this unique part of the Southwest: live music acts dot the course, and local restaurants and breweries provide support for riders. More information on fees and registration details can be found here.
Grand Junction, Colorado
This year’s Tour of the Moon event, which follows a 41-mile road loop from Grand Junction to Fruita and back again, is a modern take on a classic event: the route was first raced as a stage in the 1980 Coors International Bike Classic events. It weaves through Colorado National Monument, an otherworldly high-desert landscape dotted with towering sandstone formations. Registration is available through Roll Massif, and the popular 2,200-rider event routinely sells out—so book early. Sign on before July 13 for a 10 percent discount.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Utah’s Five Canyons Bike Challenge starts in Salt Lake City and takes riders through scenic canyons in the Wasatch, climbing more than 14,000 feet in 116 miles. Those 14,000 feet don’t come easy: three of the climbs are sustained efforts of 5,000-plus feet, and the remaining two clock in between 1,500 and 3,000 feet. Your reward? Stunning views of the Wasatch Front. Register online here.
This Gran Fondo in early October is perfectly timed to watch the lush hills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway turn red and gold. The ride, a new addition to the Gran Fondo National Series, offers three road options that take you through historical villages and winding river crossings and up to a mountain summit. Choose between the 33-mile Valley Ride, the 45-mile River Ride, and the 75-mile Mountain Ride. Register by October 4 to save 10 percent on your entry fee.
Roll Massif and BikeReg are part of Outside Inc., the same company that owns Outside magazine and Outside Online. If you join the Outside+ membership program, you’ll gain unlimited access to all of our stories, along with deep discounts on bike events and more. Learn more about Outside+ here.